July 27, 2012

book review: paula takes a risk

A thirty-something's life undergoes drastic changes fast, and she is left with changing course quickly in Randi Sherman's Paula Takes a Risk.

On the same day, Paula Tenenbaum loses her job and is dumped by her boyfriend. She is accused of being average and boring on both counts. Depressed her lackluster life has lost even more shine, the heroine realizes she needs to make change happen and fast.

Before she can decide what exactly to do with her life, Larry, her conniving neighbor, takes advantage of her fragile state and takes her life in a completely different, and not boring, direction.

Fast-paced from the get-go, Paula Takes a Risk is a quick read packed with details that resurface throughout the story, which means no skimming allowed for this story. With the natural humor in the story and dialog, Sherman is a witty writer who knows how to keep a story moving.

Though a story about a woman who has had her life fall apart and wants more excitement, the book quickly veers from the obvious. I found myself continuously surprised and never knowing just what to expect throughout the story. It is always fun to find yourself surprised, even if you do not always like the outcome.

The filled with plenty of unlikeable characters, you can still relate to the main character from the beginning. She is content, but not happy. Then she is miserable and confused. Even when I was frustrated with the decisions she made, I could still understand her point of view: she is someone who has been beaten and will do whatever it takes to put together some resemblance of an existence.

With more and more people in our generation having to settle or knowing what it is like to be scorned by someone you trust (or don't completely trust), Paula Takes a Risk is a great read for anyone looking for a distraction from their own life. 

Rating: 4 of 5

Check back tomorrow for a guest post from the author, Randi Sherman.

About the Author
Randi Sherman, a native Californian, lives in San Francisco. With her tremendous grasp of the obvious, Randi has always had the ability to find humor in the mundane and share the laughter. She dares to examine and discuss everyday foibles, which obliges people to stop taking themselves too seriously.

Developing characters and writing have been a part of Randi’s life since she was a teenager, umm-mmum-mumm years ago. She spent time performing stand-up comedy at Los Angeles club amateur nights and studied Improvisation in the Bay Area. Realizing that she preferred having an income, living indoors and eating regularly, she reluctantly put her dreams on hold and entered the corporate world, yet never left behind her sense of humor and creative storytelling ability, skills which were not always appreciated during budget and strategy meetings.

Now, after living indoors for a while and eating, albeit too much, her book, Paula Takes a Risk is here. Randi’s unique wit, writing style and candor will surely make the reader sit up, stand up, roll over or assume an interested leaning position and take notice.

Randi would never claim to have a genius IQ, the body of a super model or always have the right thing to wear. However, she can spell the words, “smart” and “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.” Randi maintains a trim, well-toned body that is cleverly concealed beneath twenty pounds of soft protective layering and she has the appetite of a bird. (By “bird” I mean vulture.) Her entire wardrobe consists of black, black and varying degrees of black, except for those items that are covered with lint because she put them through the wash with a tissue.

Things that Randi cannot live without: people to laugh with, her car horn, a gym membership where there are chubby women who break into a sweat while putting on a jog bra, wine, waist capes, and her partner, Carol.

Randi does not like mean-spirited people, liver, left-overs, communal dressing rooms, tight underwear, and people who point.

Randi is five-foot-seven.

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