October 15, 2012

book review: that time of the month

Character-driven with a strong voice, Emily Shaffer's debut novel, That Time of the Month, offers solid enjoyment for fans of women's literature.

The Scoop:
Recently fired and almost broke, thirty-year old Ellie decides to push all distractions aside and form a crash-or-burn plan to save herself and finally pursue her dreams. She gives herself one month to make the near-impossible happen, otherwise she has to leave New York City and move into her niece's toy room.

The plan seems simple but becomes complicated by a nosey best friend, a difficult roommate, a dreamy stranger, and a really bad ring. As the month progresses, Ellie must confront the realization that by deciding to focus on herself, she may have become completely self-centered.

Will she let her own ambitions, insecurities, and assumptions ruin her friendships and get in the way of a possible romance? Ruled by endless lists and fueled by several plates of pie, Ellie's comical thoughts and mishaps drive this story from the office to the coffee shop during a month that will leave her with a broken foot, a great pair of shoes, and a forever changed life. 
When it comes to characters, Ellie was a delight to read. I instantly connected with her, which is crucial for me when a person tells his or her own story. Within a few pages, I was certain Ellie and I were destined to be good friends, and I could hardly wait to follow her story.

More than wanting to be Ellie's friend, I connected with this story on a personal level, because I related so closely to her. I'll confess, before starting my new job there were moments that I wished I would be fired from my old job so I would have to force myself to make major changes in my life. Though I am glad it did not happen for me -- and I'm sure my parents are relieved to hear me say that -- it was easy for me to slip into this story and pretend that this could have been my life.

Beyond my own selfish connection, this book is a must read for any person who finds his or her self at a stand-still in life where you have the choice to take a risk or give up. If you have a dream -- whether it's writing a book, finding the love of your life or buying a new car -- this story is for you.

The surrounding casts of characters adds to the entertainment. From her best friend to people at the coffee shop where Ellie writes, she is so well surrounded by people that cracked me up, I saw how the girl would have plenty of ammo to write for years if she wanted.

Throw in an adorkably cute love interest, and I was in heaven.

This fast read is funny, has strong voice and is a great example of character-driven story telling, I look forward to seeing what adventures await Ellie next in the sequel to this book.

Rating: 4.5 of 5

Check back tomorrow for my interview with That Time of the Month author, Emily Shaffer.

About the Author
I am a Tennessean by birth, and have lived pretty much everywhere. My Dad always says that when I was born, and the doctor tried to slap me to make me cry, that I stood up on the table and slapped the doctor instead…and from then on, I never did anything that I didn't want to do.

Luckily, what I want to do is write…and not carjacking or vandalism.

Like my main character, Ellie, I love making random lists…so here are some random facts about me: - I'm nearsighted in one eye and farsighted in the other. The world looks like a fun-house mirror if I don't wear my glasses or contacts.
- I was almost kicked out of Graceland for using flash photography in the peacock-mirrored front room, and my tour group shunned me the entire rest of the tour. That made for a lonely trip through the Jungle Room.
- I was once mistaken for a member of Hanson…granted, they all had long hair at the time, but still… not what you wanna hear as a girl.

When I wrote That Time of the Month, I really saw it as though it was a movie. I can see every scene, every character and what they are wearing, every piece of pie, perfectly in my mind. I'm currently writing the sequel, That Time of the Year. I love the story and characters so much, that I am tempted to turn the series into a trilogy.

Connect with Emily
Twitter: https://twitter.com/EmilyAShaffer
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EmilyAShaffer
Blog: http://emilyanneshaffer.wordpress.com/

Buy the Book on Amazon

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