Friday, January 16, 2015

Book Review: Your Perfect Life, by Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke

"We're already tossing around ideas. All preliminary of course. But if things continue, if Casey can keep this up, a show will happen for her. And she's single. No kids. She'd jump at a chance to host her own show in the Big Apple, right?"

Charlie smiles, but his eyes look sad. "I don't know, you'll have to ask her. But you know Casey, she'd do just about anything for the next great thing."

And I find myself wondering. What will she say? Or if we haven't been able to switch back and I'm still Casey Lee, what will I say?

This novel is definitely a Freaky Friday type of book, but it also knows that and alludes to that movie and other similar "body switching" books and movies. Rachel is a homemaker with three kids, including a baby, and her best friend, Casey, is a TV star - she hosts Gossip TV, and leads an expensive lifestyle, with the clothes and apartment to match. When they end up switching bodies after their 20th high school reunion, neither knows how to adapt to the other's life at first - but soon, after almost no time at all, they start to figure things out.

Official synopsis:
With “a delicious, page-turning premise, and sweet and surprising insights” (New York Times bestselling author Jen Lancaster), Your Perfect Life perfectly illustrates that old adage: Sometimes, you to have to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes to see what’s in her heart.

Best friends since childhood, Casey and Rachel couldn’t lead more different lives. While workaholic Casey rubs elbows with celebrities daily as the host of Gossip TV and comes home nightly to an empty apartment, stay-at-home mom Rachel juggles an “oops” baby, two fiery teenagers, and a husband who barely seems the man she fell in love with two decades before. After an argument at their twentieth high school reunion, Casey and Rachel throw back shots to get the night back on track. Instead, they get a life-changing hangover.

Waking up in each other’s bodies the next morning, they must figure out how to navigate their altered realities. Rachel is forced to confront the reason she gave up her broadcasting dreams when she got pregnant in college, and Casey finally steps out of the spotlight to face the truth about why she’s alone. And they soon discover that they don’t know themselves—or their best friend—nearly as well as they thought they did.

Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke bring humor and heart to every page of this novel that is sure to please fans of
In Her Shoes and The Opposite of Me. Your Perfect Life is a story about two very different women, what they didn’t know about each other, and how, by switching lives, they each learn to appreciate their own.

The beginning of this book started off a little slow, but it soon sucked me in. Casey and Rachel have opposite lives: Casey is childless and has to be at the studio very early in the mornings, whereas Rachel has three demanding children (and a husband) that she slaves for every day, with little to no appreciation. A mysterious bartender at their high school reunion makes them two shots; the next day, when they wake up, they have switched bodies. 

The concept has been done before, but this is the first book or movie I've read/seen where it's been two best friends (rather than mother and daughter, like in Freaky Friday) who switch lives. It was interesting to see how Casey had to adapt to being a mother to three kids (two teens and a baby) and also pretend to be Rachel in interacting with Rachel's husband, John, whom she has known since high school. Rachel, on the other hand, majored in broadcast journalism in college but then got pregnant with her first child and didn't graduate, and now she has to step into Casey's large shoes as the anchor of a gossip show. 

This was a quick read and is "chick lit" at its finest: a good story plus easy to get through. I'd recommend it for anyone looking for an interesting read, or for those who enjoy "body switching" stories like Freaky Friday.

3.5 stars out of 5.
{Click here to purchase this book}

*Disclosure: I received a copy of this novel for reviewing purposes. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

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