Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Book Review and SIGNED copy giveaway: Class Mom, by Laurie Gelman {2 winners, ends 10/4}

Subject: Getting to know me - your new class mom

Hello, parents of Miss Ward's kindergarten class!

My name is Jennifer Dixon and I have "volunteered" to be your class mom for this coming year. Since this is a thankless job, don't expect warm fuzzy emails like you probably got in preschool. Wake up! You're in kindergarten on the mean streets of William H. Taft Elementary School, and it's time to face a few facts. The main one is that I'm in charge and I have some strong suggestions to make this an easy year for all of us, especially me.

First and foremost, read the school's @#$%& weekly email! It may seem boring, but it actually gives good information and keeps me from having to answer questions like "When is curriculum night?" (See below, by the way, for the answer to that one)

This is Laurie Gelman's first novel, and I found myself laughing out loud while reading it. If you enjoy books written with a hilarious first-person POV, you will enjoy this one.

Official synopsis:
Laurie Gelman's clever debut novel about a year in the life of a kindergarten class mom - a brilliant send-up of the petty and surprisingly cutthroat terrain of parent politics.

Jen Dixon is not your typical Kansas City kindergarten class mom—or mom in general. Jen already has two college-age daughters by two different (probably) musicians, and it's her second time around the class mom block with five-year-old Max—this time with a husband and father by her side. Though her best friend and PTA President sees her as the-wisest-candidate for the job (or oldest), not all of the other parents agree.

From recording parents' response times to her emails about helping in the classroom, to requesting contributions of-special-brownies for curriculum night, not all of Jen's methods win approval from the other moms. Throw in an old flame from Jen's past, a hyper-sensitive -allergy mom,-a surprisingly sexy kindergarten teacher, and an impossible-to-please Real Housewife-wannabe, causing problems at every turn, and the job really becomes much more than she signed up for.

Relatable, irreverent, and hilarious in the spirit of Maria Semple this is a fresh, welcome voice in fiction--the kind of novel that real moms clamor for, and a vicarious thrill-read for all mothers, who will be laughing as they are liberated by Gelman's acerbic truths.

I love books that include emails, and this one included all of the emails from Jen, as class mom, to the kindergarten class. The emails were hysterical, too, and some of the parents didn't know what to make of them, although they were meant to be light-hearted and sarcastic.

Jen is in her mid-40s, so she's one of the older moms in the class; her son, Max, is her third child, and her two daughters are in their 20s and in college. This isn't her first rodeo, but parents these days are definitely more demanding than 15-20 years ago, and as class mom, she has to make sure everyone is accommodated, or at least their children are.

Jen was definitely a funny character, and because the book is written in first-person POV (point of view), we get to see inside her head a bit too. One of her friends asked her to sign up for class mom (a job she would probably not normally sign up for), and Class Mom follows her throughout Max's kindergarten year, and all of the trials and tribulations that pop up along the way.

The supporting characters here were well-written, too: from her husband, Ron, to her friends and trainer, who actually ends up dating one of her friends.

Although I'm fairly certain that this is a standalone book, I wouldn't mind seeing a sequel, as we get a peek of the future (Max's 1st grade year) at the end of the novel, too.

Fun fact, too: if you are a fan of Regis & Kelly (aka Live with Kelly & Ryan in its current incarnation), you might have heard of the producer, Michael Gelman - Laurie Gelman is his wife. I didn't figure this out until I read her bio (she lives in NYC) and remembered Regis yelling "Gelman!" all of the time, ha ... and then when I Googled it, I then put the pieces together.

4 stars out of 5.
{Click here to purchase}


Enter via the widget below. Two of my lucky readers will each win a signed copy of Class Mom!

Giveaway will end on Wednesday, October 4th, at 11:59pm EST, and winners will be contacted the next day via email, and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen. 

U.S. residents only, please.

Good luck!

Class Mom - 2 autographed copies


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