Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Book Review - You've Been Volunteered: A Class Mom Novel by Laurie Gelman

I stare at my computer screen and ponder my email. Is it too short? Too kind? Too sincere? Normally I wouldn't give a royal rip, but we have a new PTA president starting this year. I haven't met her yet, but she sent out a note saying she wants to be copied on all class parent emails. This fact alone has me at DEFCON 3. Smells like a micro-manager to me. Nina would have never wasted her time on that crap.

You've Been Volunteered is the follow up to Class Mom, which I reviewed a few years ago, and which was hilarious. If you're a Regis & Kelly fan or whatever they're calling it nowadays, the author is also the wife of Michael Gelman, one of the showrunners, which is pretty cool.

Official synopsis:
Book Review - You've Been Volunteered: A Class Mom Novel by Laurie Gelman
In the eagerly anticipated follow-up to Laurie Gelman’s "irreverent and hilarious" (The New York Post) hit Class Mom, brash, lovable Jen Dixon is back with a new class and her work cut out for her.

If you’ve ever been a room parent or school volunteer, Jen Dixon is your hero. She says what every class mom is really thinking, whether in her notoriously frank emails or standup-worthy interactions with the micromanaging PTA President and the gamut of difficult parents. Luckily, she has the charm and wit to get away with it—most of the time. Jen is sassier than ever but dealing with a whole new set of challenges, in the world of parental politics and at home.

She’s been roped into room-parenting yet again, for her son Max’s third grade class, but as her husband buries himself in work, her older daughters navigate adulthood, and Jen’s own aging parents start to need some parenting themselves, Jen gets pulled in more directions than any one mom, or superhero, can handle.

Refreshingly down-to-earth and brimming with warmth, Dixon’s next chapter will keep you turning the pages to find out what’s really going on under the veneer of polite parent interactions, and have you laughing along with her the whole way.

I found this novel funny, but not quite as funny as Class Mom. Jen Dixon has a lot of stuff going on in her lifeher son Max is now in third grade, one of her older daughters is gallivanting around Europe, and the other one is being mysterious. On top of that, her husband is trying to get them to save money so that he can expand his business, so that means no more name-brand grocery items (including Starbucks...).

The emails at the beginning of some of the chapters continued to be hilariousI think those were my favorite parts of the book. Here's an example of one of them, from the beginning of the book:

You've all had me as class mom before, so I'm not going to bore you with the usual stuff, but below are the things you really do need to know:

  • My birthday is still April 18.
  • I have switched to Smoothie King in an effort to lessen my need to caff up. So, any ex-parte meetings will no longer be held at the Starbucks near school. Oh, and I'm going to be grumpy as hell.
  • Read the school's @#$% email.
  • It's still my way or the highway. Nothing has changed. 

Did I miss anything? Oh yes, curriculum night is October 11. I'll be soliciting for food and drinks very soon.

As always, response times will be noted. 

This novel can be read as a standalone if you like, but I highly recommend reading Class Mom first, to get a taste of these characters and their lives, before reading You've Been Volunteered.

3.5 stars out of 5.

{click here to purchase}


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