Sunday, December 7, 2008
Review and Giveaway of This One is Mine by Maria Semple
The following is a summary of This One is Mine by Maria Semple from Hachette:
Violet Parry is living the quintessential life of luxury in the Hollywood Hills with David, her rock-and-roll manager husband, and her darling toddler, Dot. She has the perfect life--except that she's deeply unhappy. David expects the world of Violet but gives little of himself in return. When she meets Teddy, a roguish small-time bass player, Violet comes alive, and soon she's risking everything for the chance to find herself again. Also in the picture are David's hilariously high-strung sister, Sally, on the prowl for a successful husband, and Jeremy, the ESPN sportscaster savant who falls into her trap. For all their recklessness, Violet and Sally will discover that David and Jeremy have a few surprises of their own. THIS ONE IS MINE is a compassionate and wickedly funny satire about our need for more--and the often disastrous choices we make in the name of happiness.
I was very excited to read the first novel produced by Maria Semple. Semple was actually a writer for a couple of television shows, including Mad About You and Arrested Development. When Mad About You aired on television I must admit that it was my favorite show and I looked forward to that dry, off the wall humor that it delivered every week. It really was fun having that type of humor in the pages of this book.
Considering that Maria Semple was immersed in that crazy LA lifestyle, I think she did a great job of portraying how a lifestyle can change you if you let it. If you just look at the covers of a few magazines while standing in the check-out line, you can get a sense of how quickly you can lose control of your life as you are striving to make it big, or even after becoming successful in the entertainment industry. I think that Britney Spears and Paris Hilton can attest to that!
In the beginning of this novel Violet realizes that she somehow has lost herself in the midst of her husbands successful career. She has everything that she could possibly want or need but there is still a deep void in her life. Through the mistakes that she makes in this book she somehow finds her way back and gets her life back on track.
I also enjoyed the storyline about Violet's sister-in-law Sally. Watching Sally's character change from a materialistic golddigger to a caring and giving individual was very inspiring. When Sally first moved to LA her goal was to marry a man that would eventually be very successful in the entertainment realm. Once she accomplished this goal she found out that things are not always as perfect as they appear. I enjoyed the development of Sally's relationship with Jeremy, once she was enlightened about his imperfections.
Some people may think that with Violet's picture perfect lifestyle that there is no way she would have been looking for love from Teddy Reyes, rather than with her perfect high-profile husband. But I had a close friend who I watched go through the same kind of situation. She also had everything that she needed or wanted but it still wasn't enough. I even remember sometimes I would be talking to her and all she could talk about was when 'he' was expected to call again. He was all she could think about. I guess that kind of 'need' really has a way of taking over your thoughts and producing new fears.
I enjoyed this book myself but if you consider yourself to be a more 'reserved' reader, this one may not be for you because of the sexual content. If you want a little something that shows the wild and crazy side of the high-profile LA lifestyle, then This One is For You!
Miriam from Hachette has graciously offered to give away one copy of This One is Mine by Maria Semple and some tattoos that Semple created--This you will understand once you read the book!
To enter this giveaway you must be 18 or older and live in the US or Canada.
For one entry leave me a comment below.
For an additional entry, link this contest to your blog.
Please make sure I have a way to contact you if you win.
You will have until December 17th to enter and I will draw for a winner on December 18th.