Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hope In A Jar - Beth Harbison

Hope In A Jar
By: Beth Harbison
Published: 2009
Audiobook Read by: Orlagh Cassidy
My rating: Good

This was a bit out of my comfort zone but despite the picture of makeup on the front of the case, the hint of makeovers, girl talk and high school drama on the back, and the pink CDs inside, I decided I'd be brave and step into the world of women! It could have been a lot worse, but I had the nagging feeling I'd get in trouble if I got caught, just as if I was reading some girl's personal diary!

Allie Denty and Olivia Pelham had grown up as best friends but had drifted apart over the past twenty years. But when their friend Noah decides to make the biggest mistake in his life, the dynamic duo has to have a comeback to save the day!

Allie had the perfect home with loving parents and everything she needed while Olivia had grown up with a horrible step father. Olivia found shelter at Allie's as much as possible and Allie's parents welcomed her, knowing that her home life was really bad. When Olivia had moved away and ended their friendship, it had been hard on Allie. She survived though, and grew up to live a mediocre life with a string of faild relationships and less than exciting jobs. Olivia on the other hand did very well in the job department but had steered clear of the relationship game. When their twentieth high school reunion brought them face to face again it didn't take long for them to rekindle their old friendship, especially when Noah needed their help. Noah didn't want their help, but like it or not, they were going to save him!

This was very different for me. I was trying to deviate from the mystery and suspense genres that I seem to have been stuck in and this was certainly a deviation! I got to learn a lot about makeup and what teenage girls talk about when they are alone. There were plenty of insights into the insecurities of women concerning their careers, relationships, weight, looks, and much more. Each chapter opened with an old advertising slogan for some sort of cosmetic product and I have to admit that I knew more than one of them. The book is fairly well written but was very predictable. I guess not being a mystery, there was no need to avoid predictability. The story was touching at times and humorous at others, and I did enjoy it. However, I don't think I'm going to venture knowingly into this genre again! My wife thought it was absolutely hilarious that I got it in the first place, and laughed at my discomfort at hearing intimate things that no guy is supposed to be privy to!

I listened to the audiobook read by Orlagh Cassidy. She did a wonderful job, giving me the feeling that she herself had had very similar conversations as a teen so she knew exactly how it should sound.

Overall, it was a good book, but was kind of cliche as far as the activities of two girls in high school. There really wasn't much that surprised me about their escapades, it was just that I am used to hearing these kind of stories second hand, toned down to accommodate a man's sensitive ears! You ladies may find it quite enjoyable, but you men....I'd steer clear, no need for more than one of us to be scarred like this! I'm just kidding! :)


  1. I loved this book, but I also love to read (and write) chick-lit! Glad you gave it a chance.

  2. I have always told myself to try new things! I have to confess though, that this was a lot newer territory than I expected! :) I learned a lot from the experience! I feel more in touch with my feminine side now! ;)

  3. Orlagh did a great job reading it. She's brilliant.

    I just wish she hadn't stuck all those predictable cliches in around my writing! :)

  4. Also, as far as listening goes, I'd suggest absolutely anything by Bill Bryson or David Sedaris, as long as they themselves are doing the reading (Bill Bryson's odd Iowa/English accent gets a little getting used to at first but he's way funnier than the British guys who read his work first).

  5. Beth, I am so honored to have you come and read my review! I can't help feeling like the authors of the books I review are some kind of mythical beings! :) It is wonderful to find that you are real and willing to mingle with the common people like me! :) Now I'll have to venture back into the "world of women" and get another of your books! Thanks again and have a great Thanksgiving!