Thursday, March 20, 2014

TLC Book Tours Book Review: Real Happy Family

Author: Caeli Wolfson Widger
Title: Real Happy Family
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Lake Union/New Harvest
Publish Date: March 4, 2014
Review Copy Provided By: TLC Book Tours 
Buy: Amazon

Book Blurb: 
Part-time actress, full-time party girl Lorelei Branch isn’t famous yet, but she’s perfected a Hollywood lifestyle full of clubbing, fashion, and the latest juice cleanse. When Robin, her sister-in-law and agent, throws a plum job her way, Lorelei jumps at the chance and auditions to be the new girl on television’s hottest reality show, Flo’s Studio.

Enter Colleen, Lorelei’s pill-popping mother, who wants nothing more than to see her daughter win the fame and glory she never had a chance to pursue herself. But Lorelei’s dream of becoming the next reality star is dashed when she loses the spot on Flo’s Studio to a stunning African woman. In an attempt to defend her daughter against what she calls a rigged contest, Colleen goes ballistic and delivers a racist rant on live television, sparking a national media frenzy. Lorelei flees the limelight, humiliated and broke, with her slacker boyfriend Don and heads for Reno where she begins to self-destruct.

Meanwhile, the rest of the Branch family starts to come apart at the seams. Colleen and her husband, Carl, are quietly drifting apart. Darren, Lorelei’s older half-brother, is stuck in Florida working on a contentious film set while his wife, Robin, continues the tedious regimen of fertility drugs meant to help them conceive a child. Desperate to bring the family together again and make things right, Colleen hatches a plan to stage an intervention for Lorelei on the reality show Real Happy Family. Soon the entire Branch family is entangled in a mission to bring the prodigal daughter back into the fold.

Will Lorelei ever forgive Colleen? Will Real Happy Family air their most sensational intervention yet? All roads lead to a seedy Reno hotel room, where a reality TV crew is waiting.

Review:  Usually when I read stories about Hollywood I go for the Jackie Collins, sexy, glamorous stuff. Real Happy Family is far from that.

Everyone in this book is messed up. Ok, not messed up, f-d up, some in bigger ways than others. I think that's why, at first, I thought I wasn't going to like the book so much, but as I went on, I found the pages flying, one after another, until I was finished.

You get this story from 3 sides, Lorelei, who is on the run from her stage mom mother, Colleen, that crazy mom, and her agent and aunt, Robin.

Of all the characters, Robin is the most normal and most likable. Colleen is probably the least likable, yet you can't help but feel sorry for her. The only one you really don't feel sorry for is Lorelei. She's a brat. Granted she was raised to be a brat, but she's a brat nonetheless. I have to admit I was rooting for them all to step away from the Hollywood lifestyle and become more  "normal." Not to worry though, that couldn't happen.

I liked how the author wove together the three stories. And the ending, well, I have to say, it wasn't quite what I expected, because not all the pieces were really picked up.

This was a fast paced, fun read, that you will really love, especially or maybe in-spite of it involving reality tv.

Rating: 5 flowers

About Caeli Wolfson Widger

Caeli Wolfson Widger received her MFA in poetry from the University of Montana. Her work has appeared in Another Chicago Magazine and The Madison Review.


Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Looks like this book surprised you with how good it was - what a treat!

Thanks for being on the tour. I'm featuring your review on TLC's Facebook page today.

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