Friday, January 3, 2014

Book Review: The Stork Reality by Malena Lott

Title: The Stork Reality
Author: Malena Lott
Publisher: Buzz Books
Publication Date: February 25, 2012
Source: personal purchase

Summary from Goodreads

What to expect when you're expecting? For Jake and Taylor, a career-driven couple that hadn't planned on having kids, it's a nine-month roller coaster ride. 

Creative director Taylor Montgomery gets the surprise of her life when she finds out she's pregnant the same day her best friend, Hilarie, finds out she's not. Taylor never wanted to be a mom, but it's all Hilarie has dreamed about. The Stork Reality updates this novel about the journey to motherhood and how pregnancy changes marriage, work, and even close friendships. 

Taylor gets a dose of the stork reality as she maneuvers the wild new world of moms-to-be and comes to terms with what it means to be a family. 

My Review:

My first read of 2014!  I actually finished this book around 3am on January 1, so it just barely made it into the new year.  Here's to a year's worth of new reads.  :)

The front cover of this book has a critic's quote on the front that says it's a blend of chick-lit and mom-lit.  I'd say that nails it fairly well (and with the caveat that you should be pretty familiar with pregnancy/childbirth before reading...certain specifics of it are not explained very well for the layperson who might be reading).  The main character, Taylor, is a high-powered ad exec (think Mad Men), married to a high-powered lawyer, and no real plans for kids in her future.  She's got a great job, she's in tip-top shape, her husband is a hottie, and she has a pack of girlfriends to hang out with.  Chick lit: check.

But, Taylor very unexpectedly finds out that she's pregnant.  Whoops.  Now she's got 9 months to figure out this whole baby/mothering thing.  Mom lit: check.

I've read my fair share of "mommy fiction", and while this book was fun, I can't say it was my favorite.  A lot of the book felt a bit disjointed to me.  For example, (as mentioned in the description above), Taylor's friend Hilarie is battling infertility during Taylor's pregnancy.  This is pretty emotionally draining for Hilarie, of course--if you know anyone who has faced infertility, you know that's true across the board.  So that's why I was rather surprised when Hilarie's dream finally does come true...with very little fanfare.  It happened quickly and without the sort of massive celebration I expected leading up to the event.  I felt similarly about how Taylor's husband (Jake) came around to the idea of the pregnancy.  He does such a quick about-face in his attitude towards it, it almost seemed like he wasn't the same character.

Then there's this whole backstory about Taylor trying to come to terms with her parents' deaths...I don't know.  I just wasn't feeling it.  I think the real issue is that this book tried to tackle some emotionally difficult problems, but wrote about them so shallowly that they weren't really given their due.  It's hard to write with a chick-litty flair and still be able to let your main character properly explore her deeper attachment issues, you know?  And it's not like the book made up for it in humor, because I didn't get much of that either.  As a result, the writing seemed rather bland overall.

Final verdict...if you want something light and have an interest in pregnancy/mommy related fiction, this may be a good way to pass the time.  But I do think there are other options within this genre that tackle the issues better, with more humor, and more depth.

What was your first read of 2014, friends?

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