Title: Everyone Is Beautiful
Author: Katherine Center
Release Date: February 17, 2009
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Genre: Mom Lit
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
From the publisher’s website:
Lanie Coates’s life is spinning out of control. She’s piled everything she owns into a U-Haul and driven with her husband, Peter, and their three little boys from their cozy Texas home to a multiflight walkup in the Northeast. She’s left behind family, friends, and a comfortable life–all so her husband can realize his dream of becoming a professional musician. But somewhere in the eye of her personal hurricane, it hits Lanie that she once had dreams too.
These days, Lanie always seems to rank herself dead last–and when another mom accidentally criticizes her appearance, it’s the final straw. Fifteen years, three babies, and more pounds than she’s willing to count since the day she said “I do,” Lanie longs desperately to feel like her old self again. Lanie sets change in motion–joining a gym, signing up for photography classes, and finding a new best friend. But she also creates waves that come to threaten her whole life. In the end, Lanie must figure out once and for all how to find herself without losing everything else in the process.
I really enjoyed Katherine Center’s first novel The Bright Side of Disaster, so when I got the chance to review her new novel from Pump Up Your Book Promotion Blog Tours, I jumped at the chance. I’m thrilled to say that Everyone Is Beautiful is just as good as, if not better than, The Bright Side of Disaster.
I love how honest Center’s writing is. She doesn’t try to hide anything; instead of telling us that Lanie is depressed and completely strung out, she shows us. She shows us how much Lanie gives to her family, and how there is little (if anything) left for herself. She shows us how much Lanie really needs something of her own, something to brighten her day and give her a chance to breathe. I have to say, reading the novel, I felt just as trapped as Lanie did. When Lanie finally does start doing something that is only for herself, I cheered for her. Center manages to get the reader fully invested in her characters. It’s an amazing talent, and one that the author uses very effectively.
I thought the central message of this book was incredible. No one is perfect, and everyone is beautiful. How many times have we really thought of ourselves as beautiful? Not many, I’m guessing. It’s always “my eyes look puffy” or “is that a new wrinkle?” or “ugh, bad hair day!” I love the idea that everyone is beautiful. It puts a positive spin on life!
I loved all the secondary characters in Everyone Is Beautiful as well. The only thing I wish for the novel is that there could have been more development of these wonderful personalities! Of course, I understand that it was Lanie’s story, but it’s just a testament to Katherine Center’s character writing ability that I just wanted more!
As you can tell, I really adored Everyone Is Beautiful. This is a book with great characters, constant humor, an interesting storyline, and a wonderful message. I enjoyed it immensely, and I highly recommend it!
A big thank you to Dorothy at Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Blog Tours for sending me this book to review!