“All The Good Parts” by: Loretta Nyhan

I received this novel as part of the November 2016 Once Upon A Book Club Box. (It is a book box subscription service that makes the book they send “come alive” in that you open gifts on certain page numbers during the reading of the story that correlate with what it happening. Talk about making a connection to what you are reading!)

The soft cover edition has a matte feel finish to it.

The first gift wasn’t until page 72. I got all the way to page 62 in the first sitting, this story was that good, before I had to turn in for the night.

We are introduced to our main character, Leona, and soon learn that she is thirty-nine and living in her sisters basement. She is also attending online college and has a part time home aide position. After a visit to her doctor, she is forced to think about if she wants children. Back and forth she goes in her mind as to the timing, her circumstances, and her reasons…with her family weighing in as well.

I noticed right away that the writing level of this was mature which I appreciated.

There were a few nice quotes I highlighted Plus, I learned a new word! I gleefully shared with my husband how wonderful it is when I come across words I have not “met” before in literature. The word: “heridad” which is a noun that describes a bossy, belligerent, older woman. So basically my goal to strive for in life.

Leona realizes she would like to be a mother with the problem being that she doesn’t have any prospects for who would play the fathering role. She doesn’t want a man to play dad to the child, she just wants the “goods” (It would be too expensive going to pay a doctor since the procedure would not be guaranteed to work given her age.) Making a list with her sister and her niece as a stress-release she thinks up some possible candidates. If taken seriously, a bit creepy since one of them would be old enough to be her father, one is that mans son that she thinks of as an asshole, an on-line classmate she has no idea about, and a struggling early-twenty something that tutors her niece and from what I put together sounds like he lives under a bridge.

This was the hard to believe portion of the book that I left off at from my first chunk of time reading.

I was thinking about the story during work the next day and couldn’t wait to get back to it. I was invested in this story when I got home and read up until turning the page to page 72 and found the first reminder note to open the gift. It matched what was happening in the story completely.

I stayed up a bit to read until just before the next gift, got to two of them on Saturday and the final two on Sunday as I finished the book.

The Loot: Chewing Gum, a Wispy Purple Scarf, An “Instagram” picture, A Written on Inspirational Mirror and a Notebook with some personal notes.

The tie-in gifts were perfection. I loved that the book made me feel like I was a part of it while reading and the gifts enhanced the experience.

There were some moments in this that were a wee bit cringe-worthy in the implications…beyond those few moments, this read was entertaining to say the very least.

I enjoyed the story. I am getting on a kick lately of reading about characters quite unlike myself; ones that have character traits and/or make decisions that I myself would not make in their situation. I think embracing their stories helps to stretch that lovely empathy muscle. More people should expose themselves to different ideas and personalities this way. It’s nice because in getting to be a part of someones inner thoughts in this way you can understand why people make the decisions they do. Also beneficial, you get to be a part of a characters life without actually being part of the chaotic messes they create at times. It’s win win and one of the multiple reasons I enjoy investing my time in reading.

Check it out for yourself and see what you think!

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