Thursday, March 1, 2012

'The Bright Side of Disaster' by Katherine Center

Reviewed by Izzy Evans

I have very mixed feelings about this one.  For the most part, it was a goodhearted little book, and short, too—in my opinion.

Jenny and Dean are engaged, and Jenny is pregnant, due any day.  Literally, from the first few pages, I despised Dean. Jenny—the narration is in her point of view—at some point tells the readers about how she and Dean met, which normally would be a cute anecdote, yes? Not here. I don't know if it was just me, or if this is the reaction most people would have upon reading it, but they met when he was trying to get a date with a friend of hers. He couldn't and was really torn up about it. He went to Jenny for comfort, and when he was done sobbing like a miserable two-year-old, he looked at her and said, “Well, you're kind of pretty, too.” Which, of course, is an awesome proclamation. What every girl wants to hear.

So obviously, I immediately had beef with Dean. I liked Jenny well enough, though; who can dislike her? She was so obviously happy to be getting married, to be on her way to motherhood that you could almost overlook the fact that she made several sort of annoying statements about how lucky she was to have Dean, who, believe you me, was not exactly a great catch himself.

Jenny, eight and a half months pregnant, obviously needs help with some things. And Dean is not a helper, which irritates me even more. I'm lazy, but you can't look at a pregnant woman waddling around and let her try to drag stuff out to a yard sale by herself.

When Gardner shows up, let's just say I-N-F-A-T-U-A-T-I-O-N--on my part, that is. He's an adorable character, and just careful enough to let you know that he's a human with a past, too. And, of course, there's that part where he's not only great with kids, but he wants kids of his own.  It was just, sa-woon.

Back to the point: I liked this book. There were only a few things I didn't like about it, and probably most of them were just peculiarities of my own. I didn't like how very descriptive the author was about the birth of Maxie (Jenny's baby girl) because honestly, I wasn't reading it to learn about anatomy and the whole process.

I also didn't like that Jenny let Dean back into her life for awhile, and how dense she was about why he was there.

But otherwise, I liked Jenny and Gardner and Jenny's parents—who also played a part in the story, albeit a strange one. Despite my annoyances with Jenny's thought process, most would say that she is easy to relate to, very human, when she not only takes Dean back, but when she thinks of how lucky she is to have “some one like him”.  She seems like a very real person when you read this. As do Gardner and Dean, unfortunately. The mommy group is cute, too, but it didn't hold much interest for me.

This book is cute, though not without its minor annoyances. I don't feel like it had a real plot. It was just one of those books you read for the light humor, the irritation and the thought that, hey, someone's life is just as full of disasters as mine! And, of course, there's the title, which is what made me read it in the first place. Would I suggest that anyone read it? I would if they needed a book to read for school book reports, I guess. If you've been thinking about reading it, go for it. Like I said, it's cute. Not spectacular, but cute.


  1. Have not read the book but you give a great review that would make me buy and read it....

    Also just followed you on here and twitter.


    Dave P Perlmutter