Sunday, January 14, 2018

*Review* How to Change a Life by Stacey Ballis

Genre: Chick-Lit
Published: August 15, 2017
Pages: 370

A dare between friends leads to startling revelations and simmering tensions in the latest novel from the author of Wedding Girl.

Eloise is happy with her life as a successful private chef. She has her clients, her corgi, and a recipe for the world's most perfect chocolate cream pie. What more could she need? But when her long-lost trio of high school friends reunites, Eloise realizes how lonely she really is.

Eloise, Lynne, and Teresa revamp their senior-class assignment and dare one another to create a list of things to accomplish by the time they each turn forty in a few months. Control freak Lynne has to get a dog, Teresa has to spice up her marriage, and Eloise has to start dating again.

Enter Shawn, a hunky ex-athlete and the first man Eloise could see herself falling for. Suddenly forty doesn't seem so lonely--until a chance encounter threatens the budding romance and reveals the true colors of her friends. Will the bucket listers make it to forty still speaking to one another? Or do some friendships come with an expiration date?

Readers Guide and Recipes Included

I received a copy of this book through Penguin's First to Read program in exchange for an honest review. I'm pretty sure I guaranteed my copy because I was really excited by the blurb. It didn't quite live up to my expectations though. 

This book has a whole lot of talk about fancy foods, and at first, the descriptions and rundowns of all the foods included in meals had my mouthwatering. By the middle of the book, those same descriptions and rundowns were becoming tedious. It almost started to feel hoity toity to me and made it harder for me to relate to Eloise. At that point, I got that she was a chef who made fancy dishes and was more interested in her relationships with her friends from high school and her new man, Shawn, but the food lists took me out of those parts of the story. 

There were a few twists in the story that took me a minute to catch, but I mostly caught them before they were revealed (which always makes me feel smart). One of those twists was kind of a big deal and led to me disliking one of Eloise's friends even more than I already did. The friend already seemed like a toxic person for her life, and that situation just really sealed that deal in my mind. 

Overall I give How to Change a Life 3.046738486 stars. If you're a real foodie, you'll probably enjoy this book more than I did, but it was still a mostly enjoyable book without being a foodie. - Katie 

Stacey Ballis is the author of ten foodie novels, including Inappropriate Men, Sleeping Over, Room for Improvement, The Spinster Sisters, Good Enough to Eat, Off the Menu, Out to Lunch, Recipe for Disaster, Wedding Girl and the upcoming How to Change a Life being released August 15, 2017. Her first cookbook, Big Delicious Life is out now in a digital edition. She is also a contributing author to the anthologies Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys, and Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned From Judy Blume, and Living Jewishly. Her non fiction cooking pieces can be read at and Bake From Scratch Magazine.

1 comment:

  1. I haven't read chicklit in a long while now, but I love the sound of this book. And it has recipes in it, how fun! Also like that it got some good twists in it, that makes it more exciting.