Fellow Chick Lit author Stacey Wiedower just released her first novel in January, and let me tell you, it was one of the most FUN novels I’ve read in a long time. Erin Crawford is a relationship blogger with a bucket list and a vendetta. After years of horrible luck in relationships, she decides to start a blog called “30 First Dates.” Her mission: go out with 30 men before her 30th birthday, all to find a non-jerk in 30 dates or less. As she blogs about her sometimes humorous and sometimes laughably bad dates, she crosses off her bucket list of 30 things she wants to do before she turns 30—and kills two birds with one stone by completing the items on her dates! In fourteen months she skydives, skinnydips, crashes a wedding, travels to multiple cities and lives way outside her comfort zone. The only question is, as her birthday approaches and her list grows smaller, will Erin be able to find love? Or is she destined to be a first-date-only kind of girl?
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is 4.5 stars but I wanted the author to get the benefit of a 5 star rating because this is probably the best chick lit novel I’ve read to date. (Trust me, 4.5 stars is HUGE fro me…I don’t just give these stars away). I started this book and saw it was about a “bucket list”, a 30 by 30 list of things to accomplish. I just read a very similar book (“Twenty Five” by Rachel Hamm), so I was initially disappointed it would be about the same thing. Only it wasn’t at all. It was so poignant and funny and true to life. Sure, there were some unrealistic things that happened and sure, I figured out the ending, but the journey was much better than I expected. In the first book I read the list was mostly about the character feeling inadequate for her age. Maybe I couldn’t relate because at 25 I was married with a career, a house and a baby on the way. I think I related more to the idea that thirty really is a turning point in your life. It’s the point where you say, “well now what?” Even though I wasn’t looking for love at 30, most of what Erin went through in this book resonated with me. To me it was about finding what made you happy and being true to that. I really admire Erin for realizing even though she had a great job, it wasn’t what she was meant to do. Taking that huge step to change careers, even at a young age of 30, is a huge risk.
It doesn’t happen often that a book inspires me outside of the pages. I liked this book so much that I decided to make my own bucket list. I’m way too close to my 40th birthday, so I decided 50 things by 50. Some are risky, some are just about getting out of my comfort zone. But I know even if I don’t accomplish all of them, even if I only get a few done, I’ll be proud of myself. Just like Erin.
Stacey had barely blown out the candles on her 21st birthday cake when she took her first job as a reporter at a daily newspaper. She later followed her passion to interior design school and spent three years working at a firm with bizarre similarities to the set of Designing Women. Today she funnels that experience into her work as a full-time freelance writer, penning everything from magazine articles to website copy to a bi-weekly column called Inside Design. She also writes romantic comedy, and the zany characters she’s met poke their heads into her stories from time to time. Stacey lives in Memphis, Tenn., with her husband, also a writer, and a son who’s inherited their overactive imaginations.
Interview with Stacey Wiedower:
I loved the character of Erin. She was funny and ballsy and everything I inspire to be, a new kind of literary heroine.
I spoke to Stacey about her own literary heroines and this is what she had to say:
“My favorite literary heroine is Jane Eyre because she’s strong and stands up for herself, and yet when people are cruel to her she only becomes kinder, rather than hateful or spiteful.”
Stacey is now one of MY favorite female writers, but I was curious, who her favorite was:
“My current favorite female author is … good grief, that’s a tough question. I’m going to answer Emily Giffin simply because I met her at a book signing last week, and she confirmed my long-held suspicion that she’s the type of person you’d love to have as a best friend.”
Writers love to envision their novels made into movies. I was curious who Stacey saw in the main role of Erin:
“My friends had a Facebook debate about this, and the consensus was Jennifer Lawrence.”
(I agree…she’d be perfect!)
And finally, since this was a novel about self exploration through a “bucket list”, I wanted to know, what’s on YOUR bucket list, Stacey?:
“I want to live in England for a while. A year, give or take, to really experience life somewhere else, get to know my family better (my mom is British), and expose my son to another culture. And while there, I want to travel and see as much of Europe as possible.”
If you love “The Bachelorette”, you’ll love this novel. If you love a fun read, you’ll love this novel. Ok, if you love books, you’ll love this novel! Pick it up today at: http://www.amazon.com/30-First-Dates-romantic-comedy-ebook/dp/B00S02R4UY