Five Things I Can’t Live Without (Holly Shumas)

Five Things I Can't Live Without by Holly ShumasOn paper, Nora’s life looks perfect. She’s moving in with her boyfriend Dan, she has a stable job and a great group of friends. But she’s stuck in what she refers to as “meta-life,” the plight of overthinking and second guessing to the point of self-sabotage. One day at work, Nora decides to thwart her meta-life by following her instincts. In what feels like a moment of revelation, she quits her job. Immediately, her meta-life goes into overdrive: What on earth was she thinking–and what is she going to do now? Fortunately, when a friend asks Nora to rewrite her Internet dating profile, she realizes that not only is she good at it, but she really enjoys it. Billing herself as a Cyrano de Bergerac for the lovelorn, Nora finally begins to find professional success. But soon, Nora’s meta-life has latched onto the question she’s asked so many clients: What are the five things she can’t live without? Is her flourishing business one of them? Is Dan? With each new client and each step she takes in her own relationship, she must confront her biggest demon–her self-sabotaging “meta-life.” But will she be able to slay it forever?

A good chick-lit is always a thrill to read, but finding good chick-lit is a hit-or-miss, at least for me. I never really liked reading chick-lit with too much sex, so I was wary of picking up anything without checking its reviews and such.

The blurb of this book was interesting from the start, which caused me to get this book. I’m a lot like Nora, the main character of this book, who lives in “meta-life” half the time. There was a solid cast of characters behind Nora, not to mention all her “clients”.

It was a fun read really…but it didn’t really work for me.

I don’t know. It was interesting at first, but as I read the book, I started getting disinterested with the book. I wanted to get to the point of the book, and when I read the blurb again, that’s when I realized that the point of the book was for Nora to figure out what were the five things she couldn’t live without. Duh.

But that’s the thing. I didn’t feel the need for Nora to find out those five things. There wasn’t anything pressing in the story for Nora to find that, except that she was asking them to her clients — which didn’t really show in the story, really, except for the profiles. If anything, Nora was more concerned with her boredom with her “work”, and her relationship with Dan. I would have found some interest if Nora struggled with something else like her weight and wonder if she would need to take some weight loss supplements, but there wasn’t much. Nora seemed pretty normal and okay save for her job that it was almost boring…except for some fun with Nora’s friends, especially Larissa.

I liked the ending of the story, though, with all that Nora learned from her overthinking and her experiences. However, it just wasn’t life-changing or earth-shattering for me. It was a sort of enjoyable read, but not exactly something I’d like to re-read.

Rating:
→ A miss, unfortunately. I was hoping to relate to this one, but I didn’t feel too much sympathy for Nora in this story. Might be a good read for others, but not for me.

2010 Challenge Status:
* Book # 9 out of 100 for 2010

→ Get Five Things I Can’t Live Without by Holly Shumas on Amazon.com
→ Holly Shumas’ website

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