...never judge a book by its movie

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Vivian Rising by Daniella Brodsky - BOOK REVIEW and GIVEAWAY {CLOSED}



Title:  Vivian Rising
Author:  Daniella Brodsky
Publisher:  Downtown Press, a division of Simon & Schuster
Publish Date:  August, 2010
Paperback, 352 pages
ISBN 10: 1439172021
ISBN 13:  9781439172025



From the publisher's website:

Vivian Sklar has always depended on her wise and feisty grandmother—not just because Grams raised her after Viv's mother took off twenty years ago, but because she seemed to have life all figured out. So when Grams dies, Viv feels completely alone. Everything she once knew seems unfamiliar and unwelcoming—until she finds hope in a most unlikely place: the cluttered second-story walk-up of an alarmingly perceptive astrologer. Viv thinks horoscopes are about as reliable as fortune cookies, but when Kavia's first reading dissuades her from taking a train that later crashes, she's hooked. 

Under Kavia's guidance, Viv begins to process her grief and rebalance her life. She faces her mother, gets her career back on track, and even shares some meaningful moments with Len, her handsome new neighbor. Every prediction seems to speak directly to Viv's life, and so far, the stars haven't steered her wrong. Then the stars tell Viv that the bond she has forged with the insightful yet guarded Len isn't meant to last. Len has become her greatest source of security and comfort, but just as she settles into his arms—and into his heart—Kavia insists that a relationship with him is dangerous. Now Viv faces a choice: should she follow the path that's been written in the stars, or trust herself to write her own story? 

Witty and honest, Daniella Brodsky's charming new novel is a powerful tale of moving on, letting go, and keeping the faith—in any form it happens to take.

My take: The story opens in Grams' hospital room, where Vivian has gone into the bathroom in an effort to avoid seeing the life-saving efforts of the hospital staff.  As she's thinking that this is a movie and that the doctors and nurses were just putting on an act, she walks out to see her Grams with her eyes closed and the machines that had been monitoring her being rolled away.

Now Viv is all alone in the world, her absent, promiscuous and irresponsible mother having left her to the care of Grams after her father died.  She has a job that she dislikes and a boss that hates her (and vice versa).  She is lucky enough to work with her very best friend from childhood, who almost always manages to make her smile, even through the bad.

As Viv tries to cope with the loss of her grandmother, she finds herself in the office of an astrologer, Kavia, who seems to have much insight.  As Viv becomes "hooked" on Katia's readings, she finds herself relying on her readings more and more, almost unable to make a move without consulting her first.

She meets the 'man' Kavia told her about, the son of her next-door neighbor, who is home helping his father cope with what may be his final illness  They have an instant connection, but later find themselves barely on speaking terms.

In spite of what could be heavy subject matter, this book is a charmer, wittily written and pretty darn fun.  Within the first few pages, the reading voice in my head changed to a Brooklynite's dialect, with a touch of Jewish hutzpah thrown in.  The characters are people that we all know and like (well, except for Viv's boss Stan, who we would all like to chuck our shoe at).  You will find yourself rooting for Viv, pushing her to stand up to her mother, and pushing her to do the right thing.

QUOTE:

I look at the calendar and know just what to do for Grams:  I should go into Manhattan and order a falafel sandwich with extra tahini and tomatoes at Rainbow Falafe.  And the second I bite into it, just as she always did, I should complain there isn't enough tahini and tomatoes.  And then twenty minutes later I should say, That was the best falafel in the world--just the perfect amount of tahini and tomatoes.  This she would find the perfect tribute.

Book Rating.  3.75 out of 5 stars

BUY IT: You can purchase this book at the publisher's website, on Amazon, and at other on and off-line booksellers

WIN IT: The publisher was kind enough to offer 2 of my readers a chance to win their own copy!

MANDATORY ENTRY: Have you ever visited New York?  If so, what is your favorite part of it?

EXTRA ENTRIES (please leave a separate comment for each; if you already follow or subscribe prior to this post, leave 2 comments for each):

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3. Spread the word! Tweet (maximum of ONCE daily - include @jewelknits and @simonschuster in the tweet so that I see it. To make it easy, you can use the "Share" button at the bottom of this post! Blog about - 2 entries/comments. Sidebar link to giveaway - 1 entry/comment (leave the URL)

4. Enter another one of my giveaways that are current at the time you post your entry comment. You can get one extra entry for each giveaway that you enter.

ALL ENTRIES: Please leave your email in your comments: Like this: imacrazedmommy at whydidihavekids dot com OR like this imacrazedmommy(at)whydidihavekids(dot)com to avoid the spam bots. If I can't reach you, you can't win!

In addition, if you follow, tweet, etc., please leave the name or email address you follow/tweet/subscribe under.

Eligibility: US and Canada, 18 and older. These books will ship directly from the publisher, so no P.O. Boxes, please!

End date: October 12, 2010 at 11:59 PM EST

I will pick the winner(s) using Random.org. I will post the winner(s) on the site AND send an email to the email address used to enter. The winner will then have 72 hours to reply with their mailing information; otherwise, a new winner will be picked. The email will be easy to spot; the subject line will begin "You WON on Knitting and Sundries!"

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this title from Downtown Press to objectively review. No other form of compensation was received for this post, and I am not required to post a positive review.








This book is a charmer

27 comments:

  1. I love China town in NYC, so much fun!

    strandedhero(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm a follower through GFC.
    :)

    strandedhero(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've never been to NYC but would love to visit.

    Pam S
    pams00 @ aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. i'm a follower - pams00

    Pam S
    pams00 @ aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. subscriber pams00 @ aol

    Pam S
    pams00 @ aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. tweeted -
    http://twitter.com/#!/pams00/status/25858895186

    Pam S
    pams00 @ aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. I've never been to New York but I've always wanted to go. I want to see Broadway and attend a performance of Phantom of the Opera.

    Please enter me in the giveaway.

    justpeachy36@yahoo.com

    I am a GFC follower and e-mail subscriber.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have visited New York once. I didn't really get to go around much (I was with a school group), but I loved Central Park.

    a(dot)long(at)tcu(dot)edu

    ReplyDelete
  9. i(dot) pearson (at)comcast (dot net

    i love goodreads!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I visited New York once and my favorite part is the walkability of the city.

    headlessfowl at jteers dot net

    ReplyDelete
  11. I am an old GFC follower.

    headlessfowl at jteers dot net

    ReplyDelete
  12. I am an old GFC follower.

    headlessfowl at jteers dot net

    ReplyDelete
  13. I subscribe via RSS feed.

    headlessfowl at jteers dot net

    ReplyDelete
  14. never visited new york, but one of these days i will! :)

    k_sunshine1977 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  15. i'm a gfc follower

    k_sunshine1977 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  16. Lol, your question makes me laugh... having been someone who used to live in New York. Of course, I lived in Rochester... but when you say you live in NY, everyone assumes that means NYC. XD

    I have been to NYC though, and my favorite parts were the Metropolitan Museum and a little Ramen shop we went to... OMG SO GOOD!

    I'm a GFC follower via you_were_almost_right

    littlebearries@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. I have never been to New york. But I did go to Las Vegas and I stayed in the New york New York Hotel. Had a roller coaster through it and some pretty good Philly Cheese Steaks if that counts :)
    AD85(at)live.ca

    ReplyDelete
  18. I am a new following with GFC: Allana890 AD85(at)live.ca

    ReplyDelete
  19. I am following you on twitter: Allana890 AD85(at)live.ca

    ReplyDelete
  20. I shared this contest via Twitter: Allana890
    http://twitter.com/Allana890
    AD85(at)live.ca

    ReplyDelete
  21. Oh yes...been to New York many times.

    My favorite part is Little Italy and of course 5th Avenue.

    silversolara AT gmail DOT com

    Post #1

    ReplyDelete
  22. 1. Follow Knitting and Sundries publicly on Google Friend Connect and/or Twitter

    Follower on your blog and on Twitter

    @login4108

    silversolara AT gmail DOT com

    Post #2

    ReplyDelete
  23. Subscribe via RSS and/or newsletter to Knitting and Sundries (buttons to the right)

    Subscribed via RSS and E-mail

    Post #3

    silversolara AT Gmail DOT Com

    ReplyDelete
  24. Spread the word! Tweet (maximum of ONCE daily - include @jewelknits and @simonschuster in the tweet so that I see it

    Tweeted...my name @login4108

    silversolara AT gmail DOT com

    Post #4

    ReplyDelete
  25. Enter another one of my giveaways that are current at the time you post your entry comment. You can get one extra entry for each giveaway that you enter.

    Entered another giveaway

    silversolara AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  26. 1. Follow Knitting and Sundries publicly on Google Friend Connect and/or Twitter

    Follower on your blog and on Twitter

    @login4108

    silversolara AT gmail DOT com

    Post #2

    ReplyDelete
  27. tweeted -
    http://twitter.com/#!/pams00/status/25858895186

    Pam S
    pams00 @ aol.com

    ReplyDelete

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