Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Count On Me – Condor Virtual Book Tour: December 3 – 14

The Condor Book Tour for Count On Me: Tales of Sisterhoods and Fierce Friendships starts Monday, December 3, 2012, and runs through Friday, December 14, 2012.

Check out Day 1 of the book tour, featuring an interview with Count On Me editor Adriana V. Lopez.

    Be sure to join the Count On Me blog tour! Some of these blogs will be hosting GIVEAWAYS of this great book, and each day there will be brand new, original content...so stop by every day of the tour for something a little different.

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

    Interview with Chiquís Barrón

    As an after-treat, here is a Q&A with the author of Café Dulcet, Chiquís Barrón.


    1) What was the inspiration for this story?

    The inspiration for Café Dulcet is somewhat multifaceted. Initially, the intention was simply to draw on the parallels between the labor-intensive processes that a coffee bean goes through (from cultivation, harvesting, processing, roasting, grinding and brewing) before it makes its way into cups throughout the world, and the similarly challenging yet necessary growth and development that people go through in order to find their unique flavor and purpose in life.

    As I continued to delve into the plot and storyline, however, I realized that a lot of what I was writing was in fact coming from my own personal struggles in search of self-identity, friendship, love and self-purpose. Through both Nena and Ramona's experiences and coming of age, I think I tried to appease many of the inconsistencies and contradictions that I experienced growing up in the geographically, politically and culturally unique setting of Nogales, AZ. It became about stressing the importance of finding ourselves and embracing all the different factors that make us who we are: from our ethnic and genetic backgrounds; to our physical environments and the people around us; to our inevitable life struggles.

    2) How did you come up with the title?

    I wanted the title to reflect the same kind of heterogeneous and multicultural feel of the coffee beans and people that I was describing in the story. "Café Dulcet" seemed to capture that multilingual feel with hints of Spanish, English and even French. "Dulcet" also seemed particularly fitting since it describes something sweet and soothing that can be experienced through various bodily senses, just like coffee, which appeals equally to the sense of taste, smell, sight and feel.

    3) Was Ximena inspired by anyone you know? What about Doña Pilar?

    I can confidently say that all of the characters in Café Dulcet, including Ximena and Doña Pilar, are a fictionalized composite of several people I've come across throughout my life. And, of course, there's also a bit of me in each and everyone of them. It is interesting to hear readers tell me that they recognize or identify someone they know in real life with a particular character. Doña Lupita is a big one. I think the connection they make is really a reflection of the universality of certain character-types. Regardless of contextual differences, we all typically know someone who shares enough characteristics with a particular character.

    4) What was your writing process like?

    Because I have a full-time day job, my writing routine usually takes place early in the morning before I head to work and late in the evening before I go to bed. Although I did not formally write an outline for Café Dulcet, I did keep a somewhat organized set of notes with thoughts, plot ideas, coffee facts and character details. My creative process was really a blend between a loosely defined storyline in the back of my mind and unpredictable ideas, dialogues and plot twists that arise from stream-of-consciousness writing.

    5) What was the publishing process like.

    Very educational! Throughout my exchanges with both literary agents and publishers, I have had the opportunity to better understand the publishing business. After talking to several agents, editors and other publishing insiders, I decided to self-publish Café Dulcet because it afforded me the creative freedom that I was looking for with the project.

    6) What are you doing to promote this book?

    Readings, interviews, book giveaways, book festivals, art fairs, blogging and (the biggest leap for me) being more diligent about keeping up with my social network accounts.

    7) What are some of your favorite books?

    I enjoy reading a wide range of books from classic literature, to autobiographical and historical, to modern day chick/chica lit. I love reading books that are both enlightening and descriptive of a people and their culture while at the same time depicting and celebrating the humor and lightheartedness of life. Some of my favorite authors include Ángeles Mastretta, Isabel Allende, Caridad Bravo Adams, Benito Pérez Galdós and, of course, Esmeralda Santiago, Sandra Cisneros and Reyna Grande.

    8) We feel we must ask this: What is your favorite coffee blend?

    Trader Joe's has an organic coffee blend that combines spicy Peruvian beans along with mild Mexican beans for a coffee blend that has complex aroma, medium body and a delicious flavor. This blend is currently at the top of my list.

    9) Are there any other books in the works?

    Yes, two in fact! The first is a novel which (among other things) looks at mental health and the Latino community. The other is a collection of literary narrative, interviews and fine art photography that portrays the lives and images of the U.S.-Mexico border as experienced firsthand by its people. The goal of this second book is to counteract some of the creative deception that has traditionally been used in media and political rhetoric to paint an inaccurate or incomplete picture of our border communities.

    10) Do you feel there is a message young Latinas can get from this book? If so, what?

    Absolutely. After almost 12 years of working in mental and behavioral health research with Latinas, particularly substance abusing Latina women and adolescents, I know what it looks like when someone feels lost and disconnected from the people, customs and environment around them. I have seen what a broken or an incomplete sense of self can do to a person’s effect and behavior and their ability to make healthy decisions about themselves, their bodies and their lives. I feel that Café Dulcet can serve as a touchstone for young Latinas who are still struggling to find themselves and their place in the world. It can help encourage them to continue discovering, appreciating and embracing all the different flavors and elements that make them unique.

    Thank you! We look forward to more news and stories from you!

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

    Review: Café Dulcet

    Café Dulcet by Chiquis Barrón

    Story: Through the metaphorical juxtaposition of two lives (Nena's, the main character, and that of the coffee bean), Café Dulcet is an insightful story that delves into those aspects of life which shape people's existence and give them their flavor and purpose. From cultivation through adulthood, including those defining moments that test inherent natures and strengths, the story follows a closely-knit series of events to create an enchanting, modern drama. Set in the colorful backdrop of the Arizona-Mexico border, with a diverse array of characters complementing Nena's strong yet quirky personality (Doña Pilar, the exotic, local café owner; Ramona, a tall, curvaceous, dark beauty; Alex, the self-serving yet irresistibly handsome, local politician du jour; and Lalo, Alex's hippyish yet beguiling younger brother), Café Dulcet is a reminder that no matter how foreign people's lives may seem (their language, experiences, culture and place in the world), there is always a point of convergence.
    Reviewed by: Sandra L.
    Rating: 4 stars
    “A coffee bean can be gorgeous to look at…so shiny and even that it almost looks artificial, but even the most impressive of coffee beans can taste like shit.” (pg. 1) I must admit that I was intrigued by this line, which was full of character and truth.
    It all begins with a detailed history of Doña Pilar and how coffee became a grand part of her life, then it goes on to describe, in scrupulous detail, the process of how the coffee is made.
    Recited in the viewpoint of Ximena (AKA Nena,) the story mainly depicted the growing years of a bright girl (Nena) battling curious barriers across the backdrop of the social and political developments of America. She goes on to explain her deep fascination with observing people—their behaviors, gestures, habits, language, and sounds—which led her to a degree in psychology and a PhD, but nothing can compare to the sweet revelation of Doña Pilar’s coffee.
    Throughout the book, our heroine takes us on a harrowing back-and-forth journey of her life. In one chapter, she is in her 30’s cutting in line for a bad cup of coffee; and in another, she is a pre-teen hiding in the back of the closet looking up bad words in the dictionary. Most of her memories, of course, revolved around Doña Pilar and her café, a place where she met and interacted with a variety of friends, family, neighbors, and local strangers, but then she would immediately bring us back to the present to her adult years. I must admit that the constant back-and-forth notion was a bit puzzling.  
    However, in the midst of all the “time traveling,” I couldn’t help but find Nena to be a lovable and relatable character—focused and ambitious, yet clumsy and naïve. I absolutely concurred with her feeling about the telenovela culture being “a trait that…made us complete misfits and terribly boring conversational partners” (pg. 34)  
    The biggest wonder concerned Alex, her childhood friend and biggest crush. What kept those two waiting? What happened when Nena let her guard down? Will they ever make it work?
    Nena describes both the excitements and apprehensions of her relationship with Alex well. She put it well when she stated that “another characteristic flavor became muted whenever I was around him.” (pg. 98) It all went back to the mantra: “To love another, you must lose yourself.”
    The author shows a great talent in her writing, one cultivated by quiet beauty and strength. She portrays a charismatic tone often found between two friends chatting over a hot cup of—yep, you guessed it—coffee, while her characters are depicted in raw, vibrant colors against the pale, orange dessert of Arizona. You can’t wait to find out what happens next.

    Tuesday, November 6, 2012

    Latino Book & Family Festival 2012 Recap

    We had a blast at the Latino Book & Family Festival on October 13 on the campus grounds of Cal State Dominguez Hills. So many panels, so many authors, so many books!

    Here is a quick recap.

    Thanks to all those who participated in an effort to make this event memorable and enjoyable. We came back with a lot of books, and look forward to next year's festival.

    Sunday, August 12, 2012

    "Crossing Borders" by Sarah Rafael Garcia

    Sarah Rafael Garcia was born in Brownsville, Texas and raised in Orange County, California. She obtained a Bachelors of Science in Sociology at Texas State University, is bilingual in Spanish and knows enough Mandarin to speak to pre-k students and taxi drivers in China. She has lived in Beijing and has traveled to various countries including a three-month backpacking adventure in Australia. She is an active writer, blogger and published author. Since the publication of Las Niñas, A Collection of Childhood Memories in 2008, she has continued to share her writings and community outreach by founding Barrio Writers in 2009, a reading and writing program aimed to empower teenagers through creative writing, higher education and the cultural arts. Her writings, workshops and lifestyle promote community empowerment, cultural awareness and global sharing.
    We are proud to share one of her non-fiction pieces on our site. Enjoy!

    Click here to finish her story

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

    Review: Sunstruck

    Sunstruck by Mayra Calvani

    Twenty-four year old Daniella is an architecture student living with her narcissistic artist boyfriend in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Abandoned by her father at an early age, Daniella always falls for the wrong type of man. Her most enduring male relationship so far is with her 30-pound Turkish angora cat. Thankfully, Daniella's mother is always there to offer a shoulder. Several strange mysteries are threaded through Daniella's everyday life: her ex-husband, Ismael, has just opened an outlandish hotel for animal lovers that has her distraught; Ismael's wife, a rich woman Daniella fondly refers to as "Lady Dracula," has some gruesome ways to keep her skin looking young; Daniella's mother is founding a revolutionary, feminist society called The Praying Mantises; the island's national forest is being depleted of hallucinogenic mushrooms; meanwhile, young girls are disappearing and there's a nut loose dressed as Zorro slashing the rear ends of women who wear miniskirts. Oppressed by all these crazed, eccentric characters, Daniella feels herself falling into an abyss. Then something horrendous happens, making Daniella wake from her stupor and take charge of her life.

    Reviewed by: Sandra L
    Rating: 4 stars

    First off: the cover—confusing but alluring, like a painting you can’t take your eyes off of.

    Then we get into the story. Daniella is a college student—nice, friendly, normal. I wonder why she was hanging out with such weird (and crazy) people, like her art critic ex-husband and his gothic, witch-like wife or her dope-smoking, live-in boyfriend that hates her cat. Was she lost or confused or something?

    At times, I felt Daniella had no mind of her own. She says she wants to be “free of men” but yet she does nothing about it. Did she have “daddy issues?” Maybe it would’ve added more to the story if we had learned more about Daniella’s absent father figure.

    The whole story has many different points of view, but it is mainly told from the eyes of Daniella—a pro in my column, because I know who is the “star.” I am always concerned with multi-POVs because there is usually a lack of focus; but this book didn’t have that issue.

    Another character I found interesting was Zorro, the crazy psycho who makes his mark with a huge “Z” on womens’ bare ass. Very funny!

    With Zorro suddenly in the mix, it made me question on whether this was a thriller or a mystery? Was the objective to catch Zorro and bring him to justice?

    I thought the whole animal hotel from Ismael, Daniella’s ex, was of little interest to me. At times, I didn’t even read the whole paragraph on it. But don’t be fooled! As you approach the end, strange mysteries—dark and gory—spring out of nowhere and you can’t wait to unravel them all. Is Ismael a mushroom dealer? Is “Lady Dracula” a real vampire? The end will leave you shocked.

    The writing was very well-crafted with words so raw, so dark and putrid, and yet so unrequitedly beautiful.

    My favorite quote is: “If [Daniella] could choose a place to die, she would choose a bookstore, a coffin made of hardcover mystery books.” (pg. 113) From here, it goes on listing the many different books out there—intelligent, boring, insightful, disgusting, maddening, books that will help you accomplish something in less that 7 days, etc.

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

    Sunday, June 24, 2012

    Coming up in 2012: More Latina books!

    The Distance Between Us by Reyna Grande - Coming Fall 2012

    From an award-winning novelist and sought-after public speaker, an eye-opening memoir about life before and after illegally emigrating from Mexico to the United States.

    After publishing two acclaimed and award-winning novels about the Mexican immigrant experience and the families forced to navigate its twists and turns, celebrated author Reyna Grande reveals her own troubled and triumphant story as an illegal immigrant in the heartfelt memoir The Distance Between Us.
         Born in Mexico and raised by her grandparents after (read more)

             Celebrity Prep by Margo Candela - Coming Fall 2012

    Students at the Chaucer Preparatory Academy for Girls call their         exclusive school Celebrity Prep because money, privilege, and fame are part of their everyday lives. Their equally image obsessed parents send their daughters to Chaucer because the perfect complement to their carefully crafted brand is a gorgeous, talented, Ivy League bound daughter…or at least a kid who’s smart enough to stay out of the tabloids and off gossip blogs.

    New to all this manufactured glitz is 14-year-old (read more)

               Lost in the Light by Mary Castillo - Coming Fall 2012

    Dori Orihuela is on the verge of losing it all: her family, her badge and now her sanity. Under investigation for a fatal shooting and recuperating from a bullet wound, Dori prepares to fix-and-flip a 120 year-old Victorian mansion where she not only sees a ghost, but she also talks to him.

    She befriends the ghost (read more)

    Check out these upcoming titles!

    Monday, May 7, 2012

    Review: Mad About the Boy

    Mad About the Boy by Suzan Battah

    Julia Mendoza is driven by the success of her business. Since her husband Carlos passed away at such a young age, her business By Design is her number one priority. In her late twenties she works too hard and doesn’t take time out for fun. Annoyance with a pesky ex-friend has her begging one of the local surfer’s with a cheeky smile in the grocery store to pretend he’s her boyfriend. Suddenly, life takes a sudden detour from her business plan; much to the delight of her boisterous Latin American family.

    Christophe Augustine is groomed to take over his father’s successful chain of luxurious hotels. With a wealthy French-American background, Chris has been given privileges that not many have. He works hard, plays harder but seeks approval and recognition above all else. Family is a top priority for him as he fights for custody of his young brother. His parent’s divorce has not diminished his faith in romance. When a gorgeous Latino woman changes one boring morning into an interesting game of role play, though reluctant to help at first, he soon realises she’s not like the string of other women he’s known.

    A romantic first date ending dramatically doesn’t stop Chris from wanting to know Julia more. And for Julia, she’s all for a bit of fun but when things get too serious she’s running the other way. Too alike, in some ways and complete opposites, in others ways, Julia and Chris fumble through fun moments, annoying confrontations, passionate times and heartbreaking revelations.

    Love has no boundaries when soul-mates meet but when one is ready to love and the other one isn’t...

    Reviewed by: Marcia C.

    Review: It was interesting how Julia and Chris met in the beginning with Chris being shanghaied into a ploy. That instant spark between is a rare thing these days.
    Although it did seem that they were trying too hard at times—he was too busy trying to come out like Mr. Perfect, and she was busy trying not to look like a fool in front of him, which was both endearing and ridiculously funny. Still, there was no denying the burgeoning passion between them, even though it may have been a little too intense from the start.
    I liked how there was an emotional struggle with Julia. The guilt over her late husband played a major interference in her romance with Chris, which brought a challenge for them and pushed the plot forward. Her remembrance of Carlos and how they came to be was genuinely heartfelt. I was especially impressed that Chris was not afraid of Julia’s resistance and still continued to pursue her. Although I’m not sure about dating someone you work for. That would just complicate things—and it did!
    This was a good illustration of the ups and downs of a relationship (probably the reason why some people avoid them.)
    The fact that Julia was Latina was something I could relate to; however, I felt that her ethnicity was too muffled. A few Spanish curse words along with Mendoza for a last name didn’t quite make Julia “Latina enough” for me. The summary made a big point of saying that she was Latina, but I needed the story to actually show it (it’s the old “show, don’t tell” rule.) Honestly, I got more French than anything else. In the story, the author would simply state that Julia was speaking Spanish, but she wouldn’t actually speak it.
    The author’s devotion to the craft was evident in the writing. I really love it when writers put the care and efforts in their work and it all shows in the end. I only wish more effort was put into the editing phase as there were some errors.   

    Sunday, April 22, 2012

    Q&A with Suzan Battah

    Livin' la vida Latina is proud to present...Mad about the Boy by Suzan Battah.

    Check out the preview!

    Play video


    1. What was your inspiration for this story? What prompted to you to write about a Latina?
      A: I love romance and so writing love stories is natural for me. I have family in Venezuela who I recently met for the first time in 2010. I've always adored the Latino culture and language and being from a multicultural background prompted me to write a multicultural romance. I chose to write from a Latina perspective because I found the culture and people are so vibrant, passionate and dynamic--it was a perfect fit for my leading lady.

    1. Was it your intention to write a story about two people from different backgrounds, like West Side Story?
      A: Yes, of course. There are so many cultures in this world and love is not limited to one culture. There are  not many books that I've read with such diverse characters from different backgrounds. I really wanted to explore this within a relationship. I come from a multicultural background myself with Lebanese parents. Growing up as an Australian with a Lebanese background, I loved the idea of exploring a more ethnic relationship by understanding the differences myself. I also have family in Venezuela and I adore the Latino culture. My grandfather a long time ago lived in Venezuela. The romance between Christophe and
      Julia is entirely fiction but I do draw upon some of my life experiences to give a more emotional ride for the readers.

    1. How did you come up with the title?
      A: Mad About the Boy was based on the dynamic song by Dinah Washington. When I first heard this song, I fell in love with it and it suited the romance between Christophe and Julia. 

    1. What was your favorite thing about writing this story? What was your least favorite?
      A: I loved every part of writing this novel! It was so much fun to write and I love hearing feedback from readers that have loved every minute of reading the book. The challenge with writing this book was the publication process. I finally decided to self publish and have never looked back.

    1. What is your process for writing? Do you do an outline first?
      A: I used to just start writing, but have recently begun to plot a complete outline of a story and its characters. Things sometimes change and sometimes they don't, but that's all the fun.

    1. Do you feel this story would inspire Latinas? How so?
      A: I hope it will inspire not just Latinas but every woman to chase their dreams, live and love passionately, have fun, laugh lots and dream big. There is nothing you can't do if you set your mind to it.

    1. Are you working on anything right now? If so, would you please share with us?
      I've recently published my second novel BaSatai: Outside In, a YA Urban Fantasy novel. I'm currently working on two movie scripts and the 2nd novel in the BaSatai series.

    1. Where can we learn more about your work? Do you have a website or blog
      A: You can read reviews of my work on GoodReads or at my Blog and Website.

    1. What do you like to do when you are not writing?
      A: I love to dance--Salsa, Merengue, Rock and Roll! It's my favorite hobby. I also enjoy reading, movies, and going to the gym.

    1. And, finally, what do you think the future holds for today's Latina?
      A: The future looks promising if you take your own dreams into your own hands and work hard to get to where you want to be. Success is open to everyone.

     A review on her book is coming up next.

    Saturday, April 7, 2012

    "Eye on Hawaiian Gardens" Video Featuring Sandra Lopez

    Check out author Sandra Lopez in this fabulous TV interview for "Eye on Hawaiian Gardens."

    Sunday, March 18, 2012

    Book Review: More than this

    More than this by Margo Candela

    She doesn't know his name and he doesn't know hers, but they just might be perfect for each other. Alexander Velazquez, an ambitious lawyer from a working-class neighborhood, and Evelyn Sinclair, a daughter of privilege trying to make it on her own, are strangers living parallel yet very different lives. Alex finds himself deeply entrenched in the life of an unredeemable client, and Evelyn realizes she's committed herself to a company with questionable ethics.

    They are both brokenhearted workaholics constantly trying to keep up with the demands of family and friends. What they both want is to find meaning in their lives; what they're doing is looking in the wrong directions. As they watch each other through their office windows, all they can do is wonder about what might happen if they took a chance on the stranger across the street.

    Reviewed by: Bela M.


    Review: This whole book is written in the POV of Evelyn and Alexander--the two main characters or "lovers" in the plot. It is in the classic "He said, She said" format.

    At first the story was kind of slow at capturing my interest, but then things gradually picked up when I started getting into Alex's character, especially when he is about to propose to his girlfriend (I was sure that this is something ALL guys go through at some point--the "what the hell am I doing?" phase.)

    Alex and Evelyn get their first "hit and miss" at the airport as they head back to San Francisco. The whole book consists of nothing but the "hit and miss" of these two characters. And as they go about wondering about the person across the building, they each go about the personal and professional turmoil in their lives.

    Some scenes, I admit, I skipped because they were just too boring to read, like Evelyn's shopping excursion with her sister and friend. Who cares about the prada whatchamacallits? Other times, I felt that the story had a few too many characters, although Sigrid was fascinating--she was one those types that I can't stand: a scary girlfriend and an even scarier ex-girlfriend. Whooo, if I were Alex, I would've left her too.

    I liked that this book had the classic Margo Candela humor that we've come to love in her other books, and I was impressed how well she was able to write the male POV; but, still, it did nothing to compensate for the constant frustration of having to go back and forth between each character. I practically had to re-read some parts to figure out where I left off with each one.

    Quite frankly, I think I built up this book too much, mainly because of all the media hype--it wasn't worth all the good gab it got. I liked "Good-bye to All that" better. I think it was her best book ever.

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

    Chica Lit Trivia#1

    Let's test your knowledge of Chica Lit.

    We posted the following:

    Q: What is the "habit" that is also the title of one of Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez's books?

    The first one to post the correct answer will get a copy of that book.

    *Please be sure to leave your email address so that we can contact you

    Tuesday, February 7, 2012

    Latino Book Festivals 2012

    Last year, the Latino Book and Family Festival was cancelled due to an insufficient budget. Hopefully this year we can bring it back.

    Please show your support to make these events happen.

    1. Chicago Latino Book and Family Festival - March 31-April 1 2012
    2. Los Angeles Book and Family Festival - October 6-7 2012

    For more information, log on to http://www.lbff.us/

    Tuesday, January 10, 2012

    Review: The Brenda Diaries

    We're back!

    To welcome 2012, we kick it off with the newest from Margo Candela--The Brenda Diaries.

    Meet Brenda. A temp with a bad attitude, but an excellent work ethic.

    Working assignments all around Los Angeles, Brenda was the official purse holder for a high powered event planner, has had an employer ask about her ovulation cycle, worked as a kiosk gypsy at an upscale mall and suffered as the reluctant muse for a frustrated architect who'd rather write screenplays on company time.

    Off the clock, Brenda's boyfriend and best friend compete for her attention while she spends a little too much time with guy she met on a job. Brenda’s positive she can handle it all, but sometimes work and life get to be a bit too much even for someone as organized as Brenda.

    The Brenda Diaries. All the dirty details of Brenda’s not so tidy life.

    Reviewed by: Sandra L.
    Review: Meet Brenda, a temp office assistant living from paycheck to paycheck, reflecting on how much work sucks. In her diary, we get to know all the day-to-day aspects of her world.

    I liked Brenda a lot. She’s a savvy, intelligent woman with strong work ethics, but she doesn’t have life quite figured out. Who does, right? Still, the girl struck me as someone with a good head on her shoulders. At times, I suspected that Brenda suffered from a low self-esteem. Why else would she work at jobs with no possibility of advancement? Why else would she “date” a guy and not really care for him? It all seems like a waste of time to me. Even though I thoroughly enjoyed her no-BS views on life, I just wished Brenda would’ve spent a little more time trying to figure out ways to make herself happy. I honestly don’t get why smart girls don’t give themselves the respect they deserve. But I must say that even though I didn’t always agree with Brenda’s choices, like taking in her promiscuous friend as a roommate, she was still a flawed character that most people could relate to. I definitely saw parts of me in Brenda. I don’t like getting “chummy” with co-workers (or anyone else, for that matter) either, and the whole clingy, touchy-feely boyfriend is also a huge turn-off for me, too.

    As stated by the title, this book consisted of nothing but diary entries, all of which summarize the quick highlights of Brenda’s day. At times, I found my energies depleted by the mundane aspects of her daily activities; however, I managed to be revitalized by Candela’s smart and witty commentaries. Fortunately, most of the entries were kept short and to the point. Sometimes you’ll even find yourself laughing at some of them.

    Overall, this book was a colorful rendition of humorous anecdotes about work and life; it really didn’t have a story—well, not much anyways. This was more of a depiction of Brenda’s observations instead of her life, which was nothing more than job-hopping. However, at one point, I wondered if there could be more to the character than I originally credited when the temp recruiter said to her, “Maybe it’s time you started working toward something.” (pg. 100) I was impressed when, at the end, Brenda finally embarked on her first step to being a “grown up,” even though it was shrouded in mystery.

    I actually look forward to what becomes of Brenda in this series.