Tag Archives: Lily Burns

Shake Me, Wake Me

Pinch Me: A Novel by Adena Halpern (Touchstone, $14.99, 288 pages)

“And you thought your life was cursed!”

“Never marry a man unless he’s short, bald, fat, stupid, and treats you badly.”   Grandma Dolly, 82 and Mother Selma, 55

Imagine meeting the man (or woman) of your dreams:  successful, intelligent, loyal, charming, attractive, and who wants nothing more but to spend the rest of your life taking care of you.   Does this sound too good to be true?   Well, for the  main character in Adena Halpern’s novel, Pinch Me, it is.

Lily Burns has spent her twenty’s dating the wrong men…  on purpose.   Throughout her life she has been advised to date someone who she would never love so that the family curse, created generations before she was born, would  not do unthinkable things to the men she loved.   Witnessing what her mother, Selma, and grandmother, Dolly had gone through, Lily takes this advice seriously.   Then she meets Gogo, a handsome, successful pediatrician who adores her and asks for her hand in marriage.   For once ignoring her family’s advice, she marries Gogo and in desperation to prove she has beaten the curse, she asks her new husband to pinch her.   And the curse begins.   The story takes us on Lily’s hilarious and somewhat sad journey to get her husband back while undoing the family curse for good!

I have to admit that I initially thought the theme of this story was hokey and I was hard pressed to believe it would live up to the standards set by the novels I have recently reviewed.   However, I was quickly made optimistic by the author’s direct and flowing dialogue, and the enticing storyline that began on page one and continued throughout the novel.   This was a fun and lighthearted tale and I was entertained to the end.

Halpern kept my attention with Lily – her strong-willed main character – and her quirky but loving mother and grandmother.   I read the story in two short sittings, cheering for Lily and Gogo and I began to wonder if perhaps we all hold some family curse brought on by something we or our predecessors may have done in the past.

I found myself laughing out loud while reading Pinch Me, especially throughout the conversation that takes place between Lily’s mother Selma and grandmother Dolly as they try to convince Lilly that she should not get  married (that conversation alone is worth your time!).   It is a quick read and downright fun.   I will definitely be reading more from Adena Halpern.

Well recommended.

Kelly Monson

A review copy was provided by the publisher.   Pinch Me was released on July 19, 2011.

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Win Pinch Me: A Novel

On July 20th, we posted what we called Another Summer Reading List.   One of the 11 books on this list was Pinch Me: A Novel by Adena Halpern, which had just been released the previous day.   Here’s what we said about this unique fantasy novel:  “A young woman whose family has always warned her to stay away from perfectly handsome men receives a proposal of marriage from a man who is sadly ‘perfect’.”

Thanks to Touchstone Books, we have three (3) copies of Pinch Me to give away.   This trade paperback release has a value of $14.95.   Here is the official synopsis:

Pinch Me: A Novel, from the author of 29 (2010) and The Ten Best Days of My Life (2008), is about a woman who has the perfect life – until she discovers it has all been a dream.   Or has it?

“Never marry a man unless he’s short, bald, fat, stupid and treats you badly.”   That is the romantic advice that twenty-nine-year-old Lily Burns has heard her entire life from her grandmother, Dolly, and mother Selena.   Despite this, when she meets Gogo, the handsome, successful pediatrician who treats her like a queen, she has no choice but to let her heart take over.   When she agrees to marry him, Dolly and Selma are inconsolable.   They decide it’s time to tell her the truth: the women in her family are cursed.   If she marries for love, there will be unimaginable consequences.

Thinking she can somehow evade the curse that has plagued their lineage for generations, Lily elopes with Gogo.   Unable to believe her good fortune, she asks Gogo to pinch her to make sure this isn’t a dream.   The moment he does, Lily finds herself transported back to the house she lived in when she was single.   Gogo is gone.   It’s as if they never met.   When Lily tracks him down she finds that he’s married to someone else and has no memory of her.   In this reality, Gogo has none of his boyish charm, and instead of being a doctor, he sells drainpipes for a living.   Lily knows it’s up to her to save Gogo and return them both to the wedded bliss they were meant to have – but the only way to do that is to break the curse.

This sounds like a good one,doesn’t it?  

In order to enter this book giveaway, simply post your name and e-mail address below or send an e-mail with this information to Josephsreviews@gmail.com (e-mail addressses will only be used to contact the winners).   This will count as a first entry.   For a second entry, tell us what advice you received from your parents or family members while growing up…   Did it turn out to be good advice?

In order to be eligible for this particular contest, you must live in the continental United States, and be able to supply a residential mailing address if and when you are contacted.   Books will not be shipped to a P. O. box or to a business-related address.

You have until Midnight on Friday, August 26, 2011 to submit your entry or entries.   Be forewarned that we may decide to pull the winner’s names at random, or simply provide the books to the earliest entrants.   So much for the complex contest rules.   Good luck and good reading!  

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