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SRC 2016 Blog Tour: Book Review: 25 Sense, Lisa Henthorn

I'm participating in #SRC2016 #bestsummerever presented by Book Sparks
Book Sparks Summer Reading Challenge - Learn about it Here

Title: 25 Sense, Lisa Henthorn
Print Length: 177 pages
Publisher: SparkPress
Publication Date: May 24, 2016


Claire Malone is driven and smart with goals of being a successful screenwriter. But she's 25 and still hasn't got it figured out. For one thing, she never should have fallen for her boss. Not only is he entirely wrong for her - he's married. And her job as a television production assistant isn't getting her any closer to her dream career of actually writing for the shows she's working on. Soon Claire finds that life doesn't always work out the way you have it planned and that being 25 doesn't necessarily mean that she's got it figured out. 25 Sense is the story of a young woman trying to navigate the transition from girlhood into adulthood. Paying her dues in a grueling, cutthroat industry and learning from her immature mistakes both in business and in love.

M Y  T A K E

So there were some things that worked for this book - and there were a lot of things that didn't work for this book.

I'm going to go all Pollyanna for a second and focus on the good here.
Henthorn does a wonderful job illustrating the frustrations that come with a career that just won't take off the way you want it to. Claire finds herself bored, frustrated and upset that her career isn't going in the direction she wants it even though she's working her butt off. It's the typical immature expectation that success is won overnight - Henthorn very clearly spells out that it isn't. And in the majority of cases, this is true. I felt that the protagonist's struggle with her career was well written and probably fairly relatable to many 20 somethings that are just trying to make rent from month to month.

And that's where the glad game ends.

For me, a lot of this book just didn't work. I felt that the romance between Claire and her boss was too forced and contrived (this is huge because it makes up the major issue in the story). Claire was overwhelmingly insecure and emotional about the whole thing. There wasn't enough background for the reader to actually care about their doomed romance. Unfortunately she comes off as whiny, and ridiculously stupid about 95% of the time.

The relationships between Claire and the other characters were fairly predictable and shallow. The author attempts to incorporate some friendships to make the main character's life a little more interesting but I found the supporting cast of characters to be generalizations of stereotypical "friend" type characters in a chick flick. There's the gay best friend, the terrible ex boyfriend, the noble prospective boyfriend, sleazy cheating producer, wise mentor colleague and the snake in the grass that will do anything to get ahead. I wish there had been less time devoted to wallowing in self pity and more time devoted to character development.

I don't mean to roast this novel - all of these pieces could have made for a juicy novel if they had been given the right attention and been further developed. But for me, in the end, this novel couldn't get it together and I was disappointed. I feel that while the writing style was approachable and easy to read, this novel lacked development and was too scattered for my liking. I do believe there's an audience for this book - unfortunately it missed the mark for me.

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A B O U T  T H E  A U T H O R

Lisa Henthorn is a television writer who wrote on the CBS show Swingtown, the CW show The Beautiful Life, and the A&E show The Glades. She lives in Santa Monica, California with her husband.

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