Girl Before a Mirror
by Liza Palmer
Read: October 17 - 18, 2014
Published: January 27, 2015 by William Morrow Paperbacks
Source: Edelweiss (THANK YOU, HC!)
Tags: Contemporary Adult, romance novels,
Find: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository
The author of Conversations with a Fat Girl—optioned for HBO—returns with the hilarious and heartfelt story of a woman who must learn how to be the heroine of her own life-a journey that will teach her priceless lessons about love, friendship, family, work, and her own heart
An account executive in a Mad Men world, Anna Wyatt is at a crossroads. Recently divorced, she’s done a lot of emotional housecleaning, including a self-imposed dating sabbatical. But now that she’s turned forty, she’s struggling to figure out what her life needs. Brainstorming to win over an important new client, she discovers a self-help book—Be the Heroine, Find Your Hero—that offers her unexpected insights and leads her to a most unlikely place: a romance writers’ conference. If she can sign the Romance Cover Model of the Year Pageant winner for her campaign—and meet the author who has inspired her to take control of her life—she’ll win the account.
For Anna, taking control means taking chances, including getting to know Sasha, her pretty young colleague on the project, and indulging in a steamy elevator ride with Lincoln Mallory, a dashing financial consultant she meets in the hotel. When the conference ends, Anna and Lincoln must decide if their intense connection is strong enough to survive outside the romantic fantasy they’ve created. Yet Lincoln is only one of Anna’s dilemmas. Now that her campaign is off the ground, others in the office want to steal her success, and her alcoholic brother, Ferdie, is spiraling out of control.
To have the life she wants-to be happy without guilt, to be accepted for herself, to love and to be loved, to just be—she has to put herself first, accept her imperfections, embrace her passions, and finally be the heroine of her own story.
I picked up Girl Before A Mirror after I read a book that nearly broke me emotionally (though it was excellent), and I was desperate for something completely different. Thank goodness, I chose this one. I'm not sure I can even articulate how amazing and affirming this book was for me. But was is the best mix of fun and empowering, and I think you all should put this on TBR.
Let me tell you some things I loved about Girl Before A Mirror:
1) This book is funny. Heroine Anna made me laugh so much. I had such a great time being inside of her head. But not only that, I felt like I was part of her journey through this book: the amusing, awkward, heartbreaking and soul searching moments.
2) This book highlights friendships, especially female friendships. I loved the friendship that develops between Anna and her much younger colleague Sasha. They don't seem like they would be a great match at first. Sasha looks like a model and clearly got her job because of that and not her abilities. Anna's been working hard for years to gain the position she has. But Anna recognizes Sasha's talent - and insecurities - and takes her under her wing. It's not what I expected Anna to do, but I shouldn't have doubted her. Their relationship was one of my many favorite parts of the story.
3) This book celebrates romance novels, and argues that you can learn a lot from them. But also challenges you to become your own hero. If you've ever felt judged for what you read, or like Anna, been a judger yourself, this is the book for you.
4) These characters go to a romance novel convention to judge a male cover model
competition. All sorts of hilarity happens there, but Anna also goes through intense personal reflection at this time. I loved that Anna sees the event as silly at first, but her time there changes her perspective on who she is and what she believes she is able to accomplish.
5) This book is thoughtful and empowering. Anna goes through a huge emotional, personal and professional journey, as she examines herself and her life, her family and her friends. I was moved and inspired.
6) Have you notice that I haven't even talked about the romance yet? Don't worry, you'll find swoons in here as well. The romance Anna finds in this book doesn't begin in a way that she or I expected. But these two are great for each other, and though the attraction begins quickly, neither is afraid to take the time they need to grow. The romance is a piece of this story that I enjoyed, but it is only one part of why I loved this book. Thankfully, no love triangles or angst to be found!
After loving this book and Nowhere But Home, I have become a Liza Palmer fangirl. Her stories make me feel both strong and celebrated as a woman. Even if you are mostly a YA reader, don't miss this one!
Love Triangle Factor: None
Cliffhanger Scale: Standalone