I really tried to get into Fifty Shades of Grey, but it was so boring and terribly written, I couldn't make it past half of it.
So, I needed something to keep me awake during my flight to North Carolina last week. I ended up fishing a cute little beach read out of the bargain bin at my local bookstore.
It is called 29. The author is Adena Halpern.
I didn't have particularly high hopes for the book, because I'm cynical, but after the first few pages, I could tell it was going to be a winner. And by the time I finished the book, a couple hours later, I was pleasantly surprised.
The book embodies history and chick-lit, two of my favorite genres. One of my favorite books of all time is Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella and one of my favorite films is Freaky Friday. This book is very similar to them.
The novel revolves around Ellie, a 75-year-old grandmother who has more in common with her 29-year-old fashion designer granddaughter, Lucy, than anyone else in the world. The senior citizen has many regrets about her life, which was a cookie cutter 1950s American Dream. She wishes that she could have been more independent and glamorous like Lucy, rather than a real-life Donna Reed housewife.
So, on her birthday, Ellie wishes she could be 29 just for one day. Of course, her wish comes true.
The elegant and beautiful grandmother wakes up the next morning to discover she is the sexy, vibrant bombshell she used to be five decades before.
She takes advantage of her new found youth and embarks on a day filled with adventures.
There is a lot of fashion. There are a lot of hot guys. There is friendship.
But the book is more than just delicious cotton candy fluff. It critically analyzes the female bonds which tie families together. It really makes you see the importance of family and friendships. It also makes you see the necessity of being true to yourself in order to fully reach happiness.
It's that deep.
I was touched by this book. It's not going to win a Pulitzer any time soon. That's not the point. But it's definitely not worthy of the bargain big I rescued it from.
You should check it out!