Today is my first day reviewing a book for SingleMindedWomen.com, a site that partially focuses on books for women. They have a "to-read" list that they haven't yet written reviews about, and they ask bloggers like me to read and review these books. My first book is 29 by Adena Halpern, and although there are a few aspects I thought could have been more polished, I DID cry at the end, which by my standards means overall, the book is worth reading. I am a sucker for the theme of regret, and Halpern does a good job of showing the devastation of lost opportunities, but she also shows that with every regret comes lessons learned and growth as a person. I thought Halpern tried to stereotype the grandmothers too much (which she addresses in the book club questions at the end), but to be honest, these stereotypes exist because they have truth to them, like most grandmothers not being good with technology, being frugal, and saying outdated phrases. The unbelievable premise, a grandma making a wish to be 29 again, is written in a believable way and not all ends perfectly--a refreshing reality. I would have liked less of the annoying daughter Barbara, written entirely too much like a whiny teenager even though she is in her 40's, and more of Lucy, the likable, energetic, and successful granddaughter of our main character Ellie. I did think that the 29-year-old version of Ellie would not have done some of the improper acts that Halpern has her do, but I enjoyed the scenes with Lucy and young Ellie the most and wished for more of those. I found myself rushing through the scenes with Barbara and Frida, Ellie's best friend. Even though this book is marketed to all ages, I recommend it for the 20's to 40's crowd because it serves as a cautionary tale about living your life to the fullest in a way that will leave you with the fewest regrets. I think anyone older would actually feel a little hopeless after reading this since even though Ellie claims to be happy after her youthful experience, her life still seems like it could have been much happier than it was had she chosen a different path in her 20's. Ultimately, the question Halpern keeps posing--"Should you marry for love or security?"--seems outdated as most people in our modern culture would scream "love." I think the bigger question this book emphasizes that you should asked when faced when opportunities or decisions is "Will you regret this decision in 10 years? 20? 30?" A good question to ask at any crossroads, especially in matters of the heart.
*3 out of 5 bookmarks*