Paperback, 304 pages
Published June 10th 2014 by Washington Square Press
Format read: E-ARC via publisher
After an especially memorable high school reunion, lifelong friends Casey and Rachel accidentally end up switching bodies and learning very quickly that the grass isn't always greener on the other side...
Best friends since childhood, Casey and Rachel couldn’t lead more different lives. While workaholic Casey rubs elbows with celebrities daily as the host of Gossip TV and comes home nightly to an empty apartment, stay-at-home mom Rachel juggles an “oops” baby, two fiery teenagers, and a husband who barely seems the man she fell in love with two decades before. After an argument at their twentieth high school reunion, Casey and Rachel throw back shots to get the night back on track. Instead, they get a life-changing hangover.
Waking up in each other’s bodies the next morning, they must figure out how to navigate their altered realities. Rachel is forced to confront the reason she gave up her broadcasting dreams when she got pregnant in college, and Casey finally steps out of the spotlight to face the truth about why she’s alone. And they soon discover that they don’t know themselves—or their best friend—nearly as well as they thought they did.
Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke bring humor and heart to every page of this novel that is sure to please fans of In Her Shoes and The Opposite of Me. Your Perfect Life is a story about two very different women, what they didn’t know about each other, and how, by switching lives, they each learn to appreciate their own.
Debut authors Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke introduce us to Casey and Rachel, two best friends who have lived two very different lives. Casey has spent her life climbing the entertainment industry ladder, while Rachel has remained a stay-at-home mom, with an increasingly distant husband.
After an epic argument at their high school reunion, the two women end up switching bodies. They start realizing quickly that the very things they have envied about one another's lives, may not be as as easy or enviable as they initially appeared.
Liz and Lisa throw us into Rachel and Casey's new lives without hesitation, never failing to emphasize just how much of an adjustment it is for the two women. Rachel needs to dig down deep to find the courage to take on broadcasting, an interest she had long since given up on after having kids. Casey struggles with juggling with the responsibilities of suddenly having an entire family to care for, despite having always lived the single life.
But even as they work to adapt to their new roles, Rachel and Casey are able to find small things to appreciate about their newly-adopted lives. Liz and Lisa are careful to emphasize through their smart, witty writing that there really is no right way or wrong way to live a life - it's what you make of your choices. Consequently, it's not that surprising for a TV star to admire a hard working mom and vice versa.
Though the writing is strong and layered throughout, readers will likely be especially moved by the backstory of the two characters. As both characters delve further and further into their new lives, the readers learn through conversation and recollection, just how Casey and Rachel came to be. The backgrounds not only clearly illustrate how the two women reached this juncture in their lives, but what it is in their personalities that will allow them to evaluate and learn from the situation, as they continue moving forward with life, jobs and love.
Ultimately, some readers may feel that the ending ties up loose ends too neatly, but I think that it's actually reflective of the maturity and growth that the characters have undergone throughout the book. Both Rachel and Casey have had the opportunity to work through their issues and reflect on their strengths, and are content with the recognition that they're about to mutually embark on their next steps.
All in all, Your Perfect Life is a thoughtful, enjoyable debut from a pair of passionate and talented debut authors. I enjoyed this book thoroughly, and I look forward to reading more from the min the future.
On the other hand, it's also a thoughtful look at just what we hold dear to our hearts as we get older, and the tacit understanding that things are not always greener on the other side of the road. Liz and Lisa are able to show readers through humorous, joyous and occasionally tearful moments, what it means to live your life to the fullest.
Honestly, guys, I enjoyed Your Perfect Life beyond belief. It not only entertained me and riveted while I read, it also made me rethink some of the successes that I've had in my life, and my envy of some of my friends and their triumphs. This isn't something that just any book can accomplish.
So when it comes to beach reads this summer, definitely pick up Liz and Lisa's novel. You'll thank me later.
About the authors:
Their novel, YOUR PERFECT LIFE, about two childhood best friends who switch bodies at their twenty-year high school reunion, will be published by Atria Books in June 2014.