Book Review: A Life Less Ordinary by Victoria Bernadine

Updated cover patricia feb 28 13Title: A Life Less Ordinary

Author: Victoria Bernadine

Genre: Chicklit, Contemporary

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

For the last fifteen years, Rose “Manny” Mankowski has been a very good girl. She turned her back on her youthful fancies and focused on her career. But now, at the age of 45, she’s questioning her choices and feeling more and more disconnected from her own life. When she’s passed over for promotion and her much younger new boss implies Manny’s life will never change, something snaps. In the blink of an eye, she’s quit her job, sold her house and cashed in her pension, and she’s leaving town on a six month road trip. After placing a personal ad for a travelling companion, she’s joined in her mid-life crisis by Zeke Powell, the cynical, satirical, most-read – and most controversial – blogger for the e-magazine, What Women Want. Zeke’s true goal is to expose Manny’s journey as a pitiful and desperate attempt to reclaim her lost youth – and increase his readership at the same time. Leaving it all behind for six months is just an added bonus. Now, armed with a bagful of destinations, a fistful of maps, and an out-spoken imaginary friend named Harvey, Manny’s on a quest to rediscover herself – and taking Zeke along for the ride.

Manny has spent the last fifteen years being a good person, and doing everything everyone asked from her. She focused on her career, but when a promotion passes her by at work, she figures out she’s worn nothing but dull grey for the past fifteen years, and she doesn’t have a lot to look forward to in life, something snaps. She quits her job, sells her house, cashes in her pension, and places an ad for a travelling companion. Zeke, a cynical blogger for an e-magazine, decides to join her on her travels, even if it’s just to expose her true goal – according to him – which would be to reclaim her lost youth. The two of them leave for a six month roadtrip across the country, in a quest for Manny to rediscover herself.

Usually protagonists tend to be below thirty, or if they’re above that age, for some reason most of them are cynical or satirical. Not Manny. She may be a bit bitter at the start – and with good reason – she quickly turns into a joyful, humorous, entertaining person. Manny’s fears seem all too real, and her sudden decision is pretty brave. I instantly liked her for it. Zeke was tougher to like, mainly because his intentions at the start weren’t all that nice. He wanted to use Manny and simply a character to write about.

It was great to see their bond grow though, and the more time they spent together on the journey, the more he came to respect her, and found himself unable to write the hurtful things he was planning to write. That just goes to show we can’t judge people by their appearance, or how they act at first.

There are plenty of different storylines going on, with Manny’s friend and sister, Rebecca and Daisy, for instance. They each have troubles of their own and things to deal with. That’s what I like the most about this book – it talks about problems all of us will face, in form or another, sooner or later, but does so in a humorous, relaxing way.

A great read with lots of humor (like Manny’s imaginary boyfriend, Harvey) and some great life lessons thrown in along the way.


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  1. Sounds like a really interesting book. Will check it out 🙂

  2. Hi Majanka! Thank you so much for hosting me today. I’m really glad you liked the book!!

  3. I really like you review, makes me want to read this book 🙂
    thanks for this INTL giveaway
    hugs from Mexico

  4. donna harris says

    The review was really good and I would love to read this book! I’m glad that I dropped by to read this, thanks!
    Donna Harris


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