Author: Amy Poeppel
Published: May 2018
Genre(s): Women’s Fiction
Summary: Allison, her husband, and their three kids move from suburban Dallas, TX to a three-bedroom apartment in the Upper West Side of Manhattan after her husband accepted a new job in NYC. Allison is excited and thrilled at the idea of uprooting their sleepy suburban life to the fast-paced and glamorous city life. She soon realizes that the reality of living with her family of five in a cramped (by her Texas-sized standards) apartment starts to tarnish the image she had of living in the famous city. She is struggling to find her place in this less friendly and chaotic place and her kids don’t appear to be thriving either. Her husband, on the other hand, is living the good life with his colleagues traipsing through the city and enjoying the scene. One day, Allison is dropping off her kids at school when she accidentally bumps into a parked BMW, knocking off the mirror. Little does she know, this little incident (which happens in front of all of the judgey moms) will be critical to her finding a foothold in New York. She ends up falling into a personal assistant role for the famous pop-star bad boy, Carter Reid, who she unintentionally meets one morning when trying to drop off her insurance information to the car’s owner. When she meets him, he is completely alone and in rough shape with a black eye and a cast. She can’t help but begin to see that he needs to be taken care of like any young person. She ends up accidentally becoming his personal assistant and is thrust into a life so completely different from her own. Carter Reid is a bit difficult, to say the least, and he is expected to perform in a much anticipated revival of Charlie Chaplin’s 1950s Limelight. Allison isn’t sure how it’s going to happen, but she knows that Carter needs someone to take care of him, perhaps even mother him a bit.
Why I Recommend: This book has so much heart. I just really like Allison and thought she seemed completely human. It was easy for me to conjure a real person in my head that could be just like her. I loved her relationship with her husband and the dialogue Poeppel wrote between them. The relationship seemed realistic and healthy, and I was extremely surprised that this book didn’t corrupt them. Allison’s three kids were all struggling in their own ways to adapt to the city, sometimes making bad choices and appearing to be unkind. Reading how Allison and Michael handled these unsavory behaviors while still leading with love was inspiring. I would imagine having your children behave in a way you don’t support or condone, like being a bully to others, is extremely disappointing and makes you question yourself and the character of your kid, but Allison and Michael manage to experience those feelings and still find a way to help their kids bounce back. It’s this trait that makes Allison such an ideal personal assistant for the lost and untethered Carter Reid. Carter is such a mess when Allison first meets him. He is extremely quick to fly off the handle and doesn’t consider others whatsoever. What Poeppel reveals, through the motherly eyes of Allison, is that Carter leads a very lonely life without anyone who truly cares for him. It is because of this underlying truth that Allison, and me as the reader, is able to stick with Carter and his infuriating and childish antics. I couldn’t help but feel protective over Carter just like Allison, and it is because of this that the book was so successful in my eyes. The relationship she develops with Carter is so heartwarming, even though Carter is pretty prickly. I really liked this book and found Poeppel’s writing style sharp. Her writing was very accessible and easy to read without being simple or unsophisticated. The dialogue seemed natural and she did a great job creating characters to care about. All in all, this was a great read and one that I would highly recommend you pick up!