#BookReview: Don’t Make Me Turn This Life Around by Camille Pagan

Return To Vieques. As it turns out, this book is a sequel to Life And Other Near Death Experiences. I didn’t know that going in, but I’ve read a couple of Pagan’s other books and had to read this one too. (And yes, I *have* Life already, I just haven’t *read* it yet. :D) But this is a “sequel” in that it follows some of the same characters years later, rather than being an “immediate aftermath” type sequel. So in that sense, think of it more along the lines of Nicholas SparksThe Wedding (“sequel” to The Notebook, years later) or maybe the new Saved By The Bell reboot (which I haven’t seen yet, but have seen the premise of). In other words, not knowing the first tale might have *slight* detriments here as far as getting the full potential impact of certain scenes, but overall this book is closer to being a standalone book rather than a “you MUST read this other book first” type.

Within this tale itself, you get a strong look at what life in the Caribbean (and, technically, nearby Atlantic) can do for a “mainlander” – but also a view of what life there is *really* like, specifically in the aftermath of storms like Irma and (specifically used in the text) Maria. Potential real world spoiler sentence: (view spoiler) And we’re back: Overall, this book is what I’ve come to expect from Pagan: Tackling solid, hard hitting issues with enough humor to be enjoyable and enough heart to be heart wrenching. So read it, enjoy it, and consider the possibilities. Very much recommended.

This review of Don’t Make Me Turn This Life Around by Camille Pagan was originally written on January 5, 2021.

Featured New Release of the Week: This Won’t End Well by Camille Pagan

This week we’re looking at a great tale of a woman picking up the pieces of her life after it is unjustly shattered. This week we’re looking at This Won’t End Well by Camille Pagan.

This was a fairly light hearted book that dealt with some pretty significant issues, including another perspective on the #MeToo movement. Pagan demonstrates her skill well in her ability to use a comedy of errors of sorts to tell a much more meaningful story, and we get to the title of the book something like 2/3 in. From the bumbling Mo to the seemingly ditzy Harper to the eccentric friends and family, this is ultimately a tale of finding yourself when you thought you’d already done that.

While this book doesn’t have quite the emotional punch of Pagan’s 2019 work I’m Fine And Neither Are You, it does well in more of a cathartic, palate cleansing role – and sometimes, those are exactly the kind of books we need as readers and, I would imagine, writers need to write for their own sanity and heart.

Very much recommended.

As always, the Goodreads/ Amazon review:
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Featured New Release of The Week: I’m Fine and Neither Are You by Camille Pagan

This week we look at a fiction book that covers some real world scenarios in such a realistic manner that it could almost be said to be a self help book. This week, we look at I’m Fine and Neither Are You by Camille Pagan.

Honestly, this book was one of those that struck so very many chords once it really got going. While setting things up the book was somewhat focused on the couple’s kids, which was throwing this childfree reader a bit – just isn’t something I personally relate to, and thus a bit harder for my mind to get into that kind of story.

But then the book got into the meat of its story. I don’t think I ever even read the blurb for this book, the title alone was intriguing enough to get me to read it, so I don’t want to discuss too much here that could give away key plot points, but let’s go in with some things that really hit home for me: Like one character in this book, I am obviously a blogger. What is less obvious on this site is that I’ve been doing it for a decade now across a few different topics, and while I don’t have near the reach the blogger in this tale did, the fact that we have that similarity alone was enough to begin to draw me in. Then the dynamics between the husband and wife here. I’ve seen myself on both sides of the discussions raised throughout the remainder of the book after a certain key event, and to say this dynamic hit home is a bit of an understatement.

Ultimately, Pagan here has written a tale that will be readily identifiable to many and has done so in an extremely realistic manner. This is one of those books that can at times be uncomfortable in its uncanny reality, yet by the end gives a supreme catharsis. Sometimes, those are the best books around. This one certainly feels like one of those.

This was yet again a new-to-me Lake Union author, and I’ll be looking forward to Pagan’s other work. Very highly recommended.

And as always, the Goodreads/ Amazon review:
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