Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Book Review and Giveaway: A Life Less Ordinary by Victoria Bernadine

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this ebook, free of charge, from Reading Addiction Book Tours for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it

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 walked in her door, looking tired and feeling worn out. She wondered ruefully why the only thing not on a schedule was the time she could leave the office. She dropped her purse on the table and hung up her coat and keys. With a tired sigh, she walked into the living room and plopped into the armchair. She closed her eyes as Harvey walked out of the kitchen with a glass of white wine and began to rub her shoulders. He again looked impossibly handsome, this time wearing a sweater and jeans. She sighed in imagined bliss, and looked at him with sad eyes.
You have no idea how much I wish you were real.
In a blink, he was gone–and the phone was ringing. For a split second, Manny considered not answering it.
There’s your chance to talk to a real person, Harvey murmured.
Probably a telemarketer.
Probably Rebecca. Or Daisy. They’ll worry if you don’t answer.
All right, all right.
Manny heaved herself to her feet and walked to the phone.
Maybe I’m glad you’re imaginary after all.
She caught a glimpse of his grin as she answered the phone.
It was Rebecca, asking her to go out the next night.
“I don’t know...” Manny sighed.
“Oh, come on–you’ll have fun! And seriously–you haven’t gone out with us in months!”
“I’ve been tired...”
“You’ve been tired your whole life I think. You need to break out of this rut you’re in! Come out for a few drinks and dancing with me and Daisy. Who knows, maybe you’ll meet a good-looking guy and be swept off your feet into a red-hot love affair.”
Sounds like a plan to me.
Yeah, ’cause that’ll happen.
“I’d love to go dancing,” Manny said to Rebecca, “but the guy is just a figment of your imagination.”
“Only because you don’t put any effort into it. Seriously, it’s not healthy to do nothing but work and go home. That’s how people go crazy you know.”
“Huh. You mean next thing you know I’ll be talking to my imaginary friend?”
Harvey grinned wickedly and Manny abruptly turned her back to him.
“Exactly!” Rebecca said. “Come on–what do you say?”
“Okay, okay,” Manny sighed. “Tomorrow night–the usual place?”
“Yep–and sound like you’re actually looking forward to it, okay?”
“I’m sorry. I am looking forward to it–it’ll be fun.”


This was a really fun book,that I finished in one sitting! I couldn't wait to see how things turned out and then BAM- spoiler alert- the author doesn't really END the book- you're left to your own devices, or until the follow up (better be!) comes out! Most of the story lines are tied up, but you may find yourself screaming at the end, " NOOOOO", like I did! Especially if you read the book in one sitting, you will be VERY attached to the characters and want more of a wrap up- it's human nature!

Having said that though, I LOVED this book! The characters are modern, smart, funny, honest and realistic. they could be your friends, your sister, your husband's best friend. You will feel like you know them,because you do! The premise was cute, and the author handled it subtly and with some very interesting touches as both Manny and Zeke each find what they have lost, and loose more than they know. Harvey was one my favorite old movies growing up, so I loved that Manny's imaginary man was named Harvey after the imaginary rabbit from the film! He embodies the charm of Jimmy Stewart along with that of Cary Grant, so I know Victoria watches some old movies in her youth!

I kept thinking it would be a wonderful series on cable and trying to picture who would play whom. Which is pretty ironic, as when i read the author's notes, i realized that was how she got started on the story by commenting on a blog post with a scenario, and the other person coming up with the star to play the characters! AHA. I had 3 of them to match her list, which tells you how well she wrote their characters! 

If you are looking for the book of the Summer, that you'll be passing around to your friends- this is probably going to be that book! So run and pick it up today!

About the Author:

Victoria Bernadine (a pseudonym) is, as the saying goes, a “woman of a certain age”. After twenty-something years of writer’s block, she began writing again in 2008. Victoria enjoys reading all genres and particularly loves writing romantic comedy and post-apocalyptic science fiction. What those two have in common is anybody's guess. She lives in Edmonton with her two cats (The Grunt and The Runt). A Life Less Ordinary is the first novel she felt was good enough to be released into the wild. Check out her Website: victoriabernadine.wordpress.com and Twitter: (@vicbernadine) pages for more info


Reading Addiction Book Tours is giving a $25 gift card away 
to a random commenter on this book tour!

SO leave a comment and you might win!

Be sure to check out the rest of the tour links, 
and comment on those blogs too for more chances to win!


  1. Thanks for the chance to win :)

    1. Thanks for taking the time to stop by and enter the contest. :D

  2. Hi - thanks for hosting me today! I'm always so giddy when somebody loves the book - LOL - that I'm actually sitting here (at work) giggling to myself!

    Confession time: the ending was supposed to be the ending, and the intent was the reader could then decide what happens next. But...yes, I'm writing an unintended sequel, and I plan on having it out next year. (If I'd known I was writing a sequel, I would have paced some of the stories differently... :( ).

    And Cary Grant is my favourite actor - Bringing Up Baby = pure gold, in my opinion - and nothing's better than 1930s screwball comedies. Oh, and Harvey (the movie) is just wonderful!

    Now I'm curious: which three actors did you get right?? ;D

  3. What a road trip. I'd love to go along for the ride. It sounds like fun.

  4. This sounds like an intriguing plot. Thanks for the giveaway.
    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

  5. What a wild trip. This does sound like a book that I would enjoy. Thanks for the review and giveaway.

  6. Seems like an interesting story. I can relate and imagine a road trip.

  7. Thanks for the fun giveaway and sharing the book tour! ducksoup at wamego.net


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