Friday, June 6, 2014

Review: "All Fall Down" by Jennifer Weiner

From Goodreads:  Allison Weiss has a great job...a handsome adorable daughter...and a secret.

Allison Weiss is a typical working mother, trying to balance a business, aging parents, a demanding daughter, and a marriage. But when the website she develops takes off, she finds herself challenged to the point of being completely overwhelmed. Her husband’s becoming distant, her daughter’s acting spoiled, her father is dealing with early Alzheimer’s, and her mother’s barely dealing at all. As she struggles to hold her home and work life together, and meet all of the needs of the people around her, Allison finds that the painkillers she was prescribed for a back injury help her deal with more than just physical discomfort—they help her feel calm and get her through her increasingly hectic days. Sure, she worries a bit that the bottles seem to empty a bit faster each week, but it’s not like she’s some Hollywood starlet partying all night, or a homeless person who’s lost everything. It’s not as if she has an actual problem.

However, when Allison’s use gets to the point that she can no longer control—or hide—it, she ends up in a world she never thought she’d experience outside of a movie theater: rehab. Amid the teenage heroin addicts, the alcoholic grandmothers, the barely-trained “recovery coaches,” and the counselors who seem to believe that one mode of recovery fits all, Allison struggles to get her life back on track, even as she’s convincing herself that she’s not as bad off as the women around her.

With a sparkling comedic touch and tender, true-to-life characterizations, All Fall Down is a tale of empowerment and redemption and Jennifer Weiner’s richest, most absorbing and timely story yet.

My Thoughts:  It's been a long time since I read a Jennifer Weiner book but I think I need to start reading more of what she's written.  This book gave me all the feels.  I can't even describe how much I loved this book.  As a stressed-out working mom, the main character and her struggles really touched me and made me think a lot about my own life.  

Allison is one of the most 'real' characters I have read in a long time.  She's dealing with a busy job and crazy family life and is the kind of person who carries her family's problems on her shoulders.  Her child was a challenge, her husband had a lot of employment issues and her parents were having health issues and she was just treading water, trying to make everyone happy.  I just felt so much sympathy for the Allison. The author did a great job of making Allison relatable; regardless of Allison's specific issues, it was easy for me personally to relate to all of the things she was juggling in her life.  I must say, I really wasn't a fan of her husband.  He seemed kind of self-centered and I wanted to shake him and yell 'pay attention!'  He kind of redeemed himself in the end, but for most of the book he really got on my nerves.  

It seemed like Ms. Weiner must have done an extensive amount of research on drug use, addicts and rehab because it all seemed so realistic.  Allison's need for more pills, all the lying and sneaking around, and her belief that she wasn't really an addict were the same thing that a real-life addict would do.  There was quite a variety of characters in rehab with Allison and I loved how they all got together and put on a musical centered around the rehab center.  It was actually pretty funny.  

I loved the way the story ended.  I was worried that it would be all wrapped up and everyone would live happily ever after, but it wasn't like that at all.  The ending was perfect and very believable.  Overall, this is one of the best books I've read in a long time.  4 stars.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

Jennifer Weiner is going to be on tour promoting All Fall Down.  Check out her tour dates/locations here!

All Fall Down is available for pre-order now!

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