Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Review: This One is Mine

This One is Mine
by Maria Semple

Violet Parry is living the quintessential life of luxury in the Hollywood Hills with David, her rock-and-roll manager husband, and her darling toddler, Dot. She has the perfect life--except that she's deeply unhappy. David expects the world of Violet but gives little of himself in return. When she meets Teddy, a roguish small-time bass player, Violet comes alive, and soon she's risking everything for the chance to find herself again. Also in the picture are David's hilariously high-strung sister, Sally, on the prowl for a successful husband, and Jeremy, the ESPN sportscaster savant who falls into her trap. For all their recklessness, Violet and Sally will discover that David and Jeremy have a few surprises of their own. THIS ONE IS MINE is a compassionate and wickedly funny satire about our need for more--and the often disastrous choices we make in the name of happiness.

First Sentence:
David stood at the sink, a pine forest to his left, the Pacific ocean to his right, and cursed the morning sun.

This One is Mine is definitely a multi-dimensional novel. I admire Maria's ability to incorporate so many different life situations. Some of these situations include things many people will probably go through such as diabetes, mental retardation, and the lack of fulfillment after having a child. These are all hard things to write about within a single novel, but she is also able to include such topics as abortion, adultery, and naked yoga retreats. ;)

All of the characters in This One is Mine are extremely realistic, which could explain why I didn't really connect with any of them. ;) I did however love Lady Go and Dot, who reminded me of the little boy in Fun with Dick and Jane ("what are you doing with the teloooovissssion?") Maria's writing not only shows the good attributes of the characters, but also the not so flattering feelings and thoughts that everyone has.

Really the only reason that I gave this novel such a low rating is personal, the same reason I don't read much adult fiction: sexual themes. In young adult fiction they tend to just hint at the sexual escapades but in adult fiction they tend to go into detail, and reading about it makes me feel a little weird. However, just because I do not like reading such things I know that many people do and if you are one of them you may want to read this one.

I would recommend This One is Mine to anyone who likes to read about real life circumstances. There are many situations within this novel that I believe many people will have to go through at some point in their life. A warning though to younger readers: some passages within the novel can get a little sexually graphic.

Favorite Quotes:

He rose to his feet. "Stay happy," he said. "You twinkle when you're happy."
Dot looked at her mother, indignant, as if it say, How dare you allow such a thing to happen to me?
Dot galloped into David's office and jumped up and down upon seeing all the pictures of her. "Dot!" she exclaimed. Dot's favorite subject was Dot. She was like a miniature rapper, always referring to herself in the third person.

Title: This One is Mine
Author: Maria Semple
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN 10: 031603116x
ISBN 13: 978-0316031165
Buy It: Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble
Review Number: 18
My Copy: Sent for review from Maria Semple


drey said...

Good point about the sexual themes, Jessica. I just finished reading this one myself, and need to put my thoughts together for my review...

Jo-Jo said...

Great review Jessica. I really liked this book and I found that most readers either loved it or hated it. Interesting how you are kind of in the middle.

Trin said...

Come pick up your award at Bloody Bad

♥Maria Medeiros♥ said...

Great review Jessica! I think that after you get married and have a child it is truly is hard to get time for the "self" and also to keep romance in the relationship. Its hard work. Not easy. Also, you mention something about fulfillment? wow! I mean people think you will be fulfilled if you get married and have things and try to find it in places or things instead of within their own self, I think that fullfilment comes from within us. This would be a great book to read! :) Cheers!

Korianne said...

The cover is so 50s and surprisingly I love it! Awesome quotes, sounds like a must read!

Fantasy Series said...

Great book with a great cover.

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