Cover Image: Better Choices

Better Choices

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Really interesting book about recovering from lifelong habits that hold you back from really enjoying life.  Parts of the story talked about dealing with a cheating husband, raising precocious twins who are now teenagers, dealing with the terminal illness of a parent, and lots more real life traumas.  And throughout the story, there are tidbits of advice that can be applied to the reader's own issues (look for the tips about dealing with lizard brain).  I loved this book and would highly recommend it.
Was this review helpful?
I thoroughly enjoyed this book!  Its one of those books that you don’t always have to try to figure out who did what to can just enjoy the story!  The story begins with the main character, Allison Clark  starting off a bad day that only got worse for her.....sometimes in a very humorous way.  The main storyline is the personal growth of Allison, on the brink of divorce and and empty nest, which was told in a way that the reader has to both cheer her on and shake their head.  The additional characters of the book add much to the story as her friends and family come together as a result of the family matriarch, Edna O’Connor, is found to have a heart condition that will be limiting  her days.  Enter Aunt Tillie and her significant other, Aunt Jolene....who is a famous author dealing with Alzheimer’s;  Allison’s twins Charles and Angela, who are graduating high school and their friend Paige; her brother Robert and 2nd wife, very young Gabrielle, along with his son and ex-wife.; best friend and attorney Beth, and first love Bernie. Allison seems to be the one person who is “clueless” to what is happening around her as three generations live under one roof to care for Edna. The others seems to have a goal of leading Allison to her own enlightenment with a lot of laughs and love along the way,  The overall family dynamic is important to how this story evolves.  The family is very well-to-do,  which helps the characters lead the lives that are a huge part of the story. But don’t let that take away from the love and caring they have for each other as they all learn that there are choices they have to make:  do they listen to what they think they should do, or should they follow their heart and mind to do what they know is their best choice.  There is a twist that surprises most (but not me).  I will definitely recommend this book as a great read to just sit back and enjoy, because that is how I read it!  I received an ARC of this from NetGalley and Integration Press in return for an honest review, which this has been.  #NetGalley #BetterChoices
Was this review helpful?
I was pleasantly surprised.  While I like chick lit, I don't care for romance.  Was a little worried this would lean too much toward romance, but it didn't.  The author really made the characters come to life.  And while everything was wrapped up with a nice little bow at the end, it was a very entertaining ride to get there.
Was this review helpful?
What a cast of characters!  Aunt Tillie and Edna were a hoot.   Good twist with the lawyer.  I like how the authors wrapped up the loose ends at the end of the book.  I enjoyed the story.
Was this review helpful?
#BetterChoices #RodPennington #JeffreyAMartin #netgalleyreviewer #netgalleyarc #netgalleyreview a mother of twins in a loveless marriage. Her mom in the hospital with heart issues. Where will this journey take us? It’s a story of love. Loss. Betrayal. Friendship. Family. As we learn of this family woven together so beautifully you get lost in their story. It’s a great read for the rainy days here in #puremichigan definitely one you will want to pick up and get swept away in. #bookreview #bookstagram
Was this review helpful?
I enjoyed the first 3/4 of this book.  I liked that I didn’t see the twists and turns coming, and that I could really root for the characters.  The characters were well developed and believable.  I was let down by the last 1/4 of the book.  It felt cheesy and forced.  I would give this author another try, but I wouldn’t recommend this book as a “must read.”
Was this review helpful?
Better Choices by Rod Pennington and Jeffrey Martin

I’d rate this story 5 stars if only because of the antics of twins Charles and Angela, who, despite their parents’ odd marital agreements, find ways to not only work the system, but beat it. Add in a quirky aunt or two, a dying matriarch and the central figure, Allison, whose father was a self-made millionaire, and the delightful story unfolds. 

The authors have created characters I’d love to have for friends, and set them in a fantastic story…not exactly realistic, but fun anyway.  I’d read them again in a heartbeat!

I was granted an advanced reader copy of Better Choices by the publisher, Integration Press, and NetGalley.
Was this review helpful?
Allison Clark was the child of a self-made, talented businessman.  In high school, her head was turned by the philandering popular guy and thought she could settle him down.  Instead, she has lived a life of turning a blind eye to her husband's unfaithfulness and 'gave in to move on' - avoiding conflict from all areas in her life.  As the story opens, Allison's epic bad day becomes one that will ultimately turn her life around and gives her the power and strength to stand up for herself.

This story reminded me of an American-version of a Sophie Kinsella novel.  It was a light, fun and quick read.  The characters were privileged, true, but not so much that they were obnoxious or unlikeable.  There wasn't any laugh out loud humor, and everything worked out perfectly, but still an enjoyable read.  Good choice if you are looking for a feel-good escape book.
Was this review helpful?
If you were to look at a real family's life, you'd find that each member makes contributions to the whole, some good, some bad.  This is exactly how Rod Pennington and Jeffrey A Martin have written BETTER CHOICES. 
At the center of the story is a mother, wife, daughter who now finds herself losing all these things that she has identified with forever.  Her children are graduating from high school, she is getting a divorce from her cheating husband and her mother is ill with little time left.  But before she can figure out what will become of herself, there are a few problems she must sort out. 

A really well written story that was entertaining as well as educating.  We will all be able to identify with the main character at some point in our lives and we'd love to think that our choices would be good ones.  You should really add this one to your TBR pile....toward the top, it's that good!
Was this review helpful?
3.75 STARS rounded up. 

Thanks to NetGalley and Integration Press or granting me access to this book in exchange for an honest review. 

This story follows a tight knit family in the verge of major changes in their life. The matriarch, Edna, is dealing with a health issue, her daughter, and main protagonist Allison, is going through life-altering decisions, including her long overdue divorce, and her children, Charles and Angela are about to embark on life after high school.. 

The synopsis centres on Edna revealing the long-hidden family secret, but really this book isn't about that. The book is about familial expectations, it's about the complicated dynamic of real families. It's about rectifying bad choices and making better ones. It's about Allison realising she does have control over herself, and allowing herself to be more than a mother and a wife. 
The side characters in this book, Allison's young sister in law, and her Aunts, are delightful and just so well fully-formed characters. 

I really liked this book. However, I would say that the 'revelation' happens so late in the book and I wouldn't say that it held that much impact over the main characters, in fact, I would even go so far as to say they took it in their stride.
Was this review helpful?
I really liked this story.  The characters were realistic  and convoluted. The plot was well written and kept me interested. It was a very good read.  
Many thanks to Integration Press and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
Was this review helpful?
Better Next Time is a book that demonstrates what a person can do when they are at a difficult crossroads in their life. Allison Clark has decisions to make. Her sham of a marriage is over, her twins are about to graduate high school, and her mother is facing an illness that could be terminal. To help Allison with these situations, her best friend as well as her aunts, offer some practical advice along the way. 

Interspersed within the storyline, the plot is filled with ideas about standing up for yourself, taking risks, and recognizing opportunities when they present themselves. I liked the pace of the story and the arc Allison follows. My primary criticism is how at times, the authors presented ideas for Allison in a bit of a preaching manner, which then seemed insincere from the character who was speaking. Otherwise, enjoy the story and see what happens to Allison and her family. 

( I received a copy of this book from Net Galley and have provided an objective review.)
Was this review helpful?
1 star
This book is awful and offensive. DO not call God a woman. I absolutely will not recommend nor read anything by these authors again.
Was this review helpful?
Interesting read about family dynamics and secrets kept and then later revealed.You never know what goes on in families behind closed doors.
Was this review helpful?
Better Choices by Rod Pennington and Jeffery A. Martin
Source: NetGalley and Integration Press
Rating: 5/5 stars

Allison Clark previously believed she had her life and her sh*t together.  Now, facing a divorce, the eighteenth birthday of her secretive twins, and a mother ready to drop bombshells now that her husband is dead, Allison isn’t at all sure about anything. In fact, Allison is on the verge of facing up to her bad choices and making significant changes in her life. 

Like many parents, Allison is having a hard time seeing her twins as near-adults.  Though her divorce is relatively amicable, Allison believes her twins know nothing about it; of course, her twins know all about the divorce and are on board with her decision.  What’s more, in recent months, the twins have been secretive about their movements and activities.  Though they have been careful, the jig is up when the high school calls Allison to report them absent without cause.  When Allison tracks down the twins, she is blown away by what she discovers, and it takes everything in her and a stern talking to from her best friend (and lawyer!) not to lose her mind.  

Up next on the agenda, Allison’s mother is in critical condition and the writing is on the wall with regards to the end of her life.  As is typical, Allison’s mother has no interest in going quietly into the night and fully intends to live out her remaining days in any damn way she sees fit.  To accommodate her mother, Allison, her aunt, and her aunt’s life partner all move in and then the fun really begins.  Allison’s aunt’s life partner suffers from Alzheimer’s though she still has many wonderfully lucid hours each day.  Between the bouts of memory loss, Allison’s coming to grips with the figurative loss of her twins, and the actual loss of her mother, Allison isn’t certain she can handle much more.  

The Universe cares not for your emotional state.

On top of everything else, Allison’s ex is throwing a hissy fit about finances which forces the hand of Allison’s mother.  When Allison’s mother finally spills the beans, the entire family is impacted and so many things from the past begin to fall neatly into place.  With the future of her family radically altered, Allison does everything in her power to keep her sh*t together and not lose her damn mind.  

The Bottom Line:  Yet again, I find myself befuddled by the Goodreads star rating for a book!  I found this book to be refreshingly light and rather wonderful despite all the crazy that occurs.  In fact, it is all that crazy that occurs that makes this such an interesting and completely entertaining read.  To get through the madness, Allison has to change her mindset and that opens up a whole new world for her.  Her relationship with her mother and her twins greatly improves, she learns to be more open and accepting of life and its possibilities, and she finally finds her own voice and begins to use it, forcefully.  There isn’t a character in this book I didn’t like, to one degree or another, and I found the blending of the sometimes wildly different personalities to be well-written and beautifully combined.  In all, I found Better Choices to be an excellent read with a whirlwind of scenes, secrets, and clever maneuvering.  This was a one-sitting and highly recommended read for me!
Was this review helpful?
Allison Clark is facing many challenges. She is going through a divorce, her mother is very ill and she is dealing with secrets from her twins, who are about to graduate.

Soon, she learns that her mother has had a secret that she has kept hidden for Allison's whole life.

Things are about to get very interesting.

This is a great story. Although it sounds a bit ominous, this story is actually pretty light hearted and humorous. A great read when you need a break from all the seriousness in life.

Thank you Net Galley for allowing me to read an advance copy of this book.
Was this review helpful?
I really liked this book.  It shows there are really screwed up families out there but in the end they do all come together.  I did not guess the big secret but after it was reviled it was such a surprise. The twins had a great outlook on things. Starting there own company and the whole sneaker deal, what a smart idea.
Was this review helpful?
I received an ebook Advanced Readers Copy of this book in exchange for my review. I wish to thank the author, publisher and Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review this book.

This is the first book that I have read from this duo. It was a very nice quick read, perfect for a beach read. But while it is a fine one, I'm not sure it was enough to make me want to read any others written by this duo.

One of the problems I had with this books was that I could not connect or relate to any of the characters. While they were all well developed and they grew throughout the story, there just wasn't anything that made me want to CARE about them and what happened to them. Once the book was over, I didn't have that yearn to find out what happened to them 5, 10, 20 years down the road or have that overwhelming distress at the parting with the characters that marks a good book for me.

I was torn as to what to rate it, between 2 (it was ok) and 3 (liked it). I was feeling generous and gave it a 3 because it was a decent enough book that I didn't have that "is this book ever going to end" feeling I get with books that I rate a 2.
Was this review helpful?
A new author for me but I will be looking for more. I couldn't put it down.  Allison  Clarke is a wife and mother who has always put herself last.. Her husband has. Been unfaithful and her twins are about to graduate from high school.  Her mother is I'll and needs care. Allison finally decided enough is enough when her twins are threatened by a principal about not letting them give their co-valedictorian speech or even graduate . Her best friend who is a lawyer is with her as she takes on the school, divorced her cheating husband, and helps her through the family trials with her mom's health and living situation.    When Allison sticks up for herself her  mother and friends ,and family zrebthrilled.  This is a book  that makes you believe there are good days after had ones.  It shows family not just by blue but chosen.  It is family drama but you cheer on Allison as her life begins to change for the better.  She realizes she is a much stronger person who can stick up for herself and know she will always have family and friends that love her. Thank you Net Galley for allowing me to read and review this great book.
Was this review helpful?
This is the story of Allison, mother of two, raising extremely smart and ambitious, twin 17 year olds, divorcing her husband of over 20 years, and caring for her ailing mother. She hasn’t always made the best choices for her life and is at a turning point. Can she learn to make Better Choices in the future?

Part chick-lit, and part self-help book, I found some helpful advice in the lessons that Allison goes through to make those better choices. An interesting, easy, entertaining read with humorous and endearing characters and relatable situations.
Was this review helpful?