Member Reviews

I almost quit on this book pretty early. The first part was a bit hard to get through with how things were going for Jenny. I am so glad I stuck it out because it was SO sweet in the end! Although you have to wonder at the intelligence of heading off on a road trip in a motorhome with someone you know very little about, Jenny, Charlie, and Luke all quickly worm their way into your heart and you will not be able to stop reading until you see where their journey takes them. The relationships and problems are real and relatable, the setting is a character all of its own, and the story unfolds easily and cleanly. You won’t regret this feel good read!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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After a string of really bad luck, Jenny James decides to begin again. Jenny and Charlie (her 18 year old son) join their neighbor, Luke, in his campervan on a road trip. Each new destination is decided by pulling a random prompt from a hat. As each mile goes by, Jenny has time to reflect on her past and think about what her future might hold.

This is a heartwarming, cozy read. I enjoyed reading about the relationship between Jenny and her son and how they reconnect on the road trip.

Thank you to NetGalley and HarperCollins Focus for a copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

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Jenny James Is Not a Disaster is an engaging read. How many of us readers have wished that tables could be turned and a new life could be started and problems averted? Jenny James has set her life on the standards she was brought up on, giving her boy a stable life and a stable home. She has forgotten how to be free and careless until her life turns upside down and she is on the verge of drastic changes. She goes on a wild trip with her son and her new found neighbor and friend Luke and together they let down walls that were carefully constructed through the years and live fully. The story gives lots of food for thought on life and the choices one makes.
I thank the author, her publisher, and NetGalley for this ARC.

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Thank you to @HarperCollins and #NetGalley for the digital ARC of #JennyJamesIsNotaDisaster. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

This is a sweet, heart-warming read about a single mother and her 18 year old son who is having the worst. week. ever. First their car dies. Then they lose everything when their house falls into the sea. And then Jenny's laid off from her job. So when new acquaintance Luke invites them to join him for a short holiday in his motorhome, Jenny says "why not" and goes all in on the wandering life-style.

This book is about relationships - familial and romantic (I really enjoyed the goofy relationship between Jenny and her son, Charlie). But it's also about learning to let go and finding your joy.

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Jenny James is having a “no good, very bad, horrible” week. Her old car won’t start, her cliff side house falls into the sea during a bad storm, and she loses her job. Luke, who’s camping in a nearby field in his motor home, rescues her and becomes a sounding board for her. She, and her 18 year old son Charlie, need to make plans for the future, but Jenny has a difficult time knowing what to do. Luke suggests she and Charlie travel with him in his motor home for a week or two to give her time to sort things out.
Jenny Jones Is Not A Disaster, by Debbie Johnson, tells of their adventures, the reconciliation with her family, and their budding relationship. It’s a funny and sweet story of two people with lots of emotional baggage who find their way to each other. There is some language scattered throughout the book.

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Here is my review as posted on Goodreads and Instagram:
Poor Jenny James! Just when you think things can’t get any worse for her, her house falls off a cliff and she loses everything! From there, a delightful summer road trip adventure begins. While this book includes a lot of sadness and heartbreak, it is equally adventurous, heartwarming, and hopeful! If you are looking for an easy summer read that’s not just all fluff, I’d highly recommend reading this book! I am so thankful to Harper Collins for the opportunity to read and review this ARC.

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Jenny has worked hard in a boring job in coastal England to provide a not that great of a life for her and her son who is about to leave for university. When disaster strikes, her life changes. What started out as a book about a quirky main character turned into a Hallmark movie plot. Cute but not what I was expecting.

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I’ve read one other Johnson book, which I absolutely loved. I was expecting the same with this one but unfortunately I DNF around the 30% mark. When it rains it pours , and that’s the same with Jenny on one particular day. I loved Jenny’s character, she’s hilarious but I found the story to be too slow for my liking and found myself bored at times. I will definitely check out more of her work though.

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Loved this. It was touching and real, no fake meet cutes or relationship problems. Everything worked naturally. The trio of Charlie, Jenny and Luke on a road trip was adorable. Nice to just read about people loving each other for once. No deep squabbles (some past issues) and no overwhelming sadness. Betty was the best.

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I loved Jenny James Is Not A Disaster. This is my first Debbie Johnson and i’ll certainly be adding her books to my future reading list. The set-up for this book is fabulous!
Jenny James is a single mother to her eighteen year-old son Charlie and as the story opens, we find her facing a horror day. Firtly it’s pouring with rain, then she has car problems, which later transform into a car that wont start at all. In between her car issues, she discovers that the owners of the carpet store where she works as an office manager have decided to close the business, leaving her without a job.Is all this bad enough? Why no. Having met up with Charlie and caught the bus to her cottage on the Norfolk coast, Jenny discovers that the rain and the sea swell have combined to massively erode the cliff, leaving her house destroyed along with all her possessions. At this point Luke who has been living in a motorhome parked in the field next door, enters the story. What ensues is a thoroughly entertaining journey for the three of them during which Jenny discovers her inner strength and resilience. I loved reading about the gorgeous places they visited and the way Jenny faced her fears, firstly at a series of amusement parks and subsequently by reuniting with her estranged parents. I loved that both Jenny and Luke were driven by guilt and a sense of loss and that they heled each other to come to grips with those feelings. While the various topics dealt with in this story could make for very heavy reading, the story is charming, filled with witty dialogue and plenty of uplifting moments. Jenny’s journey was one of seeking her joy and for me, it has been a joy to read.

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This was a great book! Filled with laughter and fun it’s a must read don’t miss! I devoured this book in one sitting because it was so fun!

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Wow this book was absolutely amazing! The character development for Jenny James was so perfectly written that I wish I could read the Sausage Dog Diaries for myself and see where her and Luke are these days!

While I did feel like this book did start off a little slow I really enjoyed it and had me waiting to see where in the UK Jenny, Luke and Charlie would end up next. I really enjoyed that this book also showed a "grown up" relationship and how Jenny had to find herself before realizing her feelings for Luke.

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I enjoyed Jenny James is Not a Disaster. It reminded me a lot of an "Eat Pray Love" journey, which I always find whimsical and speaks to the wanderlust soul in me. I thought Jenny James was so charming, and I loved hearing her inner monologue, She is so funny and unapologetically honest. I thought her relationship with Charlie, her son, was so lovely, and I related to it very much being the only child of a single mom growing up. We have a very close relationship, and it was fulfilling to read about the similar one between Jenny and Charlie. I will say that the ending felt a bit rushed. I think that the conversations between Jenny and her family upon their reunion seemed a little rushed and conveniently easily resolved. It felt like after 18 years of plenty of anxiety and grief regarding the way the family cookie crumbled, that the initial interactions would be a little more complex and emotionally rung out. Everyone seemed to keep their cool so well and let things go easily, which didn't feel very real for the situation. On the other hand, the row between Jenny and Charlie seemed so blown up by contrast. It was a bit of a tough dichotomy, but overall I did enjoy this book. The setting and Jenny's character and charm were lovely.

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This was a delightfully heartwarming and funny read! Jenny James is having a terrible day where literally everything you could think of goes wrong but as the story progresses you get to know her backstory, the witty and lovable Charlie, and the patient and steady Luke (and Betty!). A quick read that's the perfect for a summer afternoon.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Thank you to Harper Collins Focus and Harper Muse for an ARC!

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Jenny Jones is not a Disaster.
On the contrary…Jenny Jones is witty, real, full of heart and humor and one of my most favorite characters I’ve read this year.

Jenny is a single mom to 18 year old lovable Charlie. She has been on her own since she is 17 years old after a terrible falling out with her parents. She has always managed on her own, working hard to make sure Charlie has a happy life. Until one awful day when she finds out she will be losing her job, her car breaks down and her beloved cottage on a cliff above the ocean shockingly falls into the sea.

At this crossroads in her life, she surprisingly accepts an offer to join her standoffish neighbor Luke on an adventure in his motorhome. Jenny, Charlie and Luke set out on a roadtrip across England to various destinations that they pick from a hat. The sights, the scenery, the laughs and the companionship are healing to all of them.

This is a poignant novel exploring motherhood, love, family, grief and learning to live in the present. There are many little nuggets of wisdom scattered throughout this book and it was relatable in so many ways. The fact that we often place worth on material things instead of realizing what is truly important in life is explored deeply. The author did a great job showcasing this.

I loved the journey (literal and figurative) of Jenny, Luke and Charlie (Betty too!) it was such a heartfelt, wonderful story that made me laugh out loud, shed some tears and smile at the growth and contentment that the characters discover. This will definitely be one of my favorite books this year.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Harper Collins Focus for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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Slow burn British romance. Single mom, Jenny, has a really bad day. Like, a reeeeaally bad day. With nothing keeping them in the town they’ve been living, she and her son team up with Luke to travel the country.

Jenny and Luke both have heartbreak and adversity in their pasts, so it’s not smooth sailing, but I love the chemistry between them and all the fun stops along the way.

Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for my honest review. Watch for Jenny James is Not a Disaster to come out July 9, 2024.

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This was a delightful book. Jenny James is, in fact, a bit of a disaster, but man, reading her story will leave you smiling.

I can't imagine everything that happens in this book happening to anyone. Especially all at once. The act of "Finding joy" sounds so simple. Yet, surrendering to the unknown is scary as heck. I'm so glad I read this wonderful story about a woman who finds everything she needs, after she loses it all.

Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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I was not able to read this book, as it came to me in PDF format. It was too small to read on my phone and too clunky to manipulate to a size that was readable. I requested a different format from the publisher and never heard back.

I am still curious about Jenny Jones and when I get the chance to read the published version, I'll return here and update the review.

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3.5 stars rounded up
A heartwarming story about a struggling single mom and a life-changing journey. Jenny James is a 36 year-old single mom who has been estranged from her family since she left home as a teenager. Her boyfriend left her and their toddler son, Charlie, a couple of years later and they have been managing on their own ever since. Jenny and Charlie, now 18, live in Norfolk in a cozy rental cottage along the cliffs and Jenny works a boring job and unfulfilling as an office manager to support their small family.

On the same day that Jenny learns she might lose her job, her car breaks down and she and Charlie return home on foot just in time to see the cliff collapsing and taking their home and all their belongings with it. A nomadic man named Luke who has his motorhome parked nearby comes to their rescue providing them shelter and emotional support. A few days later when Jenny learns that she has indeed lost her job, Luke invites her and Charlie to travel with him and his adorable daschund, Betty, exploring England for a few weeks. Jenny and Charlie decide to take him up on the offer finding joy and a new sense of freedom along the way.

Jenny James Is Not a Disaster is an uplifting story that deals with serious issues but with a light touch. A story of healing, parent and child relationships, self-discovery/finding joy and a slow burn romance with a reminder that sometimes what seems to be a disaster can lead to the best adventures. Both humourous and heartfelt with engaging writing and well-developed characters - this is a book that made me laugh, cry and root for the characters to have a happy ending plus I loved travelling along to the various sites in England that they visit!

Thank you to NetGalley and HarperCollins Focus for sending a digital ARC of this book for review consideration. All opinions are my own.

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There are bad days and then there are epically horrible bad days. Jenny James is having the latter. On her best days her life is a struggle. She’s a single mom to a teenage son and she’s doing it ALL on her own. When a miserable rainy day gets worse with a broken down car and looming unemployment, it enters “are you kidding me” territory when her modest home literally slides off a cliff and into the ocean. What’s a girl to do? If you’re Jenny James, you pick up the pieces of your life, gather up your few remaining belongings, and take off on a motor home adventure with your mysterious neighbor, his weiner dog, and your teenage son - all in the hope of finding your joy.

JENNY JAMES IS NOT A DISASTER packs an emotional wallop. Debbie Johnson gives us a tender look at starting over. There’s a tremendous amount of wisdom and heart in Jenny’s story. Ms. Johnson paints a realistic portrait of family - of knowing when to hold on and when to let go, of forgiveness and shifting perspective, and of unconditional and infinite love. I adored this book, these characters, and the way in which the author allows the story to unfold.

Don’t sleep on this book. It’s utterly captivating (and there are dogs!).

Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Muse for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review.

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