Sunday, July 25, 2010

Good-Bye To All That by Margo Candela

3 Star

Raquel Azorian is anxious for another promotion, having worked her way from a temp to executive assistant in the marketing department at the Belmore Corporation, a media empire. Just when she’s close to getting everything she’s ever wanted though, her boss suffers a public meltdown, putting her promotion in jeopardy. Raquel tries to capitalize on a chance encounter in a coffee shop, attempting to launch the career of a new star to save her boss and herself when the lives of her family members start to spin out of control and they begin to lean on her for help. With one vengeful executive making her work life miserable and another one trying to sweep her off her feet, will she get the promotion, be able to help her family or both?  

Lydia - 3 Star

Good-Bye to All That was an easy read, but this chick lit tale didn’t quite capture my attention as much as I would have liked.  I did laugh along the way, mostly with her family, but a few scenes later in the novel at work had me giggling. The unpredictable ending took me by surprise which I always enjoy, but overall I didn’t become too attached to the characters of the story.

After a bit of a slow start, I found myself starting to enjoy the supporting characters more than Raquel and am having a hard time putting my finger on just exactly why. Somehow parts of her personality didn’t quite mesh for me and I thought she leaned towards being one dimensional. Candela’s descriptive office politics were interesting, yet I found I wasn’t able to relate to them, never having worked anywhere like it before. 

Unfortunately this single girl tale fell flat for me and wish the focus had been more on her family than on her workplace. I loved the relationship with her mother, and having her come stay with Raquel was an unusual twist instead of the usual single girl going to live back at home. 

I can see the appeal of Margo Candela’s writing in Good-Bye to All That. It was easy to read, and I enjoyed the portrayal of her characters, especially the supporting cast. I would definitely read another of her novels.

Kathryn - 3 Star

I am very torn about this rating and review because there are parts of Candela’s novel that I loved and parts that left me a little cold.  I found the main character Raquel powerful but lacking in warmth so was iffy on my feelings for the story from one page to the next.

My good feelings came from the storyline around Raquel’s job and her scrambling for position at work. I found Candela set a clear scene for her work space and was really interested in the plot at Belmore Corporation.  Raquel is really living mostly for her job at the moment anyway so it makes sense that most of the story took place there. I thought this part was well done and read the novel to the end purely to find out what happened.

The lack of solid feelings between Raquel and anyone else was what left me unhappy.  We are given plenty of other characters that she could have been close to and many of them I liked a lot- including her father and her friend Frappa.  Although we were given many scenes with her family and Frappa I found that she was just a little bit distant and the plot quickly turned back to her job. 

If Belmore Corporation and her friends and family could have provided equal importance in Rachel’s world then I think I would have been able to give Good Bye to All That a higher rating.

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