October 04, 2019

#BookReview: As Long As It’s Perfect by Lisa Tognola

Synopsis: To Janie Margolis, “assistant contractor” sounds like the ideal job for a mom whose role raising kids has become routine―but her perfect plan starts to unravel when she and her husband, Wim, find themselves arguing about everything from money to masonry to man caves. Then the economy collapses, and it’s hard to surmount the reality ahead: they are about to sink their entire savings into rebuilding a new house they can’t afford while trying unsuccessfully to sell the one they already own. Will Janie back herself so far into a corner that she’ll find herself homeless before she finds herself a home?

From crushes on contractors to frenzied shopping expeditions to the erection of a cupola that looks a little too phallic for her upscale new neighborhood―or really any neighborhood!―Janie navigates the pitfalls of building. Along the way, she deals with a con artist kitchen designer, a construction worker and architect who fight like schoolgirls, and a tile guy who turns her shower into a pornographic work of art, all while struggling to stay out of debt and keep her marriage going. In the end, she comes face to face with her flaws and learns that dreams can be achieved―but the only way to authentic happiness is through truth and acceptance.

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About the Author: Lisa Tognola is an author, freelance writer, social worker, wife, and mother of three who always dreamed of getting married and living in the perfect house―until she discovered that passion comes with a mortgage. A former humor columnist at The Alternative Press, based in New Jersey, she is now a contributor to More.com and has contributed essays to five anthologies in the Not Your Mother’s Books series as well as My Funny Valentine: America’s Most Hilarious Writers Take on Love, Romance, and Other Complications and My Funny Medical: Off the Charts Humor from an All-Star Cast. Tognola hails from California but now lives in New Jersey, where she spends most of her time fantasizing about sunny skies, palm trees, and In-N-Out Burger.

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
My Review: This was an amazing read that I am glad that I got the chance to cover it.  This is the first book by this author that I have read but it surely won't be the last.  The main character in this one Jamie was faced with a ton of issues and her choices just made her very relatable.  This is one of those titles where the MC leans that what they thought they wanted and what they really wanted were two different things.  I really enjoyed the journey that I took on this one. 

“An enjoyable tale about a wealthy couple who learn that building a house is more than they bargained for.”
Kirkus Reviews

“With wit and empathy, Lisa Tognola unpacks the all-American dream of the perfect house. Janie Margolis’s obsession with cabinet hinges and cupolas, driveway vectors and Calacatta tile may have its roots in childhood anxieties and pesky yearnings for security and control, but it is also a quest for aesthetic excellence and for a place to nurture family. Tognola had me turning pages to see whether Janie’s journey would end in happily-ever-after or the poorhouse.”
―Pamela Erens, award-winning author of Eleven Hours, a Best book of 2016 by NPR

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