Thursday, October 11, 2012

Review: Perfect is Overrated

Summary: Think you want to be the perfect mom? Think again…..

Kate Alger has finally found the cure for her post-partum depression.  After years of suffering, all it takes to bring this mommy back to life were a few gruesome homicides!  When someone starts offing the alpha-moms from Kate’s daughter’s preschool, Kate—who worked as an Assistant District Attorney before she had Molly—realizes it’s time to get out of bed, dust off the skills and find out who is killing all the mommies she loves to hate.

Wickedly funny and slightly twisted, Perfect Is Overrated is a romp through the life of one very needy mom, her cockeyed family, gorgeous ex-husband, and the entire insane, entitled, over-dressed , over-zealous, eternally jealous parent body at The Hawthorne Preschool. -- St. Martin's Griffin

How could I resist the novel  PERFECT IS OVERRATED by Karen Bergreen after I saw the cover? Not only is the poppy fabric eye-catching, but I love how the woman coordinates her purse... and her dog! Too cute! You might think that this novel is pure chick lit (or mom lit) by the looks of the cover; however, I found this book to be very entertaining on a variety of levels. It's part chick/mom lit, part satire, and part mystery; and I was pleasantly surprised by how well the author managed to pull off all of these things!

PERFECT IS OVERRATED tells the story of Kate, a mom who has been struggling with post-partum depression ever since the birth of preschool aged daughter. Kate used to have it all -- a successful career as an Assistant District Attorney and a handsome husband who was a police officer; however, she now finds herself divorced and lucky to get showered and dressed on a daily basis.

But then one of her daughter's classmate's mothers (and then another and so on!) gets murdered and Kate suddenly finds a reason to get out of bed. She begins her own homicide investigation and finds that she can use her skills as a prosecutor to possibly find the murderer. As Kate delves into the murder investigation, she begins to feel like she once again has a purpose, and she even gets her groove back when it comes to men!

I thought PERFECT IS OVERRATED was a very funny book! I actually could have reviewed this novel for a Mystery Monday post because it does have a pretty strong mystery element woven into the story line; however, I decided against it because I wanted to focus on some other things more than the whodunit parts. So let me get the mystery angle out of the way first. As far as mysteries go, I thought PERFECT IS OVERRATED was solid and there were a few surprise twists. I'm not going to say that the reveal of the murderer was totally shocking because I did have a feeling where the story was going, but I will say that it was an overall cute mystery.

What impressed me more about PERFECT IS OVERRATED was the writing -- it was very good. As I mentioned earlier, this book was much more than just a murder mystery. It also had some intriguing characters in Kate, her ex-husband and her mother; and I appreciated how this book really focused on the various relationships in Kate's life. As Kate began to work through her depression and eventually bounce back, it was interesting to see how much she evolved and really began to assess her own thoughts and behavior. I do think that many moms out there will be able to understand aspects of Kate's depression and recovery.

This might sound awful, but when I picked up PERFECT IS OVERRATED, I wasn't exactly expecting such a smart and witty story. I figured it would be a cute murder mystery along the lines of a cozy, and that was perfectly fine with me. However, I quickly discovered that this novel was a more than that. I thought the humor in this novel was very well done, and the satire was sharp and spot on. Many scenes in this novel poked fun at moms who are seemingly perfect (or strive to be); and I could totally relate to some of the scenes when Kate was being judged by some of those super-moms!

Despite having its fair share of deaths, I do think humor played a huge role in this novel. This book was funny and often times, laugh-out-loud funny. I think one of the reasons why PERFECT IS OVERRATED was so hilarious is because prior to being an author, Ms. Bergreen was a stand-up comic who appeared on Comedy Central, the Oxygen network, Court TV, and Law & Order. It's also intesting that prior to being a stand-up comic, she was an attorney who clerked for a federal judge. I loved how she was able to combine both of her careers into this single novel!

PERFECT IS OVERRATED is a fun and entertaining murder mystery that is guaranteed to make you laugh! Recommended for moms and mystery fans.

Thanks to the author for providing a review copy of her novel.


rhapsodyinbooks said...

I also love when books can manage to add humor to deaths! Better than being depressed!

bermudaonion said...

Kate sounds like a great character - she's got more nerve than I do. If a bunch of moms were being murdered near me, I think I'd move! I'm glad to know the book is well written and funny.

Beth F said...

This sounds like the winner cozies that I love -- a mix of smart and fun with the mystery. I love the cover too.