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Book Review: Redesigning Rose by Lydia Laceby

I know what you are probably thinking. 
"Is Jen actually doing a book review on her blog? No way!"

I know, I know. You probably thought I forgot how to read. 

Luckily, I dove back in. Maybe it was the move, the stress, the kids or just plain wanting SLEEP, but I definitely went on a bookworm hiatus and I missed it so much. But luckily, the best way to get back into reading is finding an awesome book and I did just that! 

A little back story: last year, I stumbled upon a website called Novel Escapes and noticed they were looking for more book reviewers. My heart skipped a beat and I sent an email immediately, telling the contact person that I would love to review for them and that it would be like a dream come wasn't until after I wrote the email that I noticed the article asking for more reviewers was a year old...but I just had a feeling and I hit send anyway. And that little feeling turned out to be great intuition when months later, Lydia Laceby emailed me back said they had a need again and asked if I would be interested. I'm pretty sure I teared up, then called my mom, sister, grandma, aunts and friends to tell them. Since then, I have written many reviews and have been lucky to find tons of great books through the site. Lydia created an amazing way for people to find the perfect book and read reviews. Her love for books soared to a new level this month when her own novel finally hit the shelves and I was lucky enough to get my hands on a copy! If there is anything greater than reading a great book, it's knowing the author personally and getting to email her mid novel to tell her how much you're enjoying it. I kept thinking while I was reading "I can't wait to tell Lydia about how much I loved this part!" and I'd realize how cool that sounded! (If you think I am a bookworm, you should see how starstruck I really get around authors!) So here, without further rambling, is my review for

Redesigning Rose by Lydia Laceby

Rose Parker’s husband has been lying. About everything.
When a conversation with her husband triggers questions, Rose Parker uncovers alarming answers that shatter her perfect life. But it is only when she shoves her belongings in her SUV and drives off that Rose realizes just how far from perfect her life actually was. She has nowhere to turn.
While debating between distressing sleeping arrangements–her mother’s house full of questions or a hotel room with too much solitude–Rose bumps into an acquaintance from her gardening class and allows bubbly, exuberant Becky to indulge her in a wild night full of whiskey, weeping, and whispered confidences. Suddenly, Rose has a new friend, a roof over her head, and two gorgeous men moving her out of her marital home.
As Rose struggles to settle into her new life, she remains determined to comprehend her past. And with time and distance and especially wine, comes knowledge. Frank wasn’t the only one lying to her. Rose was lying to herself.

I feel like Rose would be my homegirl. She'd be my best friend. The entire book was written in this easy, conversational way that made me feel like I was sitting down to dinner with her listening to  her tell me her story.  With wine of course, there should always be wine.

Redesigning Rose has some of the most realistic, relatable characters I have ever read about. 

Rose is strong, but so vulnerable and hurt after learning her husband is not who she think he is, not the man she has loved for so many years.

But like every great book, Redesigning Rose has layers and layers of the story that get peeled away with every page. You learn right along with Rose that sometimes, just because life doesn't turn out the way you thought it would, doesn't mean there's not something even better right around the corner. 

Right after leaving her husband in a frenzied tailspin after realizing he's paid for racy sexual encounters and more porn to shake a stick at, Rose meets Becky. Like two lost souls, Rose and Becky immediately strike up an "odd couple" kinship that ends up saving them both more than I think either one anticipated. 

Becky's also going through the many stages of healing after a horrible relationship. Reading about how their friendship blossoms and changes throughout the book was amazing.  The entire story is a full circle of how friendships grow and evolve and I found myself recognizing alot of the emotions and situations that have happened in my own life. Lydia has an amazing way of writing dialogue that is so true to life and very conversational. 

Rose doesn't really know where the journey away from her husband will take her but she is certainly brave enough to find out. The book takes you through her journey of rediscovering herself, making friends and basically coming out from under the rock her husband had created in their life.  She begins to realize the fancy house, comfy beds and expensive kitchen wasn't enough in the long run and curtains are thrown back on the life she thought she had wanted. My heart broke for her when she realized the negative effect her marriage had had on her family and how she had drifted away from those she loved without even realizing it. 

Watching her come out of the dark corners of her life was invigorating. Especially since I feel like alot of the same things have been happening to me in my life lately. 

A great part of this book is Rose's relationship with her mother, her late grandmother and their shared passion for gardening. I loved the scenes where Rose is sad, mad or frustrated and she would take her aggression out in her mom's yard, tending to their beautiful flowers. And thanks to this book, I will probably never look at another dahlia without smiling.  Their generational connection is the backbone of the great relationships in this book and I appreciated the comforting notions that go along with great mother/daughter relationships.

My favorite parts of Redesigning Rose are the surprisingly snarky and sassy moments that Rose and Becky have together. They're pretty spicy and Becky has a mean streak in her that reminds you of the mean girls in high school that you hated to loved and loved to hate. Rose is full of surprises too. Whether they are scheming ways to get Rose's belongings out of her old house, drinking way too much wine or skating around emotional issues, no matter what, Rose and Becky find a way make it fun. 

Usually thoughtful and a little subdued, Rose holds back. But when sparks of attractions fly with a man she didn't even know a month before, Rose's personality leaps through and takes over. I think Rose is even surprised herself at the new side and it was so fun to read about her discovering a whole new aspect. It was as if she was meeting a new friend, only lucky for her, that friend turned out to be the woman hiding inside of her all along. 

I give Redesigning Rose and resounding and adoring 5 star rating. Anyone will love Redesigning Rose. But if you're like me and  you've had a life changing event happen, you will further appreciate it because you'll know how scary it can be to take a leap of faith,  go at it alone, or to try and keep pushing when life gets scary...

But don't worry, because I can tell you (and so can Rose) that there's a great chance you will  end up on the other side of that scary tunnel with a chin that's higher, an outlook that is brighter and a sneaky feeling that you're better off...

Here are a couple of my favorite passages from Redesigning Rose. Some of them are sweet and others, a little spicy, which is the recipe for an awesome book!  

"I was moving out of my marital home. I should be weeping and screaming, no consumed with the sudden desire to have a threesome."

"I looked at him, bobbing in the undertow of his delicious dimples." 

"...When events slide together in a kaleidoscope of understanding..."

And honorable mention goes to Lydia for these two very awesome occurances:

1. She mentions Sweet Valley High and V.C. Andrews in the same sentence.
 I LIVED for these books as a pre teen! 

2. The ultimate cure for a hangover: Orange juice, McDonald's, a nap and Advil. This is SPOT on how I cure hangovers too!

I am so happy to announce that because Lydia is awesome and because I have the honor of considering her a friend, she is offering one That's What She Read reader  a hard copy of Redesigning Rose! 

Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win, good luck! 

Thanks so much to Lydia Laceby for the pleasure of reading Redesigning Rose!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Great giveaway and review. She mentions VCA and SVH? I'm in.

  2. I'm a super book nerd and I ALWAYS at least look at the reviews before I read one. I don't usually let that decide for me if I'm going to read the book or not, but I'm always curious. This review was so good and well written and told just enough about the story so that now I'm curious and I feel like I have to read the book. I'm also jealous that you get to review books. Hi, you're my idol.

  3. I've been big on trying new (or new-to-me authors) lately, because in doing so, I've discovered some incredible books. I would love to win this (and if I don't, you can bet I'll be buying it for my Kindle!) --sounds like a very well written and enjoyable story!

  4. Great review, am definitely "trying out" for the giveaway.
    I also loved how you included your whole story about how you met Julia, that made me so much more intrigued to read this.

  5. Your book reviews are so well written! I love stopping by to read your blog to begin with but then you share a review and I'm just in awe. I strive to one day be able to write a review even half as well as you do.

    I hope to win your giveaway! This book has been on my to-read list since you first mentioned it a while back on here.

  6. You know what I hate no lets say don't like not hate anyway the thing is a good review makes me want to read the book and I never seem to have time to read and there are so many books and so little time

  7. Awesome! I was looking for a new book to read- getting this one now!

  8. Jen, I've already thanked you profusely for this wonderful review of Redesigning Rose, but thank you again!

    And to everyone who has commented or entered or thinks they might just want to read Rose's journey - Thank You!


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