Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Life, Libby, and the Pursuit of Happiness by Hope Lyda

I read Life, Libby, and the Pursuit of Happiness right on the heels of One Little Secret which I reviewed a couple weeks back. They both have a hot young rock star as the main male character but that is where the similarities end. Still, that was enough to make me think about why I enjoyed one so much more than the other. Maybe because chick-lit (such as Libby) is meant to be fluffy with a kernel or two in there somewhere to sink your teeth into, while I never got the feeling that One Little Secret was supposed to be anything other than serious. The cover certainly spells out what one should expect from this novel.

Libby is the story of a young woman approaching 30 in pursuit of figuring out who she really is, whether defined by her career (which takes a serious nose-dive early in the novel), her romantic situation (ditto), or her place in her nuclear family (can I ditto again?). Libby gets into a crazy predicament with an off-the-wall supervisor in the name of saving her job when so many co-workers receive their pink slip. She meets the man of her dreams, harbors a fugitive, and learns to avoid the paparazzi. Not necessarily in that order! I found the story laugh-out-loud funny in places and, in general, a light, humorous read.

From the back cover:
How do you know if your life is falling apart...or finally coming together?

Libby Hawthorne lives with good intentions. She believes that everything important--love and faith and life--will come together as soon as she receives the promotion she was promised years ago at a Seattle public relations firm. However, a corporate merger changes everything, and when the big prize of advancement turns into a demotion to administrative assistant, Libby realizes it's time to trade good intentions for intentional living.

But just as she reaches for authenticity, Libby is offered a chance to redeem her career if only she will keep an enormous secret. At the same time, her friends and family start acting strange, and her crazy boss goes missing in action. In the aftermath of these colliding events, Libby must make her biggest decision yet--will she climb up the corporate ladder or take the leap of faith that will finally lead her to purpose and happiness?

Life, Libby, and the Pursuit of Happiness is the third novel by author Hope Lyda.

Hope has always wanted to write. Ever since she was a young tyke with a spiral notebook in hand, she had the urge to fill it. Sadly, Peggy Meets the Midgets did not cause Hope to be deemed a child prodigy, so she continued her path of education. She was grade-obsessed but also truly enjoyed sharing laughs with her circle of creative friends.

Hope attended the University of Oregon and graduated with a double major in Journalism: Advertising and Telecommunications and Film. With aspirations to write screenplays or teleplays, she of course ended up doing public relations for non-profits until she entered the publishing field in which she has worked for 10 years.

Her passions are quiet ones—she loves a good read, an afternoon of free thinking time, writing, journaling, road trips, travel, and pondering life from her back yard pergola. She loiters in bookstores frequently, though has never been arrested for such. Her big hope is to encourage others to embrace their dreams and understand their faith journeys through the practice of journaling and the art of creative living. She hopes to also inspire such things through the themes in her fiction including Hip to Be Square and Altar Call. (There are also visions of a nice Casita with a hammock in Mexico—but one thing at a time.)

When not living in her head, she resides with her husband, Marc, in the Pacific Northwest.

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