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Katherine Center
Format Paperback
Dimensions 5.10 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)
Pages 288
Publisher Random House Publishing Group
Publication Date April 2010
ISBN 9780345507914
Book ISBN 10 0345507916
About Book

How do you change your luck? Katherine Center’s marvelously entertaining and poignant new novel is about choosing to look for happiness—and maybe getting lucky enough to find it.
Sarah Harper isn’t sure if the stupid decisions she sometimes makes are good choices in disguise—or if they’re really just stupid. But either way, after forwarding an inappropriate email to her entire company, she suddenly finds herself out of a job. 

          So she goes home to Houston—and her sister, Mackie—for Thanksgiving. But before Sarah can share her troubles with her sister, she learns that Mackie has some woes of her own: After years of trying, Mackie’s given up on having a baby—and plans to sell on eBay the entire nursery she’s set up. Which gives Sarah a brilliant idea—an idea that could fix everyone’s problems. An idea that gives Sarah the chance to take care of her big sister for once—instead of the other way around.

          But nothing worthwhile is ever easy. After a decade away, Sarah is forced to confront one ghost from her past after another: the father she’s lost touch with, the memories of her mother, the sweet guy she dumped horribly in high school. Soon everything that matters is on the line—and Sarah can only hope that by changing her life she has changed her luck, too.


Publishers Weekly

In her light third novel, Center (Everyone Is Beautiful) tackles sisterhood, but falls just short of poignancy. Sarah Harper is on the New York fast track at a top advertising agency until she grows a conscience overnight and sends out a companywide e-mail debunking her popular bra campaign. Fired, she flies home to Houston, where she crashes with her older sister, Mackie, and Mackie’s husband, Clive. Turns out Mackie has problems of her own: after years of trying to have a baby, she announces she’s done. In an effort to do something good for a change, Sarah offers herself up as a surrogate. In the nine pregnant months that follow, Sarah juggles unexpected feelings for her brother-in-law and expected feelings for an ex-boyfriend, and instead of the pregnancy bringing her and Mackie closer, it drives them apart. Witty dialogue and likable characters keep the pages turning, but Center glosses over the depth of emotion inherent in carrying your sister’s baby to the point that you forget at times that Sarah is pregnant. It’s a fun, breezy book, but it doesn’t try to get to the heart of the matter. (Apr.)

Library Journal

After accidentally forwarding a filthy email to her entire company, Sarah is fired from her New York advertising job. During a visit to her dear sister Mackie back home in Houston, the reality of Mackie's years of unsuccessful pregnancies gives Sarah an idea—she can have a baby for Mackie! But then what Sarah thought would be a simple, loving deed gets incredibly complicated. Pregnancy hormones raging, Sarah develops a crush on Clive, her brother-in-law. Then her old boyfriend Everett reappears, and Sarah can't decode his feelings for her. And when her father announces his marriage to Dixie, a bedazzled cowgirl who couldn't be more different from the girls' late mother, emotions run high. Once Sarah gives birth, the sisters' relationship becomes strained, and Sarah needs to work out her feelings about Everett and returning to Manhattan vs. staying in Houston. VERDICT Center (Everyone Is Beautiful: The Bright Side of Disaster) has written another thoroughly enjoyable girlish romp. The story is cute, the characters are likable, and there's enough depth to keep the reader from being covered in fluff.—Beth Gibbs, Davidson, NC