#Book Review and #Giveaway: Families and Other Nonreturnable Gifts CLOSED

Wednesday, August 31, 2011 Posted by Dina N

Book Description
Despite her name, Keats Sedlak is the sanest person in her large, nutty family of brilliant eccentrics. Her parents, both brainy academics, are barely capable of looking after themselves, let alone anyone else, and her two uber-intelligent siblings live on their own planets.

At least she can count on one person in her life, her devoted boyfriend Tom. Down-to-earth and loving, he's the one thing that's kept Keats grounded for the last decade. But when Keats's mother makes a surprise announcement, the entire family is sent into a tailspin. For the first time, Keats can't pick up the pieces by herself. Now she must reevaluate everything she's ever assumed about herself and her family - and make the biggest decision of her life.

My Review
Many people discover at some point - teenage years, anyone? - that we can choose our friends but not our relatives. If learning to accept that is a sign of maturity, then 25-year old Keats Sedlak has a long way to go at the beginning of this book. Of course, she has it harder than most. In addition to being named after an English romantic poet - his LAST name, on top of that - she comes from a family of socially maladjusted genius. Keats is beautiful, smart and kind but in her family, she feels inferior and out of place. Her personal act of rebellion against the brains and expectations of that family is working a job that's far beneath her abilities and living with a boyfriend she met when she was 15.

Keats has always been the problem-solver in her family. She feels she is being served more than her usual share of challenges when her mother files for divorce, her father becomes sick, and her brother refuses to leave the house their mother has decided to sell. Keats is trying to find a way to help everyone survive the crisis but she quickly realizes she must add herself to the list.

Families and Other Nonreturnable Gifts is a charming novel that I could not put down. Keats is a likable character who is not perfect but she is certainly a fast learner. Her journey to adulthood and to accepting her family is long and uneven, in equal parts emotionally charged and funny. The book is a tribute to family and friendship as much as a coming-of-age story of choices and consequences, and I loved every word.

Families and Other Nonreturnable Gifts is new this week from 5 Spot, a division of Hachette Book Group. Author Claire LaZebnik's previous books include The Smart One and the Pretty One, Knitting Under the Influence and If You Lived Here, You'd Be Home Now - all three now on my to-read list.

The Giveaway
One lucky U.S. reader will win Families and Other Nonreturnable Gifts!

To enter, please comment below if you've read anything by Claire LaZebnik, or tell us if you ever felt different from everyone else in your family.

This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to the winner, #103 Anonymous!

Disclaimer / Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of the book with no obligation for a positive review. No compensation - monetary or in kind - has been obtained for this post. Cover art and book description courtesy of the publisher or PR firm.

115 comments:

  1. Jane said...

    I haven't read anything by Claire LaZebnik, but this sounds like a fun read!
    jcottey at aol dot com

  2. Jane said...

    I like Just Another New Blog on Facebook (Jane Eileen).
    jcottey at aol dot com

  3. Jane said...

    GFC follower
    jcottey at aol dot com

  4. Jane said...

    I voted for Just Another New Blog on Picket Fence Blogs.
    jcottey at aol dot com

  5. Jane said...

    I subscribe to your RSS feed.
    jcottey at aol dot com

  6. Tore said...

    I am a follower and email subscriber. Tore923@aol.com

  7. Tore said...

    I have never read anything by this author but I would like. I have always felt different from my family. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

  8. holdenj said...

    I read The Smart One and the Pretty One and really liked it. Great sister story.
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

  9. holdenj said...

    I am an email subscriber.
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

  10. holdenj said...

    I am a GFC follower.
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

  11. holdenj said...

    I subscribe via RSS feed.
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

  12. holdenj said...

    I voted at the Picket Fence today!
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

  13. rubynreba said...

    I haven't read any of her books but they sound good. I've never really felt different.
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

  14. rubynreba said...

    Email subscriber
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

  15. rubynreba said...

    facebook friend
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

  16. rubynreba said...

    Voted for you at picket fence
    pbclark(at)netinsA(dot)net

  17. lag123 said...

    I have never read any of Claire's books but I love. Her catchy titles.

    lag110@mchsi dot com

  18. lag123 said...

    I like Just Another New Blog on FB: Lisa Holmes Garrett

    lag110 at mchsi dot com

  19. lag123 said...

    GFC follower.

    lag110 at mchsi dot com

  20. lag123 said...

    I subscribe via google reader.

    lag110 at mchsi dot com

  21. ann said...

    Actually she is a new author to me I dont recall hearing that name before. My one brother always used to say he was adopted (but he wasnt)because he had red hair and no one else in the family did.

    amhengst at verizon dot net

  22. ann said...

    I am a email subscriber

    amhengst at verizon dot net

  23. holdenj said...

    I voted at the Picket Fence today!
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

  24. Linda Kish said...

    I have never read anything by Claire. It's time to start.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  25. rubynreba said...

    voted for you at picket fence
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

  26. Nancy said...

    I have never read anything by Claire LaZebnik, but I am always looking for new authors so I just might have to grab a book by her.

  27. Nancy said...

    Tweet: http://twitter.com/njhhb/statuses/109339202004586496

  28. Nancy said...

    I subscribe via RSS feed.

  29. shana said...

    I'm not sure if I've read this author or not. Can't remember everybody!!
    And no, I don't feel different from everyone else in my family.

    nineteen19 at blackfoot dot net

  30. shana said...

    e-mail subscriber

    nineteen19 at blackfoot dot net

  31. shana said...

    like U on FB under shana cummings williams

    nineteen19 at blackfoot dot net

  32. shana said...

    friend on FB under shana cummings williams

    nineteen19 at blackfoot dot net

  33. shana said...

    GFC follower

    nineteen19 at blackfoot dot net

  34. shana said...

    Networked blogs follower

    nineteen19 at blackfoot dot net

  35. shana said...

    follow U in google reader

    nineteen19 at blackfoot dot net

  36. Amy said...

    THIS BOOK LOOKS AWESOME! Can't wait to read it. Thank you so much for a this great giveaway.
    I have not read anything by Claire LaZebnik.
    I follow via GFC "Amy Bromberg"
    amyrbromberg(at)gmail(dot)com

    Tweet:

    http://twitter.com/#!/jam_njellygirl/status/109434770374656000

  37. Laura Kay said...

    I've not read anything by Claire before, but sounds great!

    I'm following you on twitter! anovelreview1

    Laura Kay
    anovelreview(@)yahoo(.)com

  38. Charity and John said...

    I have not read anything from this author but it looks good. I also do not usually feel out of place from my family, so that is good!
    primabee at hotmail dot com

  39. Charity and John said...

    I follo you on GFC.
    primabee at hotmail dot com

  40. Charity and John said...

    I like you on Facebook as charity l.
    primabee at hotmail dot com

  41. Charity and John said...

    I follow you on networked blogs.
    primabee at hotmail dot com

  42. Charity and John said...

    I voted for you on picket fence 9/2.
    primabee at hotmail dot com

  43. holdenj said...

    Voted at the Picket Fence today!
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

  44. Mama Zen said...

    I haven't read any of Claire's other books, but I definitely will now!

  45. Elaine said...

    i haven't so i'd love to read this!

  46. Tilbechick said...

    I've read Claire's books....love them! I follow her on FB so I've been anxiously awaiting this book and my library isn't listing it yet!! I need a Claire fix!

  47. Anonymous said...

    I have not read any of her books. sarah.greeners (at) gmail (dot) com

  48. Anonymous said...

    GFC follower sarah.greeners (at) gmail (dot) com

  49. Anonymous said...

    Email subscriber sarah.greeners (at) gmail (dot) com

  50. Bonita12 said...

    Yes, I am definitely different from the rest of my family!
    bwalker1123 at gmail dot com

  51. Bonita12 said...

    email subscriber
    bwalker1123 at gmail dot com

  52. rubynreba said...

    voted for you at picket fence
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

  53. Bonita12 said...

    GFC blog follower
    bwalker1123 at gmail dot com

  54. Cathy W said...

    I have not read anything by Claire LaZebnik.
    cjwallace43 at gmail dot com

  55. Cathy W said...

    https://twitter.com/#!/cjwallace43/status/110383256502931456

  56. Cathy W said...

    9/04 You have just voted for Just Another New Blog!

  57. Cathy W said...

    Subscribe by email
    cjwallace43 at gmail dot com

  58. Cathy W said...

    RSS FEED subscriber via Google Reader
    cjwallace43 at gmail dot com

  59. Cathy W said...

    Follow via GFC (Cathy Wallace)

  60. Cathy W said...

    Like you on Facebook (Cathy Wallace)

  61. Cathy W said...

    Friend on Facebook (Cathy Wallace)

  62. DonnaP said...

    I have not read anything by her.

  63. DonnaP said...

    GFC follower

  64. DonnaP said...

    Email subscriber

  65. DonnaP said...

    I voted for you.

  66. rubynreba said...

    voted for you at picket fence
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

  67. AmandaSue said...

    Sorry never heard of Claire LaZebnik before this post! Yes I've felt like the black sheep of the family most of my life since I'm alot different then my sisters and chose a different path in life.

  68. rubynreba said...

    voted for you at picket fence
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

  69. Amy said...

    Tweet:

    http://twitter.com/#!/jam_njellygirl/status/110921902540865537

    amyrbromberg(at)gmail(dot)com

  70. Amy said...

    I follow you on Networked blogs

    amyrbromberg(at)gmail(dot)com

  71. Amy said...

    I voted for you on Picket Fence blog

    amyrbromberg(at)gmail(dot)com

  72. Amy said...

    I just asked to be friends with you on FB. I am "Amy Lazarus Bromberg"

    amyrbromberg(at)gmail(dot)com

  73. Amy said...

    I like Just Another New Blog on Facebook

    amyrbromberg(at)gmail(dot)com

  74. Amy said...

    I follow on twitter

    @jam_njellygirl

    amyrbromberg(at)gmail(dot)com

  75. rubynreba said...

    voted for you at picket fence
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

  76. rubynreba said...

    voted for you at picket fence
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

  77. rubynreba said...

    voted for you at picket fence
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

  78. sheena said...

    I've read all of Claire's past works and consider her one of my fav authors Can't wait to read her new book!
    wapneski@yahoo.com

  79. Charity and John said...

    I voted for you on picket fence 9/8.
    Primabee at hotmail dot com

  80. holdenj said...

    I voted for you at the Picket Fence today!
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

  81. Vicki said...

    I've never read a book by Claire LaZebnik before, so I'd love to win this book!

    irbratb(@)gmail(.)com

  82. Vicki said...

    TWEET

    irbratb(@)gmail(.)com

  83. DonnaP said...

    I voted for you today.

  84. holdenj said...

    Voted at the Picket Fence today!
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

  85. AnneLoyd said...

    I have not read any of her books.

    Anneliz702@hotmail.com

  86. AnneLoyd said...

    I follow you on GFC as AnneL.

    Anneliz702@hotmail.com

  87. AnneLoyd said...

    I like your blog on FB as Anne Loyd.

    Anneliz702@hotmail.com

  88. AnneLoyd said...

    I follow you on Networked Blogs as Anne Loyd.

    Anneliz702@hotmail.com

  89. AnneLoyd said...

    I friended you on FB as Anne Loyd.

    Anneliz702@hotmail.com

  90. ani hearts japan said...

    I haven't read any of her books yet, but it looks like a good book that you're giving away!

    aniwilsonintx at hotmail dot com

  91. ani hearts japan said...

    I follow on twitter and tweeted:

    http://twitter.com/#!/aniheartsjapan/status/112906631758626817

  92. ani hearts japan said...

    I like your blog on facebook.

    aniwilsonintx at hotmail dot com

  93. ani hearts japan said...

    I follow on GFC as ani hearts japan

    aniwilsonintx at hotmail dot com

  94. ani hearts japan said...

    I voted for you on picket fence.

    aniwilsonintx at hotmail dot com

  95. ani hearts japan said...

    I follow on networked blogs.

    aniwilsonintx at hotmail dot com

  96. ani hearts japan said...

    I requested you as a friend on facebook. Ani G W.

    aniwilsonintx at hotmail dot com

  97. holdenj said...

    I voted at Picket Fence blogs today!
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

  98. holdenj said...

    Voted over at the Picket Fence today!
    Thanks!
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

  99. Charity and John said...

    I voted for you on picket fence 9/12.
    primabee at hotmail dot com

  100. Charity and John said...

    I voted for you on picket fence 9/13.
    primabee at hotmail dot com

  101. Cathy W said...

    https://twitter.com/#!/cjwallace43/status/113950530681843712

  102. Cathy W said...

    9/14 You have just voted for Just Another New Blog!

  103. Anonymous said...

    I voted for you. sarah.greeners (at) gmail (dot) com

  104. Jeryl M. said...

    I have not read any of Claire's other books.

    jeryl.marcus@gmail.com

  105. Raven In A Blue Room said...

    I haven't read anything by Claire LaZebnik, but the book seems like a fun read :)

    Thank you for hosting this giveaway

    Louis
    pumuckler {at} gmail {dot} com

  106. Raven In A Blue Room said...

    following you on twitter @left_the_stars
    I tweeted your giveaway

    pumuckler {at} gmail {dot} com

  107. Raven In A Blue Room said...

    Google Friends Connect - following you publicly as (Louis)

    pumuckler {at} gmail {dot} com

  108. Raven In A Blue Room said...

    I am an email subscriber

    pumuckler {at} gmail {dot} com

  109. Raven In A Blue Room said...

    I like your blog on facebook (Louis Here)

    pumuckler {at} gmail {dot} com

  110. Raven In A Blue Room said...

    I am a friend of yours on facebook (Louis Here)

    pumuckler {at} gmail {dot} com

  111. Raven In A Blue Room said...

    following on networked blogs

    pumuckler {at} gmail {dot} com

  112. Raven In A Blue Room said...

    I voted for your Blog on Picket Fence Blogs

    pumuckler {at} gmail {dot} com

  113. Charity and John said...

    I voted for you on picket fence 9/15.
    primabee at hotmail dot com

  114. holdenj said...

    I voted at the Picket Fence blog today!
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

  115. rubynreba said...

    voted for you at picket fence
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

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