I have to admit, I only picked up The Kitchen Shrink by Dee DeTarsio because the Kindle version was on sale for 99 cents, and I had just downloaded the app for my phone. I barely read the description, but I figured hey, what the heck, I’ll give the whole ebook thing a try.
I’m so glad I did. This book was witty, entertaining and very funny.
Lisby is a divorced mom who gets sucked into doing a reality show by her two teenagers and her friend. The premise of the show - “The Kitchen Shrink” - is the theory that, if your kitchen is a mess, your life is probably a mess, too. It aimed to fix up the kitchens, and therefore the lives, of the participants. But it’s not really about the show. Lisby’s friend Daria, who is in the TV business, gangs up with Lisby’s kids to talk her into taking part in a reality show she’s working on. Lisby is doing just fine without all of the chaos - thank you very much - but she agrees. Why not? At least she gets a new kitchen out of the deal. And a look at her life, and maybe even a cute guy…
The characters in this book are great. Lisby is hilarious, likeable, a bit clueless, and I completely related to her and enjoyed being in her head. Her friend Daria is fun and funny. These two, combined with Elgin, the flamboyant designer who barges his way through Lisby’s life during the filming of the show, had me laughing out loud on almost every single page. Any time the author writes a paragraph that starts to get even slightly too descriptive, she throws in a joke with the timing that can only be explained by her days as a TV writer (she worked on Children’s Hospital. I love that show!) The scene where Lisby and Daria find pot in one of the kids’ bedrooms would make excellent television.
The plot itself wouldn’t normally have interested me, but I completely enjoyed every bit of this book. I zoomed through it, I loved the characters, and I totally wanted to know what happened next. It’s definitely Chick Lit, but I don’t think you have to be the mother of teenagers to enjoy it. The ending was great, and though it was sometimes predictable, the way everything plays out is just so clever and so laugh out loud funny, even if you sometimes want to smack Lisby in the head and say, “Dude! Open your freakin’ eyes!”
Since I really don’t want to think about doing the dishes if I don’t have to, I probably wouldn't have looked twice at this book if I‘d seen in on the shelf in the store… but since I read it on my phone - the cover didn’t matter!
I gave The Kitchen Shrink five stars on Goodreads. I never give five stars! But it was a surprisingly entertaining, fast-paced read that made me laugh as well as feel for the characters. This is the second novel by Dee DeTarsio. I am definitely going to read her first book, The Scent of Jade, as soon as I get a chance.
Get The Kitchen Shrink for your Kindle or your Nook.