Somehow, this book ended up on my kindle. I don’t know if someone sent me an ARC of it, or if it was a free download somewhere that I forgot about. I really don’t remember where it came from. All I know is that last week, on vacation, I needed a quick and easy read for the beach, so I downloaded it.
I mean, I’ve been the class mom many times. I know how annoying it can be. Teachers can be set in their ways, and other parents can either be nightmares or potential new best friends. I’ve even been in the same shoes as the mom in this book — selected as the room mom because I’m older and have experience. But that’s where all similarities end.
My children were fathered by my husband, not by any deceased rock stars. My class emails were filled with dates and times, not jokes about ethnicities or potential alcoholics. And the classes that my kids were in didn’t have any fake children in them. (NB, I’m still not sure I get this plot point.)
Jen is 46 and has a son going in to Kindergarten. Her best friend is the president of the PTA, and begs Jen to be class mom for the class (QUESTION: why is Nina still PTA president if her daughter is old enough to babysit? What grade is she in? What is happening in this small town?). The teacher is new and could use a class mom with experience. Fine.
Jen is kooky. She was a groupie for INXS back in her 20s and thinks that maybe Michael Hutchence was the father of her oldest daughter. (Note to the attorneys for Michael Hutchence’s estate: please sue Laurie Gelman.) She lived a wild life and then showed up on her parents front steps with two daughters and zero husbands, fell in love with the local sporting goods guy, had a son, and became suburban super mom.
But don’t forget, Jen is kooky. Her emails to the other class parents are filled with jokes and witty comments. Which would be fine, if her jokes were funny and her comments were witty. I found them simply annoying.
Jen makes new friends and new enemies as the year goes on. She also decides to get into shape so she can take part in a Mud Run sponsored by her husband’s store. And she develops a crush on the hot-guy-from-high-school-who-also-has-a-kid-in-the-same-class. Ugh.
Meanwhile, other moms are trying to get Jen removed as class mom. And there’s a mysterious student that nobody can identify. And there’s a clique of mean moms, just because.
I really didn’t like this book. It wasn’t funny at all. The jokes are unfunny and often racist or sexist. Jen was really quite unlikable, and I didn’t get why anyone wanted to hang out with her ever.
But it made me want to listen to INXS on Spotify, which was great at the beach.
As an aside, Laurie Gelman is married to Michael Gelman, from Live!, the Kelly Ripa show. I don’t know what to do with this information, but wanted to put it out there.