Thursday, May 2, 2013

Book Review: I Never Promised You A Goodie Bag by Jennifer Gilbert

As a young college graduate, Jennifer Gilbert expected great things from her life.  She had just returned from a post-grad year of touring Europe and returned to New York ready to start her professional life.  However, she was randomly and violently attacked by a man who attempted to take her life.  She survived, but was so damaged emotionally that she became a shell of her former independent self.

To get by, she threw herself into work, founding an event planning business and winning awards for her entrepreneurship.  In her memoir, she describes how her career as an event planner eventually led her to the realization of how the attack had damaged her emotionally, and how it also brings her back to her true self.  In the midst of all this, she finds love, starts a family, and comes to the realization that life itself is the only gift we are promised.

No issues with the writing.  I felt like I connected with the author, and, while she wasn't always likable, she remained sympathetic.  I think she really showed the impact of the attack on the next several years of her life and didn't try to hide the not-so-pretty or not-so-nice side from the reader.  It makes her seem like a real person.

Entertainment Value
It's not a long read and it's not a difficult read.  It read like a face to face conversation with the author - very personable and fluid.  Gilbert is witty and well-spoke and reading the book was a pleasure.  I can't think of any parts that felt off-pace or slow, and I wanted to know how Gilbert's story would end.

I think it's a successful memoir, chronicling a horrible period in the author's life and how she managed to overcome the difficulties life handed her.  It's a great book for anyone who is a fan of memoir or is looking for a lighter read that tackles a difficult subject.

Thanks to TLC for including me on the tour.  Click here for links to all the tour stops!


  1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it! The author's realizations sound like universal truths that we could all use a gentle reminder about. Thanks for being on the tour!

  2. lovely review! i agree that it's so easy to connect with the author. she didn't really sugarcoat anything.