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Review: A Beautiful Mess by Ali Berlinski

Biracial and bicoastal, Berlinski spent her childhood flying between the families of her divorced parents, without ever feeling like she fit in anywhere. Fortunately, she never lost her sense of humor, which is apparent on every page of her first book, a riotous and revealing look at the consequences of divorce, too much air travel, cultural diversity and conflicting and conflicted parents. With an open heart and an honest soul, she recounts her somewhat misspent youth and a wildly exciting (though equally torturous) love affair with the guy of her dreams. She loves, she loses and she packs it in, leaving behind the guy, two dysfunctional families, and a comfortable life to move to a foreign country and start all over again. 

She’s Carrie Bradshaw reimagined as a third grade teacher in Brooklyn with zero interest in Manolo Blahniks. She’s a tough New Yorker with a tender twist of California sunshine in her blood that knows when to fight and when to surrender. Her journey will be oddly familiar and utterly unique to anyone who’s ever believed that love would save them—if not with this guy, then maybe with the next.

As her grandfather once said, “Well, it may not be the party you hoped for, but since we’re here, we might as well dance.” So now she lives in Spain and, despite everything, Berlinski keeps on dancing.

If this debut novel sets the precedent of what we have to look forward to from the upcoming books published by Pubslush, than what exceptional talent we have to anticipate. In this well written debut, we are introduced to a new, fresh distinctive voice that draws you into her introspective journey through a life of what she has dubbed her "beautiful mess."

Unlike others memoirs that you have read or will read, this was a different experience. Her story told through a compilations of essays redefined the tradition structure considered for the typical chronological story for a more innovative, creative way of telling it.

What I really enjoyed about reading her book was the way she told her story. From the first chapter, there was an instant connection to her voice. Her witty one liners, her honest, candid reflections of living a life from a biracial and divorced background that embodied the will to defy social expectations not to be defined by her past seamlessly bounds a story that you feel connected as a reader. Intriguing and engaging as the book progressed, she leads the reader on a introspective journey on her life through her experiences with her family, loss, love, and relationships.

As they say, everyone has a story but I think you will enjoy this one. Her writing is beautiful and her story is one that I thought was an enjoyable to read. I think for those who have struggled through a life with parents that have been divorced may find comfort sharing one's experience that shows you are not alone and that you are the determinant of your fate. 

Reviewed by Michelle Bowles

Book Information
Publisher: Pubslush Press
Release Date: 5/14/13
Pages: 228

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