Format: ARC (from the publisher)
Release Date: October 11, 2012
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Writer's Coffee Shop
When Joanna Lucas moves to a small town to escape a scandal and a scoundrel, she finds herself in trouble again when she befriends a stripper-turned-Mormon, a one-legged woman thanks to a loose tiger, and a dirty-minded troublemaker with a love of inane questions, and they take on an industrial town. Erin Brockovich has nothing on these ladies!Prepare to laugh out loud and cheer them on as they set out to right a terrible wrong . . . no matter how outlandish things get.
I have never laughed and cried over a Women's Lit book in a very long time. Women's Lit are usually serious and filled with life's pitfalls, DAMAGED GOODS by Alexandra Allred still managed to talk about serious stuff but made it very funny too which resulted to a highly informative and very entertaining read. To be honest with you, I never expected a lot from this book in fact I was hoping that at least it would at least be a 3-star kind of novel so at least I won't be bored reading it. Boy, I've never been happy to be wrong because there's so much that went on in this book that I don't know where to start. In a word I'd describe this novel as a dramedy - comedy drama - and AAllred had me crying tears of sadness or joy and sometimes both.
It was like a scene out of the Erin Brokovich movie, only this wasn't just about the water. It was also about the air. The air she was breathing at that very moment.
Joanna Lucas and the rest of the Marcus, Texas women are a memorable bunch. If I can compare this ragtag group of troublemakers, I'd say they are as riotous as the Bridesmaids. But instead of throwing a friend a bridal shower and help her plan a fabulous wedding, these women are trying to shut down Future Foundations Industries, a global supplier of cement and the biggest employer of their town, and their poisonous factory. FFI has been spewing toxins in the air causing a lot of health related issues in their small town and these women have taken it upon themselves to expose FFI's manipulation of the government system and stop it's owner, John Simmons, from running for Congress.
As AAllred mentioned, DAMAGED GOODS is a funny novel but it deals with serious issues like prejudice, red tape, small town politics, illegal immigration and environmental activism. The comedy doesn't deter the reader from the importance of these issues rather it highlighted it. The women in this novel are phenomenal and were good representations of every woman. The focal point of the novel is about friendship and the unlikely bond that Joanna forged with Dixie Quigley - ex-stripper now a devout Mormon; Suzette Lee - the town's Wild Cat Lady who lost her leg to one of her rescued tigers; Brianna Smart - a woman verbally and physically abused by her pig of a husband; and my favorite Jeanie Archer - wild, unfiltered and never afraid to say what's in her mind.
Jeanie Archer's Would-You-Rathers
Would you rather have pee come out of your nose or your mouth?
Who would you rather kiss? Dick Chaney or Rush Limbaugh?
Would you rather eat a turtle's head or his intestines?
DAMAGED GOODS is a touching and uplifting story that will make any reader laugh and cry at the same time. Each and every character stood out and their personalities well honed it's not hard to picture them vividly. Jeanie alone is alone is a scene stealer and her dialogue never failed to make me laugh-out-loud because of her unapologetic honesty and rambunctiousness. DAMAGED GOODS also have staple ingredients that makes a good humorous chick lit book: friendship, stereotypes, male chauvinism, second chances and the power of hope and love. It's one of those books that will make you feel better afterwards and still have something substantial to take along with you after you read the last page.
P.S. Check out Jeanie & Alex's WOULD YOU RATHER Q&A, it might help brighten your day.
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