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~DOWNLOAD EPUB ⚖ A Life Less Ordinary ☪ For the last fifteen years, Rose Manny Mankowski has been a very good girl She turned her back on her youthful fancies and focused on her career But now, at the age of , she s questioning her choices and feeling and disconnected from her own life When she s passed over for promotion and her much younger new boss implies Manny s life will never change, something snaps In the blink of an eye, she s quit her job, sold her house and cashed in her pension, and she s leaving town on a six month road trip After placing a personal ad for a travelling companion, she s joined in her mid life crisis by Zeke Powell, the cynical, satirical, most read and most controversial blogger for the e magazine, What Women Want Zeke s true goal is to expose Manny s journey as a pitiful and desperate attempt to reclaim her lost youth and increase his readership at the same time Leaving it all behind for six months is just an added bonus Now, armed with a bagful of destinations, a fistful of maps, and an out spoken imaginary friend named Harvey, Manny s on a quest to rediscover herself and taking Zeke along for the ride A Life Less Ordinary is the first book published by Victoria Bernadine.Starting out at minus 31 days , we meet Manny Mankowski, a 45 year old woman, who feels unmotivated and unattractive She sticks to her routines like clockwork Goes to work, goes home, repeat process To get her through the boring trivialities of life, she s created an imaginary beau Harvey Her Mr Perfect Harvey acts as her inner voice Not just a conscience, but also a true reveal of her inner thoughts, some selfish an A Life Less Ordinary is the first book published by Victoria Bernadine.Starting out at minus 31 days , we meet Manny Mankowski, a 45 year old woman, who feels unmotivated and unattractive She sticks to her routines like clockwork Goes to work, goes home, repeat process To get her through the boring trivialities of life, she s created an imaginary beau Harvey Her Mr Perfect Harvey acts as her inner voice Not just a conscience, but also a true reveal of her inner thoughts, some selfish and dark, some reassuring and hopeful He is her sounding board.He helps her get through the days, but when she s passed over for a promotion at a job she s been doing for fifteen years, it tips the scales Now off balance, she s thinking hard about her life The missed promotion is a wake up call and just puts emphasis on the dead end aspect of her career But the deciding factor comes when she is faced with the prospect of another fifteen years working the same job at the same place, and she quits.She s decided to have her mid life crisis her words, not mine in the form of selling her house and most of her belongings and departing on a six month road trip around the States and Canada But she doesn t want to travel alone, so she puts out an ad for a travelling companion and awaits the results, much to the shock of her sister, Daisy and best friend, Rebecca.Zeke Powell works for an e magazine called What Women Want He s a blogger famous for rocking the boat He can be arrogant and fancies himself a ladies man, but is a good guy when push comes to shove His boss, Leah, is also the wife of his best friend, TJ, and she suggests he reply to Manny s ad and go with her on the trip All for the purposes of their blog They want to expose her mid life crisis to the world and try to gain popularity for their e zine by doing so He wants a scoop and he doesn t mind being a little cruel to get it.Of course, he doesn t tell Manny that So, off they go, choosing the next destination from a hat or plastic bag in this case , with Zeke unbeknownst to Manny blogging about her actions and his reactions along the way He sees her as vulnerable and unaware and doesn t want to hurt her, but of course it won t stop him from writing, so he has to tone down the level of harshness usually present in his work They spend the time sight seeing and generally exploring everything they can, all down to Manny s itinerary The point of the trip for Manny, is to get out of her comfort zone and learn how to connect with people again To be comfortable with strangers and start enjoying life Zeke may just learn something along the way too.Meanwhile, Rebecca is struggling with changes of her own Thirty years ago when she was sixteen her then boyfriend got her pregnant, changing her life forever He abandoned her, her parents disowned her and if it wasn t for Manny and Daisy s parents, her life would ve just about ended there Now her daughter, Jaime, is a grown woman, going through a divorce of her own Mother and daughter don t have the best relationship, but Rebecca finds herself looking after Tris, Jaime s ten year old daughter, as Jaime sets out to find the father she never knew.At the same time, Daisy s marriage is failing She spends her nights at the casino Her husband, Hub, is an estranged partner and father to their two teenage kids, and is rarely around She labels herself a married, single parent They re already unhappy marriage is put to the test when Daisy discovers something Hub has been keeping secret Finally, Tj and Leah are trying for a baby, but are having complications They re taking fertility tests to see if there s an actual biological reason why they re having such a hard time As you can tell, there are quite a few storylines going on in this book All connected through theme, they focus on the complications of life in all meanings of the word There are many forms a journey can take, and many endings and beginnings to them Change can be for the better or worse, through a decision we ve made or something we had no control over, but in the end, it is what we choose to make of it So many sub plots can be confusing, but it works here, and each one is just as interesting and meaningful as the others The focus is on Manny s journey, but the other stories aren t any less significant.The description of travelling is beautifully done, namely the emotions experienced The wonder of a new place, the almost child like joy and excitement The curiosity, a little nervous tension and the anticipation all mixed up with good old fashioned fun How the journey differs when you share it with another, even just a stranger met along the way It s so addictive and infectious that I m almost tempted to take off on my own six month adventure.The characters are complicated and unique They re not infallible The relationships and conversations between them are enjoyably witty and very wry, especially between Manny and Harvey and Manny and Zeke Harvey isof a safety blanket He s a constant figure, but is only ever constantly present, when Manny is stressed, afraid or nervous The relationship between Manny and Zeke is oddly endearing Somehow, with all the confidence he shows and she lacks, Zeke comes across as the older of the two Sometimes Manny s friendly personality and honesty open people up to her Zeke, however, while not necessarily dishonest depending is a closed book He won t straight out lie, but he will emit details or refuse the question But it leads to quite hilarious interactions between the two.The characters are well rounded and well written And you know what I m actually going to miss them As odd as it sounds, they ve grown on me It s always sad when one journey ends, but you just have to keep looking forward to the next, and you ll always have the memories.I thoroughly enjoyed this book To the point that I had trouble putting it down, and only managed it when at 6 am I was facing sheer exhaustion What kept me reading so obsessively In short, the characters I ve commented on why I think they re great characters, but I m not sure I can so easily pinpoint why exactly I liked them so much They re very real, and the way they interact with each other is as though they ve been friends forever which in many cases they have , and they pull you right into that inner circle They make you their friend They re not necessarily the most original characters, but when I m with my own friends, or meeting someone new, I don t compare them to others, I don t find fault in similarities or unoriginality, I just see them for them And that s what these characters are to me just them.A rather subtle ending, with a call back to the beginning Such small things can be so big, while such big things can be so small Life is scary We all know it They re will always be things we wish we could run away from, forget or change But strength comes in not letting fear win In standing up and fighting back Yeah, life is scary, but it s real, and whatcould we hope for What better reason do we need to live purely for the sake of living To come out of our shells and be who we really are, to let people see us as we really are What better motivation do we need to do something a little less ordinary Disclaimer I received this book from the author This is not a sponsored review All opinions are 100% my own I really enjoyed this book Manny is not your typical heroine, and the story is not one that I could see most publishing companies going for Manny is middle aged, she doesn t have a torrid love affair, but it all works She rediscovers her passion for life, makes friends, takes big chances, and is ready to start a new chapter in her life I ve read two books by this author and loved them both. The perfect long weekend book The story s been done before but this was hilarious and not always predictable Definitely recommended relaxed reading. A Life Less Ordinary is Victoria Bernadine s debut novel about a desk bound employee who longs for adventure after not receiving a well deserved promotion Manny, the heroine, could be any woman of a certain age who suddenly discovers life has reach its summit and is barreling down the other side full speed The controlled Manny has her life timed right down to minute for all the good it does her.After eschewing a husband and family, and devoting herself to her career, her boss promotes a young A Life Less Ordinary is Victoria Bernadine s debut novel about a desk bound employee who longs for adventure after not receiving a well deserved promotion Manny, the heroine, could be any woman of a certain age who suddenly discovers life has reach its summit and is barreling down the other side full speed The controlled Manny has her life timed right down to minute for all the good it does her.After eschewing a husband and family, and devoting herself to her career, her boss promotes a young woman big on cleavage and short on experience He excuses his behavior by saying his new hire will help the department achieveignoring the fact that Manny s department is the highest achieving unit in the firm The straw that breaks Manny s will to serve is when the new hire refers to her as being ancient The words, I quit, pop out before she even considered them.Manny cashes in her savings, advertised for a male traveling companion and plans to discover herself by traveling Her friend and sister battle between wanting to discourage her or applaud her.Her companion is a closed mouthed New Zealand bloke named Zeke One of the reasons he is so reticent to say much about himself that he is using the trip as fodder for his online blog where he ridicules the foolishness of middle age women trying to find themselves It is obvious from the get go that despite movie star good looks, Zeke is horrible at relationships.The third member of this troupe is an imaginary man named Harvey He s Manny s constant companion who often offers witty comments and insights He changes outfits and attitudes with Manny s mood The three of them head out across the United States in a camper on cross purposes.A Life Less Ordinary often touches on the lives of Manny s sister, Daisy, and friend, Rebecca, who at the beginning seem to haveexcitement in their lives than she does It also delves into the infertility issues of his Zeke s producer, Leah, and her spouse I was okay with the sister and friend side stories, but the infertility story was too much It felt like filler to me, which was unneeded The story would be great with just Manny, Zeke and Harvey.A Life Less Ordinary is a fun tale that is easy to read It gives you a different view on what it means to be a middle aged woman I was little confused on what genre it was so I am calling it women s fiction becausedid I think women of a certain age will gobble this book up in one setting I would not expect anyone under thirty to get it I d also keep my eye on Ms Bernadine because this is only her first book, I can hardly wait to see what she has in store for us A Life Less Ordinary Victoria Bernadine Review from Jeannie Zelos Book reviews.I m always on the search for a contemporary romance that has that something different, something to set it out form the crowd, the thousands available on kindle Oddly over the last two weeks I ve chosen two with very similar themes, and yet published years apart Though part of the premise is similar, they play out in different ways, and I m just commenting on coincidence not making plagiarism allegations before any A Life Less Ordinary Victoria Bernadine Review from Jeannie Zelos Book reviews.I m always on the search for a contemporary romance that has that something different, something to set it out form the crowd, the thousands available on kindle Oddly over the last two weeks I ve chosen two with very similar themes, and yet published years apart Though part of the premise is similar, they play out in different ways, and I m just commenting on coincidence not making plagiarism allegations before anyone jumps to that conclusion This book features Zeke as a blog writer and the wonderful Irrepressible You by Georgina Penney has Ben doing a blog also Both are male leads, likeable men, with a cynical side to them which makes their blogs about real life quite sharply satirical, bordering on almost cruel at times and yet neither character intends harm by it, they just look at readerships stats and put any consequences to the back of their mind That s where they re similar, but in this book Zeke joins Manny on her once in a lifetime six month road trip Rose is throwing caution to the wind, after being turned down one too many times for promotion of a job she s been doing competently for ages.and on the spur of the moment she walks out, sells her home, cashes in her pension and makes plans This co coincides with Zeke s blog, disparaging older ladies, comparing them to washed up, given up has beens, which was incredibly popular and controversial His boss and wife to his best friend TJ, Leah, has seen Maddy s ad for a travelling companion and sets him up to do it, and blog about it Of course his satirical views on the sometimes innocent and naive Manny actions provoke a storm of controversy, sending the blog viral after the first couple of months But Zeke finds his view of Manny changing and keeps desperately reminding himself she s the disparaged, older lady and not the sexy, sensuous person that keeps snicking into his mind.As the story continues we learnabout the characters, their families and problems, and see how what they ve been through have shaped their ideas and influences Manny has always been the responsible one, looking after everyone and she still seems to what to take everyone and help them through their problems Manny s Misfit Toys reminds me of the kids video Island of misfit toys every time I read it Zeke always been one to walk away when things look like they aren t going to work, and as he says once he s gone that s it No looking back Then there s Manny sister Daisy and her marriage problems, her foster sister Rebecca and her problems with daughter and granddaughter, TJ and Leah s problems in starting a familyI love a book with real people and real problems, and add those to the characters Manny picks up along the way and there s a fabulous cast in this book Of course the delicious, suave, and humorous Harvey and yes I thought of the rabbit too has to have a mention His character was just perfect, he was there when Manny needed him and full of spot on advice everyone deserves a Harvey in their life Of course everything is perfect til it isn t, and poor Manny know nothing of the blog, its spiralling fast and you can just see that the sh is about to hit the fan Poor Manny had been so open and trusting, and by then Zeke s view of her had changed so much very very much but he couldn t undo the harm he d done Its a book that takes us on a journey with them, meeting new people, falling in love, sorting out families and their problems I loved it, and the way it all played out Its true how people generalise in the way Zeke did and what s funny isn t so once its related to real people, and their feelingsEveryone involved seemed to learn and grow here and the endingperfect Priced at 4.02 for 371 pages its a book that s long enough to let us really explore the characters and problems that arise ARC provided via NetgalleyStars Four and a half In her debut novel, A Life Less Ordinary, author Victoria Bernadine weaves an entertaining story of self discovery that will keep the reader in stitches Forty five year old Rose Manny Mankowski s life is stuck in a rut After working for fifteen years at the same company, Manny is passed over for a promotion that she deserved Feeling tired and worn out with her ordinary life, she s had enough Giving in to her mid life crisis, Rose quits her job, cashes in her pension, sells her house, and de In her debut novel, A Life Less Ordinary, author Victoria Bernadine weaves an entertaining story of self discovery that will keep the reader in stitches Forty five year old Rose Manny Mankowski s life is stuck in a rut After working for fifteen years at the same company, Manny is passed over for a promotion that she deserved Feeling tired and worn out with her ordinary life, she s had enough Giving in to her mid life crisis, Rose quits her job, cashes in her pension, sells her house, and decides that she is going on a six month road trip to destinations unknown that will challenge her to meet new people and try new things, get her outside of her comfort zone, help her rediscover herself, and put some spark back into her life But she doesn t want to go on the adventure alone, so she places a personal ad online for a male travelling companion who can pay his own way and share in the expenses.Ezekiel Zeke Powell is a thirty five year old freelance blogger with the e magazine What Women Want Zeke s publisher wants him to go on the road trip and document Manny s adventure on his blog along with Manny guest blogging updates on her journey Zeke thinks that Manny is a prudish, boring, and repressed middle aged woman, and that the adventure will be a non story, because he doesn t think Manny will go on the road trip, let alone be able to survive six months on the road Will the six month road trip adventure challenge Manny and Zeke to discover who they really are, and teach them that they can live a life less ordinary This was a fun story to read, it kept me entertained as I followed Manny and Zeke on their road trip What made their story evenentertaining is Manny s imaginary fantasy man Harvey, who is outspoken and engages Manny in an ongoing humorous banter Manny and Zeke s adventure turns out to be a journey of self discovery that will change both of their lives While Manny and Zeke are away, their families and friends are dealing with their own complicated life issues I found it interesting that the author would interweave the various characters individual storylines so that her novel actually turns into a story within a story that kept me on my toes.A Life Less Ordinary is a lighthearted and thoroughly entertaining story about learning to rediscover yourself and live an adventurous and less ordinary life.Disclaimer I received a copy of the book from the author publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Buy The Book Tours.http jerseygirlbookreviews.blogspot Book Review originally published here has spent the last fifteen years being a good person, and doing everything everyone asked from her She focused on her career, but when a promotion passes her by at work, she figures out she s worn nothing but dull grey for the past fifteen years, and she doesn t have a lot to look forward to in life, something snaps She quits her job, sells her house, cashes in her pension, and places an ad for a travelling co Book Review originally published here has spent the last fifteen years being a good person, and doing everything everyone asked from her She focused on her career, but when a promotion passes her by at work, she figures out she s worn nothing but dull grey for the past fifteen years, and she doesn t have a lot to look forward to in life, something snaps She quits her job, sells her house, cashes in her pension, and places an ad for a travelling companion Zeke, a cynical blogger for an e magazine, decides to join her on her travels, even if it s just to expose her true goal according to him which would be to reclaim her lost youth The two of them leave for a six month roadtrip across the country, in a quest for Manny to rediscover herself.Usually protagonists tend to be below thirty, or if they re above that age, for some reason most of them are cynical or satirical Not Manny She may be a bit bitter at the start and with good reason she quickly turns into a joyful, humorous, entertaining person Manny s fears seem all too real, and her sudden decision is pretty brave I instantly liked her for it Zeke was tougher to like, mainly because his intentions at the start weren t all that nice He wanted to use Manny and simply a character to write about.It was great to see their bond grow though, and thetime they spent together on the journey, thehe came to respect her, and found himself unable to write the hurtful things he was planning to write That just goes to show we can t judge people by their appearance, or how they act at first.There are plenty of different storylines going on, with Manny s friend and sister, Rebecca and Daisy, for instance They each have troubles of their own and things to deal with That s what I like the most about this book it talks about problems all of us will face, in form or another, sooner or later, but does so in a humorous, relaxing way.A great read with lots of humor like Manny s imaginary boyfriend, Harvey and some great life lessons thrown in along the way Manny, a 45 year old woman, finally gets to a point where she s overlooked for a promotion, again and realizes that her life seems kind of stale and she s had enough She decides to quit her career, sell her stuff and go on a 6 month tour Only she doesn t want to do it by herself So she advertises for a companion who must pay his own way and share the expenses and driving Zeke applies Zeke is 35 and he s doing it because he figures it will be great blogging for his snarky blog What Women W Manny, a 45 year old woman, finally gets to a point where she s overlooked for a promotion, again and realizes that her life seems kind of stale and she s had enough She decides to quit her career, sell her stuff and go on a 6 month tour Only she doesn t want to do it by herself So she advertises for a companion who must pay his own way and share the expenses and driving Zeke applies Zeke is 35 and he s doing it because he figures it will be great blogging for his snarky blog What Women Want Only he doesn t tell Manny this.The two, who couldn t bedifferent, head out on this adventure Manny continually challenges herself to do something new, something that is outside her comfort zone Zeke, who doesn t even think she ll start the trip, keeps trying to stuff her back into the frumpy, boring, middle aged woman he figures her for When she keeps challenging him to see her differently, he realizes he s the one who has the problem He is forced to start looking at her in a new light.While they are on this trip creating their adventure, their family and friends are back home trying to deal with the injustices that life is throwing at them.I loved this story I really liked Manny I felt for her, was rooting for her and was thrilled to see her overcome her fears Zeke, although a bit arrogant at times, was really likable Although at times I admit I wanted to knock him on the head It is a heart warming, fun, sad, adventurous journey that is really about stepping into the unknown and what you make of it I will definitely readby this author I truly enjoyed this this was a wonderfully written and fun book I laughed, cried and got angry at Zeke for some things but also at Manny for things as well.A story of self discovery even if you weren t looking for it like Zeke wasn t These two will have you in stitches The trip to Vegas was hysterical how she met everyone He was sad there I mean come on Zeke get with it Zeke did not expect to fall for Manny but as they got closer and were on the trip longer he began to see her asthan just a great blog f this was a wonderfully written and fun book I laughed, cried and got angry at Zeke for some things but also at Manny for things as well.A story of self discovery even if you weren t looking for it like Zeke wasn t These two will have you in stitches The trip to Vegas was hysterical how she met everyone He was sad there I mean come on Zeke get with it Zeke did not expect to fall for Manny but as they got closer and were on the trip longer he began to see her asthan just a great blog for readers He saw her for who she was I loved how he got jealous when the van broke down and how protective he was at the State Park So wonderful to see.And Manny as she began her journey she was mousey and unsure of herself With the help of Zeke and people she met along the way, she became such a vivacious, fun and started to be outgoing person She began to see the value of life and Zeke began to see her But these two didn t just stay in the spotlight The story had some seriousness in it Zeke s friends were going through some heartwrenching issues and the way they handle it and how Zeke is with them is wonderful Zeke confronting his past and trying to make amends with an ex was wonderful to see, it helped him close a door and get closure Manny s friends went through some big changes as well Her sister learned some very ugly things and was very graceful in how she dealt with it Her best friend saw her daughter for who she was, faced her past and embraced a future So beautiful but when those three were together especially when they joined up with Manny in LA they were a hoot It was so beautiful to see Zeke and Manny get close and discover themselves together Zeke did do something boneheaded and paid a price but Manny with her big heart saw through it eventually and they became close once again I would like to see what happens next for Zeke and Manny A truly wonderfully written and fun book that has the right mixture of fun, adventure, serious problems and lightheartedness as all find themselves and who they are