Book Review: You’ll Be Fine by Jen Michalski

Release Date: Aug 2, 2021
Publisher: NineStar Press

Michalski’s own words fairly accurately describe what to expect when you read ‘You’ll Be Fine.’

"Those kind of endings…make great magazine articles, but are not real life. Real life keeps going, with slow pacing, unresolved conflicts, and confusion."

You know when the first introduction to the main characters involve a mother abandoning her teenage daughter in the parking lot of a theme park, the story is promising to deliver a messy punch to the gut.

Years later, Alex has made something of her life. She writes for a Washington DC magazine and has an expensive apartment. What she doesn’t have, is a therapist to help her cope with the news of her mother passing away.

Alex has worked extremely hard to escape her home town and keep a reasonable distance from her mother and younger brother, Owen. Now she must return to take care of her mother’s estate and confront the painful memories of her childhood.

This book has an endearing cast of characters. Carolyn is a sensible local newspaper editor in her hometown and helps Alex with an article she volunteered to write to keep her mind busy. Also, maybe Alex also wanted to do the article because she would be interviewing her secret ex high school girlfriend, Juliette. Is she looking for closure? A second chance? Alex likely isn’t ready for anything romantic since her girlfriend left her only 6 months prior. And her mother just died. But her flamboyant aunt Johanna, who was very close to Alex’s mother, pays a visit to provide some familial support and surprise.

Layers upon layers of memories, feelings, grievances, and grudges, create the angsty backdrop for this family drama. But the sarcastic inner musings of Alex provides comic relief that creates enough balance to keep this story entertaining and engaging without tipping over into overwrought territory.

Quite simply: I fell in love with this story.

I got wrapped up in the situations and drama of it all. I didn’t want to put the book down. Alex’s past was revealed through timely placed memories that took hold of my heart and made me desperately hope that she would find resolution, peace and happiness.

I recommend this to people who love to read about complicated families, facing your past, reconnecting with old flames, mending relationships, overcoming adversity, and Mutant Ninja Turtles.

I received an ARC from NineStar Press for an honest review.

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