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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Book Review & Guest Post: Next Year I'll Be Perfect by Laura Kilmartin

Laura Kilmartin is now on tour with CLP Blog Tour with her book, Next Year I'll Be Perfect. Please visit Rachel Schurig's tour page on CLP Blog Tours for more blog stop.

Next Year I'll Be Perfect
by Laura Kilmartin

Genre: Chick Lit
Publication: September 25th 2012
Format: Kindle Edition, 216 pages
Author:  Website, Facebook, Twitter
Sarah always thought her life was on track, that is until her 29th birthday party. The discovery of a list her younger self put together outlining what she wanted to achieve by the age of 30 turns Sarah’s world upside down. Suddenly her seemingly happy life and career look lackluster and Sarah sets off on a journey to transform her life. On her quest to achieve perfection one month at a time – a happy marriage, partnership in a law firm and being able to fit in a size six purple suede miniskirt – Sarah learns to challenge society’s ideals of achievement. Filled with harsh reality, humor, and romance, Next Year I’ll Be Perfect explores what true happiness and success is all about.

I received a copy of Next Year I'll Be Perfectby Laura Kilmartin from CLP Blog Tour as part of the blog tour.

Next Year I'll Be Perfect began with Sarah’s 29th birthday. Livvie, her friend gave her a list of goals on her birthday. It was a list of things Sarah wish to achieve before she turn 30 which she made on her 25th birthday resulting from too much drinks. Now Sarah had only one year before she turned 30 to accomplish her goals.

The book was written in Sarah's voice and I really like her voice and character. I love following Sarah's journey to achieve things she wrote on her list before she turned 30 and the transformation she goes throughout the story. It was realistic. Kinda like something that anyone of us could have experience. Next Year I'll Be Perfect was a light, easy read with a great flow and a touch of humor. It started out a bit slow in my opinion. But the more I read it, the more I wanted to learn about Sarah and whatever will happen to her. Definitely a page turner!
Guest Post by Laura Kilmartin
(On characterization and situation that both the author and the character, Sarah Bennett, shared. )

Write what you know.

Isn’t that the saying?

Well, when it comes to Sarah Bennett, the main character of my novel, Next Year I'll be Perfect, I know her pretty well because she and I share a lot of the same characteristics, likes and dislikes. Don’t get me wrong –much of her background and all of the situations she finds herself in are entirely fictional, but there is enough Laura in Sarah that even my own friends give me a second glance wondering what is real and what is not.

Let’s start first with the not. Unlike Sarah, I am incredibly blessed to report that my nuclear family of father, mother and sister are all alive, well, living within a 5 mile radius of me and fairly pleased not to find their counterparts in my book. Also, while Sarah and I are both attorneys, I don’t work in a law firm. I tried it, but found it wasn’t a good fit for me while Sarah wants nothing more than to hit the highest level of law firm success by being named partner.

Also, while I share Sarah’s good fortune at having a close-knit group of friends and family who support me in all of my crazy endeavors, each and every character in my novel is fictional and not based on anybody in my own life. So, where do the similarities between Sarah and I begin?

First, we both know what it’s like to live in Portland, Maine. I recently wrote my own blog article explaining why I set my novel in Portland, and in a nutshell it is the perfect location for both me and my fictional counterpart. It is not too big, not too small and has an abundance of culture, nature, history and really good food. Readers who live near Portland will immediately recognize Sarah’s favorite bar “The Grizzly Beer” as my own favorite, “The Great Lost Bear.”

As I mentioned above, Sarah and I are also both attorneys. While our careers took different paths, I still share a close bond with my law school friends just as Sarah shares one with her best friend Olivia. There is something about surviving the law school experience that forges friendships for life. Also, you can take the girl out of the law school, but… Even though I choose not to practice in a firm, I share Sarah’s love of dusty old law books and legal puzzles.

Another characteristic Sarah and I share is the fact we’re both single and still looking. While none of Sarah’s specific dating adventures happened to me, I have had enough of my own to be able to paint a fairly realistic picture of single life. I’ve been to a speed dating event; have ignored the awkward feeling when a male friend wants a relationship and I don’t; and I’ve felt my heart pitter-patter when the absolute wrong guy walks into the room.

Finally, Sarah and I share a love for TV, movies and all other sorts of pop culture. There were a few points in the novel where I found myself unable to describe a situation without referencing The Brady Bunch or Little House on the Prairie. After dithering for a little while, I decided to just go for it. After all, I think more people understand these reference than don’t: Nick at Nite is a common cultural lexicon.

So, while Sarah and I share a number of characteristics, I think her appeal is actually more universal. She is a woman who is trying to attain all of the traditional milestones of success, aided by the love of her friends and family and thwarted by her own issues with self-esteem and belief she can have it all if she only works a little harder. What woman can’t relate to that?

Author Bio

Next Year I’ll be Perfect is Laura Kilmartin’s first novel. She previously published four essays in Write for the Fight: A Collection of Seasonal Essays. All author royalties from that collection have been donated to breast cancer charities.

Laura is an attorney who lives and works in her native Southern Maine. A pop culture savant, she loves to read, write, travel and collect DVDs of cancelled TV shows in her spare time. Please visit Laura’s blog at or follow her (@LauraCKilmartin) on Twitter.

Buy the book!
Amazon Paperback, Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble

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