19/08/2013

Book Review: In Need Of Therapy by Tracie Banister.

Blurb: Lending a sympathetic ear and dispensing sage words of advice is all part of the job for psychologist Pilar Alvarez, and she’s everything a good therapist should be: warm, compassionate, supportive. She listens, she cares, and she has all the answers, but how’s the woman everyone turns to in their hour of need supposed to cope when her own life starts to fall apart?

While working hard to make a success of her recently-opened practice in trendy South Beach, Pilar must also find time to cater to the demands of her boisterous Cuban family, which includes younger sister Izzy, an unemployed, navel-pierced wild child who can't stay out of trouble, and their mother, a beauty queen turned drama queen who’s equally obsessed with her fading looks and getting Pilar married before it’s “too late.” Although she’d like to oblige her mother and make a permanent love connection, Pilar’s romantic prospects look grim. Her cheating ex, who swears that he’s reformed, is stalking her. A hunky, but strictly off-limits, patient with bad-boy appeal and intimacy issues is making passes. And the sexy shrink in the suite across the hall has a gold band on his left ring finger.

When a series of personal and professional disasters lead Pilar into the arms of one of her unsuitable suitors, she's left shaken, confused, and full of self-doubt. With time running out, she must make sense of her feelings and learn to trust herself again so that she can save her business, her family, and most importantly, her heart.

....Can never go wrong with a book on therapy sessions for the therapist.

Two consecutive books, I have had to review a book about the lead undergoing some therapy. Either administering it or being on the receiving end. It's my first time of such reviewing coincidence bloggers experience not everyday. And it makes things so easier when you enjoyed the previous title.

This book was chicklit I haven't experienced before. A bit surprised the lead was Latina. So scared she might be too feisty (you know these Latinas) for this number. But I found this Pilar an interesting character to read about-and oh so easy to fall for.

I was picturing this book as Jane Sigalof's Confessions Of An Agony Aunt in the making, from the blurb. But I had to admit, I had fun reading this book than I did the former which I had to put down for over year and pick up when I landed the boring job after high-school (No kidding. And it was another book I had stolen from a friend.)

So Pilar, a psychoanalyst, who's just began her practice and is in dire need of making a name for herself, has to deal with distraction in the form of irresistible men. At least majority are irresistible. She's among three sisters with an overbearing mother who doesn't look a day past fifty (but is in fact more than 365 days past the age).

She has to deal with her mother who's frequent rants over phone are primarily to get her to ditch her career-driven attitude and get married to a man as rich as her dad. Honoring the mum, Worst Matchmaker Of The Year award, she constantly sets Pilar on the most horrible dates (once with a too short and bulky guy who spent the time chatting calories and giving away healthy-living tips complete with workout routines and a strict advice to go on a diet from anything white. A rather informative date, I have to admit.). There's also Sara, the fashion designer friend who introduces Pilar to the guy who'd turn up as her second most horrible date.

Just when Pilar is having enough problems with her ex Victor [who I found irritating and wouldn't ever disappear with his equally bugging grandiose gestures (reminding me I will never have that much to make the proposal of my dreams with a skywriter and all) and his cheating stunts with LEIGHTON MEESTER (I hate the lucky dude)!!], dealing with the spoilt brat of her sister who is a roomie and has a fascination for bad boys on either side of law (the offender and the defender), a super-hot patient with the whole ragged looks going on for him professes his undying love for her-a shocker because he is being treated for man-whoriness and commitment issues.

Meanwhile, there's the good-looking guy she shares an office hallway with being sweet and caring. And married. Or so Pilar thinks seeing the big gold band on his finger. The two have very platonic lunch dates (Yeah, Banister makes us believe there's such), and though Pilar has the hots for this guy who has a son and might have the highest rating on Cosmo's stud meter (unlike me) she's mindful of a housewife that might get scorned. Or rather, an OR nurse (from son's info) who might hand out unsterilized instruments to the surgeon.

But when Izzy goes to Jail, and her mum keeps up with her threats of cardiac arrest if she doesn't get married, and Sara is losing her creative edge, and she finds out one of her patient is a phoney, and Victor wouldn't just leave, and another teenage patient isn't quitting her request for a boob job, and she receives her rent billing that might send her practice under, and-against all her morals-shares a kiss with the daddy stud, her world crumbles as she loses control of what she formally thought she had a grip on-her personal and professional life. But the excitement doesn't end there. There's a fashion show where Pilar gets to show off her Latina curves in a swimsuit. More than sweet!

I loved that this book was set in South Beach. A very huge Fan of Vanessa Williams and the show myself, I could picture the luxurious clubs, bars and restaurants Tracie Banister took us through. My personal fav, Victor's choices of restaurants-good food with sexually inspired surroundings. The beachy, fast-paced and trendy setting made this book exciting.

I took a personal interest in the sessions of different patients with hilarious diagnoses. My all-time patient I always looked forward to her next session had to be the Lori, the patient with too-clingy issues who commences the first chapter winning a lot of laughs from me.

Drawing nearer to the (dreaded) end, you still don't know who Mr. Right might be and you keep guessing till it gets obvious at a point with you exclaiming "Gee, how come I never figured it out?"

There are lots of OMG moments in this chicklit number, most are hilarious.</p>

It was fun knowing all that happened to the patients who were making a progress in their respective treatments towards the end. Some ended up with the wrong characters in a white wedding and others did pretty well.

This book deserves a....

five-star rating.

Tracie Banister's In Need Of Therapy is available at Amazon in both paperback and kindle format.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who is having a hard time packing for a beach vacation or anyone being bored staying indoors and stuck with a boring job (like mine). Or you could just pick it if you are the genre's fan.

But please, please, please. You are not to take too much of Pilar's advice. For a therapist taking her boyfriend to a wedding was a pretty unsmart move. But all fears are put aside discovering they were opting for the traditional vows themselves.

My work not done here. Off to post my review on Goodreads.

4 comments:

  1. I've just bought my copy and can't wait to start reading this book.

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  2. Thank you so much for this wonderful review, Kobby. It made me chuckle. I'm so pleased that you enjoyed the book.

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  3. Thanks you all! It's a long time I saw two comments on a post around here.

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  4. I loved In Need of Therapy! This is a fantastic review. Equally as amazing is Tracie's debut novel, Blame It on the Fame. She is an incredible writer!

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