ARC Review: Mani-Pedi STAT: Memoirs of a Jersey Girl Who Almost Lost Everything

Mani-Pedi STAT: Memoirs of a Jersey Girl Who Almost Lost Everything
Mani-Pedi STAT: Memoirs of a Jersey Girl Who Almost Lost Everything by Deb Ebenstein
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Release date: October 14, 2014

Mani-Pedi STAT chronicles Deb Ebenstein’s two bouts with cancer, and a rare blood disorder, between the ages of 16 and 33. Navigating cancer treatments while continuing to balance real life and then returning to a world she doesn’t quite recognize anymore, her story is told through the eyes of a bright-eyed Jersey girl who loves boys, sports, fashion, and ultimately a family of her own.

Deb discovers that at the very worst of times—when her body is bloated and her future is uncertain and bleak—that the generosity of girlfriends, family, and a good mani-pedi can lift the spirits and help her thrive and survive. Mani-Pedi STAT is for survivors, friends of survivors, and memoir lovers alike. It will bring patienthood to life in ways that make you laugh and cry at the same time, and along the way you might learn a thing or two for your next trip to the doctor’s office.

Mani-Pedi STAT is a story about survival, moving on with life and fighting for what you want, and while it sends a powerful message, it unfortunately couldn’t hold my interest. Even though the story was pretty interesting, and I went into it thinking it was a work of fiction (the ‘memoir’ should have clued me in but I kinda overlooked it), so while the plot was good, it felt more like an essay than a story. Most of the story was lost in retrospective thoughts, and the actual plot featured a roughly 30-40% of the book. Personally, I prefer a plot-heavy book, or at least a character-specific development, but it failed on both accounts for me. It also reminded me why I don’t go for non-fiction books. Also, the story was too focused on the medical conditions than the person itself – I felt like a particularly dry episode of a medical drama was going on. The writing was at blame, in my opinion, and even for the voice was unsuitable for the younger arc of the character. Just not my kind of book, and I was tempted to just skim through it.

Received an ARC from Rare Bird Books via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinions or review.

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