Book Review: You’ve Been Volunteered by Laurie Gelman

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Publish Date: July 23, 2019

“I’m sorry, but sometimes the cup is half empty and there is no other way of looking at it.”You’ve Been Volunteered

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If you’ve ever been a room parent or school volunteer, Jen Dixon is your hero. She says what every class mom is really thinking, whether in her notoriously frank emails or standup-worthy interactions with the micromanaging PTA President and the gamut of difficult parents. Luckily, she has the charm and wit to get away with it—most of the time. Jen is sassier than ever but dealing with a whole new set of challenges, in the world of parental politics and at home.

She’s been roped into room-parenting yet again, for her son Max’s third grade class, but as her husband buries himself in work, her older daughters navigate adulthood, and Jen’s own aging parents start to need some parenting themselves, Jen gets pulled in more directions than any one mom, or superhero, can handle.

Refreshingly down-to-earth and brimming with warmth, Dixon’s next chapter will keep you turning the pages to find out what’s really going on under the veneer of polite parent interactions, and have you laughing along with her the whole way.

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This book should have been titled “You’ve been Voluntold“!

I absolutely adored Laurie Gelman’s first book, Class Moms (here is my review) and I ‘m over the moon to be reviewing the sequel to this hilarious book. This second book is even funnier than the first one and I enjoyed it even more than Class Moms.

Jen Dixon is back in You’ve Been Volunteered and she’s sassier and snarkier than ever. She continues her role as the unconventional room parent for Max’s third grade class. She says and does things that I wish that I had the balls to do during my 12 year stint as a room parent. Jen is my hero!

Jen takes on even more work when she is “voluntold” by the new PTA president to be the crossing guard coordinator AKA Security Patrol. Not only is she bossing around Max’s class parents, she’s now drunk with power over the entire 5th grade. And you would not believe some of the things that she says in her emails to get parents to do things for her. I want that superpower!

This sequel is a continuation of Jen’s story but it’s new, fresh, and different, and that’s what makes it so good. We know to expect tons of laughs and hilarity, but Jen continues to grow and evolve in this story as much as the first. Jen has plenty of entertaining situations with school, but this book also focuses on another major element of her world: Jen’s family members. I enjoyed getting to know them through Jen’s eyes.

Here are my favorite quotes:

“Participation usually take a big nosedive in third grade. Parents just aren’t as excited as they were in the cute years, and really, who can blame them?”

“You don’t end up with two kids in three years from two different guys without seeing a few bedsheets.”

“It’s so annoying when your kids inhert your worst character traits.”

“My doctor told me to start eating from a bread plate instead of a dinner plate to manage my portions, and to stop drinking wine. He’s no longer my doctor.”

It’s challenging to write a sequel, but Laurie Gelman knocks this one out of the park and I loved it. What I wanted from this book is to feel the way that Class Moms made me feel, and I definitely got it. The good news is that you don’t have to read the first book to dive into this one. It’s laugh-out-loud funny as a standalone.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars 4 Stars

Note: I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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