• The Bossy Bookworm

Review of Let's Not Do That Again by Grand Ginder

Much of Ginder's novel is focused on a revenge fantasy, but I was drawn more to Nancy Harrison's strong personality and political aspirations and her son Nick's coming into his own, and I wished for more page time spent with each of them.

Nancy Harrison is running for Senate, and she’s going to win. She’s kissed all the babies and passed all the right legislation and said all the right things. There’s just one potential problem: her grown children. When she wakes up to headlines about the kids’ antics instead of her own political promise, all hell breaks loose.

The cover design and title of Let's Not Do That Again felt playful and potentially campy, but I had trouble locking into the story's tone, which wavers into extended dark, vindictive revenge fantasies--even as the reader suspects that the inspiration for the anger behind all of this is misguided.

Let's Not Do That Again is largely focused on Nancy's daughter Greta's self-obsessed, revengeful, immature, naïve escapades and her willful, careless ignorance of the potentially grave, widespread consequences of her actions--and those of the dangerous, vapid, insufferable people with whom she surrounds herself. This was frustrating to dig into so extensively.

Whereas Greta is an unsympathetic, aggressive, and misled character, her brother Nick is unfailingly loyal, vulnerable, smart, funny, and loving--and the Nick storyline is sweet and offers hope. I found myself wishing for more page time spent with Nancy and her political life and for more family drama in which the characters interacted directly with one another.

The last quarter of Let's Not Do That Again felt like the strongest of the book for me. The tone was constant, and Ginder offers over-the-top camp with heart and complexity. The feeling in this section reminded me somewhat of of The Unsinkable Greta James, with additional depth.

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Grant Ginder is also the author of The People We Hate at the Wedding.

I received an advance electronic copy of this book, published April 5, courtesy of NetGalley and Henry Holt & Company.