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Writing has always been a passion of mine. Back in elementary, for fun my friends and I would gather around and write stories together--everything from twin girls solving mysteries to a horror involving vampire badgers living in the coulee behind my house.
I like to look back at all my stories and see how my writing has grown. How they progressed from super-sucking to maybe not sucking as bad. Life of the Party is the only novel I've ever truly finished. I published it in 2010, which was six years ago, and I'm not cool like Harper Lee so I should probably get on my next one. Three kids and a full time job later, I hope you can understand the delay. As an act of faith I named my website christineandersonbooks--and I really hope that one day that plural makes sense.
I want to thank everyone for all the awesome reviews (and the critical ones too...because now I know that Puffs with lotion is the softest kleenex...) But honestly, I can't tell you how encouraging it is, as a first time author, to hear that someone really and truly enjoyed your book. It's the greatest compliment an author can receive.
For all the fans who've written me looking for more, thank you for your interest. And your patience. I can't make any promises, but I am writing, and you'll be the first to know when its finished.
on May 26, 2013 :
Forgot the 5 stars...:)
(reviewed 39 days after purchase)
on May 26, 2013 :
This is by far the best book I have EVER read. It was written so well that you feel as though you are there, living this intimate life with them, and are blinded by the same emotion. I was emotionally charged an trying to pull myself out of my mind and into reality while trying to explain to my family that I was in the middle of a literary crisis. It gave me the lust feeling of "50 shades of Grey" captivated me like "the Hunger games" and made me hope for better like "a million little pieces". It was so intimate, raw, and real that I actually feel like I was there and hurt with the characters. I have also never wanted a cigarette so badly in my life while reading it. I wish I was a fraction of the writer Christine is to give this book the well written review it deserves. It is excellent!!!
(reviewed 39 days after purchase)
on Jan. 01, 2013 :
This is such an amazing beautiful heartbreaking story that I would highly recommend to anyone looking for a deep and dark read. I asked the author if I could review this book and she gave me a copy and I am so glad I read as soon as I received it. For my full review please see http://lisatannler.com/
(reviewed 3 days after purchase)
on Dec. 25, 2012 :
WOW! JUST WOW!!! This book was not an easy read. It gives you an in-depth look into the life of an addict. How that life can quickly and painfully spiral out of control. Even though this story is heartbreaking, it is also inspirational. There is always hope if we are willing to acknowledge we need help and willing to receive it. God is always there even in our darkest moments. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is dealing with addiction in their own life or have family members that are.
(reviewed 54 days after purchase)
on Nov. 09, 2012 :
Note: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
I thought I would like this book with all of the other fab reviews. I was also intrigued by the summary description but it just wasn't for me. The cover just did nothing for me.
Mackenzie got to me right away, she seemed extremely spoiled and self absorbed. She never got better for me through the whole entire story, I just really didn't like her. Grey seemed horrible, I didn't get the appeal at all. I do have to say that the interaction between the characters was great. Riley was my favorite character out of all of them. He seemed to be the most sincere and most humane, always protecting and trying to do the right thing.
Overall the story was well written even though I had a hard time finishing it to the end.
(reviewed 35 days after purchase)
on Nov. 01, 2012 :
Life of the Party is one of those books. You know the type…it makes you think, and I mean really think; it sticks with you long after you have finished because you have become invested in the characters; it makes you cry. I hate it when books make me cry.
Mac and Riley are best friends. Their favorite pastime is to get drunk and high. Hey, they're young, why not? Everything is great until Riley decided he needs to get clean. Mac, feeling abandoned by her best friend, delves deeper into the world of drugs, trying to forget Riley and everything that is wrong with her life.
I loved, loved, loved the characters in this book (which I guess is why I felt so much for them that I was bawling my eyes out by the end). The author let us get into Mac's head and really enjoy being there. Mac, though young and stupid and obviously making mistake after mistake, was real. She had real problems and real choices and real feelings. And Grey…I so love Grey. It is obvious from the way he treats her that he loves Mac, but he is young and free and has the world ahead of him, so of course he makes mistakes, too. When he realizes, however, that things have gone too far he does the only thing he can think of to fix it, even if it is the wrong thing. We do not see much of Riley for most of the story and mostly get to know him through Mac's feelings and memories of him. Though Mac feels he abandoned her, he had always been there just waiting for the right time.
I think the thing I really loved about this story was about how realistic it is. From Mac's mom and dad (just ignore the problem, it will go away) to her sister and Mac's feelings of inferiority around her (which I can relate to having two perfect older sisters myself) to the drug use. The author did an exceptional job (in my humble opinion) of detailing and describing Mac's drug use and feelings. I did find myself thinking a few times, can someone really use that much cocaine and still be alive/walking/standing/coherent? But, I have absolutely no first-hand knowledge of the subject so it could be true. Even if it's not accurate, the author did a great job faking it and making me believe it was real.
I sincerely hope this author writes more books in the future. I loved everything about this story from the characters to the story to the writing style. She is an amazing storyteller and I thank her for sharing her story with us.
(reviewed 47 days after purchase)
on Oct. 11, 2012 :
Heartwrenching book...a must read!
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
on Sep. 15, 2012 :
A Powerful, Tragic, Emotionally Driven Read!!!
This was an amazing read but I think this book has left me traumatized! And not in a bad, “oh my, I need to take a valium and forget the world” kind of way, but in a “I will never forget Mac’s story no matter how much time passes!” way.
This story follows Mackenzie’s slow and painful progression into drug addiction. Along the way she loses friends, family and even a sense of life itself as she skids down the path of destruction in a blind, euphoric, drug induced haze. The author does an incredible job of telling this disturbing story, from her vivid descriptions and powerful storytelling, you get lost in the miasma right alongside Mac and Grey, leaving you shuttering as if you yourself were the addict. I was trapped in this harrowing tale, possessed to get to the end because I had to know how it ended. The writing was flawless, the story was gut wrenching and riveting all at the same time and the characters were compelling!
Im not a cryer. I might feel the pain and live it while Im entranced in a book but I don’t shed tears over it. Well, not until this one. I literally broke down twice during this read. Mac’s loss of relationships with both Riley and later Grey left me reeling through this emotional tragedy. But the downward spiral doesn’t end there. Just when you think Mac’s life can’t sink any lower, the author pulls both the reader and Mac into the depths of despair and I felt like I was drowning right alongside Mac. It proved to be too much for me and I think that credit needs to be voiced to the author. Well done!!!
So why not 5 stars if the book was so great….
And then…. BAM! The last few chapters…A complete 180 in story telling. The author takes this intense and emotionally charged story to a new level, introducing a heavily laid religious message. Riley has found God and he’s showing Mac the way. I have no problem with religious stories. I have no problem with religion of any kind. I have my faith and to each their own. But the last few chapters were riddled with in-your-face scripture passages, religious undertones and preaching. I can see why the ending wouldn’t appeal to all readers. It didn’t really deter me from the book, but it did get a bit preachy and I felt it took me away from the path of where the story originally was coming from.
Also, I was disappointed with the Epilogue. I felt it was the author’s way of cementing the sermon to the reader through Mac’s voice. That would have been fine if I had also gotten a glimpse into what Mac’s future looked like. There was nothing in the Epilogue of what happened between the characters, where they ended up or how life turned out for them. The message of faith and hope was great but I would have loved to have seen Mac, Riley and maybe the others living that faith and hope message. I guess you’re left to draw your own conclusions and have faith that Mac kept up with her sobriety and accomplished the goals she set for herself in life. Im just not a big fan of open ended endings that aren’t a part of a series.
The Wrap Up:
This was an amazing book, no question. Mackenzie’s story was spellbinding and wonderfully written. Though this book was longer than most YA books, it kept a constant pace and never left me bored. I would definitely recommend it to others and especially to those looking for a message of faith concurring hopelessness.
NOTE: I read this as a R2R with The Nexus! at Goodreads. As always, a special thank you to the mods and author for allowing me to participate.
(reviewed 24 days after purchase)
on Sep. 14, 2012 :
I received this book for free from The Nexus ARR (Authors Requesting Reviews) program in exchange for a free review.
Wow. I almost gave it 5♥'s, but there were times in the middle that dragged a little for me. I found myself rooting for Mac to finally hit her rock bottom (I was getting sick of her being the life of the party.) I nearly reached a point of just wanting to smack her and physically prevent her from her downward spiral and just hurry up and get it over with. But then she reach that low point... once that happened I was an absolute mess. Bawling my eyes out, wanting to say, "No, not like this! Not like this!"
It's an emotional roller coaster that reveals the dark road of many forms of addiction. It really touched me and will stay with me for a long time. Light and fluffy, this is not. It's a long, dark path filled with (Not-so-much)Sex, Drugs, and Rock-N-Roll. I appreciated the 90's references and how they really struck a cord with how my life was in high school. I'm not sure if it was my past, or just the story itself that caused it to really strike a nerve within me. To give you an idea, it's almost like the book Beautiful Disaster meets the movie Trainspotting. And I have to admit I hate, nay loathe, that movie. This book was gut wrenching, pull your heart out, eyes spill with tears, and throat burn pilgrimage.
The characters seemed well rounded enough to suck me in and touch my heart. Grey... oh, Grey. Oh, to be young again- young and free to make the stupidest life choices. I can remember some of my own, teenage thoughts mirroring Mac's. You have to see that dark to appreciate the light at the end of the tunnel.
The ending... I can see it being the point of making or breaking the story for some. It was OK... but I really wish the epilogue had been about Mac's future. Specifics about the future. I know in life there are not guarantees, but in my books I'd really like to know after Mac's journey... that there was not just hope and faith, that she finally did reach and stick with her goals. I was left with an overall impression that she was, but would have loved to hear about it, rather than what the epilogue contained. That was also part of 4 rather than a 5 star rating. This is a slice of life that is more than worth the read but should not be taken casually.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
on July 29, 2012 :
When I first started reading Life of the Party, by Christine Anderson, my first thought was: oh no, another book about sex, drugs and rock & roll. I couldn’t relate to the protagonist because that just wasn’t my scene in high-school. It took a little while for the story to grab my attention, but once it did – I became hooked.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)