screenshot132 Kathleen Long’s first book, Chasing Rainbows , was one of my 2012 favorites.  I’m excited to review her new book, Changing Lanes now.

From the book summary:

Abby Halladay has the perfect life. Or, rather, she will…as long as everything goes exactly according to plan. Abby never leaves anything to chance—not her job as a syndicated columnist, not her engagement to her fiancé, Fred, and certainly not her impending wedding in Paris (New Jersey, that is).

Unfortunately for Abby, even the best-laid plans often go awry—like when Fred runs away to Paris (France, that is), her column is canned, and her dream home is diagnosed with termites. Forced to move back in with her parents and drive her dad’s cab, Abby’s perfect life has now officially become the perfect disaster. 

Then a funny thing happens. Slowly but surely, Abby begins letting go of her dreams of perfection. As she does, the messy, imperfect life she thought she never wanted starts to feel exactly like the one she needs. 

Poignant and heartfelt, Changing Lanes celebrates the unexpected joys of everyday life—and the enduring promise of second chances.

The elements of Chasing Rainbows that I loved are back in Changing Lanes.  A character forced to re-evaluate her life.  A likable heroine who begins to find herself.  You know that little thrill you get, sometimes, when you read? That one where you kind of wish you had the guts to do what the main character is doing? I got that little thrill here.  Wouldn’t it be great if we all had the courage to live the life that’s just right for us?  Of course, sometimes it takes a lot of  challenges for us to see that just right life is, and we don’t always have those things thrown in our path.  But still, if we had the chance to do what feels completely right to us? That’s what reading Long’s books does for me, why they hook me in.

But it’s not just Abby finding her perfect life in this book- that journey is woven through a number of subplots and characters. The challenges these characters face, the secrets they keep, only add to the intrigue of the story and the authenticity of the relationships. We all keep some secrets, for reasons right or wrong.  In Changing Lanes, they add a deeper context to the story.

Fans of women’s fiction should take a look at Kathleen Long’s books. There’s a depth to her characters and stories that isn’t seen in all chick lit books, and I really appreciate that.

Happy Reading!