Book Review: This Is How It Always Is {Laurie Frankel}

Happy Friday!

If you are reading this that means that I haven’t actually frozen into a block of ice by this point.  Silver lining, right?

It’s. So. Cold.

Breathtakingly beautiful outside?  Absolutely.  Ridiculously unbelievably freezing outside?  You betcha.

I just walked in the door from driving my daughter to school (I was not about to let her wait at a bus stop this morning) and the thermometer in my car was reading in the negative numbers.  Holy hell.

I posted this photo on Instagram yesterday and titled it “My Favorite Summer Reading Spot”.  It’s funny and yet heartbreakingly sad all at the same time.

Stay warm, local friends.  It’s insane out there.

One great thing about spending time inside when it’s too cold to leave is the opportunity to read a well written book!  Unfortunately, the book that I reviewed for you today is not well written.  I would encourage you to browse through past blog posts to find book recommendations because I definitely would NOT recommend the following book…


Synopsis from Goodreads:

This is how a family keeps a secret…and how that secret ends up keeping them.

This is how a family lives happily ever after…until happily ever after becomes complicated.

This is how children change…and then change the world.

This is Claude. He’s five years old, the youngest of five brothers, and loves peanut butter sandwiches. He also loves wearing a dress, and dreams of being a princess.

When he grows up, Claude says, he wants to be a girl.

Rosie and Penn want Claude to be whoever Claude wants to be. They’re just not sure they’re ready to share that with the world. Soon the entire family is keeping Claude’s secret. Until one day it explodes.

This Is How It Always Is is a novel about revelations, transformations, fairy tales, and family. And it’s about the ways this is how it always is: Change is always hard and miraculous and hard again, parenting is always a leap into the unknown with crossed fingers and full hearts, children grow but not always according to plan. And families with secrets don’t get to keep them forever.

My Thoughts:

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

2 Stars

I know I’m in the minority here but I really didn’t like this book.  I SO BADLY wanted to!  I was very excited to read it because I heard such great things.

The actual story was beautiful and the message behind it was important.  However, the characters were underdeveloped and the writing was…painfully long.

There were certain moments that were well written and others that felt like they were never going to end.  Ever.  This book took entirely too much time for me to finish because honestly, I was so incredibly bored through so much of it.

I wanted MORE out of the writing.  I wanted the author to dig deeper into this intricate story and these characters. I wanted her to develop these characters on an entirely different (deeper) level. So much of this book was just “surface writing” on a topic which truthfully deserves so much more than that.

Bottom Line:

This book had all of the potential to be wonderful.  It wasn’t.

Did you read this book?  What did you think?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

It would really help me if you could follow/subscribe to my blog.  Also, please “like” my Facebook page ,  follow me on Twitter, and follow me on Instagram!

Local friends, I run a storytime every Tuesday and Friday at Whimsy Cafe in Buffalo Grove, Illinois from 10:00-10:45! Bring your kids (6 months-5 years) for stories, songs, and lots of fun. Price is included in your child’s admission, no need to sign up. If you are a blog reader, please be sure to introduce yourself!  I can’t wait to meet you and your little ones. 🙂

Click the image below to order the book through my Amazon affiliate link.  When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo

9 thoughts on “Book Review: This Is How It Always Is {Laurie Frankel}

    1. It’s not always easy to share an unpopular opinion in such a public way…but staying true to myself and my opinions is very important to me both online and in real life 🙂 Thank you so much for leaving this comment!


  1. Honesty is always great! I recently read this book and I enjoyed it. I wouldn’t rate it 5 stars but it kept me interested and I really liked it. 4 stars!


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