The Bright Side of Disaster
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The Bright Side of Disaster

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  2,085 ratings  ·  371 reviews
“Offers credible descriptions of first-time motherhood, affecting characters and situations and low-key charm.”–Kirkus Reviews

“Stellar . . . Center paints an accurate and humorous view of motherhood.”–Booklist

Jenny Harris always expected that she’d fall in love, get married, and have a baby–in that order. Now, very pregnant and not quite married, she actually doesn’t mind...more
ebook, 0 pages
Published June 26th 2007 by Ballantine Books (first published June 26th 2006)
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I read this in one sitting...couldn't put it down. While the story isn't new to the world of literature (girl's world falls apart, girl picks herself up, girl finds love again), Center does it justice. Her writing made me care for the main character enough that I didn't care if the laundry got done or if I even left my chair.
Busy planning a wedding to her rock-star-dreaming boyfriend, Dean, Jenny Harris wasn’t quite prepared for a little surprise headed the couple’s way: a baby. Just months from their wedding day, Jenny’s pregnancy has thrown everyone for a loop . . . especially her fiance. When Dean begins acting strangely and then announces his departure, Jenny must pull herself “up by her bootstraps,” as her father would tell her, and prepare for the arrival of a little one. Even if she’s doing it alone.

Rebecca Sanders
Really, really enjoyed. "The Bright Side of Disaster" was, for me, like going to someone's house for dinner. It's exciting. You don't have to do any of the hard work. You eat a fantastic meal. Granted, it's food that you've had before. But it's still really good. You might get a piece of meat in your teeth. Or maybe a corn kernel. It's a little irritating in some parts, but not nearly enough to ruin the whole meal. And you are thoroughly satisfied afterward. Especially later, on the drive home,...more
Cute chick lit about a girl whose fiance leaves her the day before she gives birth to their baby. It was fun and a super fast read, although predictable as chick lit tends to be (but I almost think that's a requirement... this book could not have satisfactorily ended any other way). I liked the main character's relationship with each of her parents, though I found her relationship with her friends rather flat and sort of pointless. I did really enjoy this book, though, and I think it's better th...more
Katherine Center's debut novel is a charmer. It's a story about single motherhood, bad boyfriends, family and friendship and finding love unexpectedly. It brought back, vividly, those new mother feelings that I had and I related easily to Jenny's initial terror, the late night feedings and lack of sleep. Yes, some might consider this "mommy chick-lit", but it's more than that. And you don't have to be a mother to enjoy it. I had a great time reading this warm, sweet and funny novel and look forw...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This was a such a cute book!!! I found myself rooting for the main character throughout the whole story. Definitely shows that even if your life doesn't turn out exactly how you planned it, in the end it could be better than you ever imagined it!
Light, pleasant, all problems resolved neatly, and some great lines about parenting an infant:

"She did not sound at all like a capsized person in a stormy sea of sleep deprivation and lactation hormones."
My rating: R. Too many "F" words. Needless to say, I didn't finish this book. It makes me kind of sad because the author has a unique writing style and she's very witty.
Entertaining and easy read, albeit frustrating at times due to the heroine's dumbo decision making. Light, easy summer book, not gaining any brain cells here.
Nov 02, 2008 Wendy rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: women who think Harlequin novels are the height of literary achievement.
Recommended to Wendy by: no one.
Predictable, and not even a GOOD predictable. Perfect fodder for a Lifetime movie.
Center is one of my new favorite authors. I really liked this book also. Her characters are so likeable. After reading about what a hard time Jenny had with the baby in the beginning I thought, "If that's really how hard it is, why on earth do people have more than one baby?" And I loved Gardner. When Jenny saw what he had done to his house, I gasped a little sweet! Center writes such charismatic, charming heroes. I'd like to invite Ms. Center to please write a hero like Gardner or the...more
The Bright Side of Disaster
Katherine Center
Ballantine Books

Have you ever heard of the guy to leave a woman when she’s pregnant? To just walk out on someone like that. All it takes is a little lie like “I’m going to the store hunny, be right back.” but imagine it happened to you. Well it happened to Jenny Harris, and right after Dean-her fiancé-left, jenny gave birth to a baby girl. What now?

I the book The Bright Side of Disaster byKatherine center Center proves in her writing that...more
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
The Brighter Side of Disaster was a quick, light read but for me the actual plot lacked any real depth.
Center illustrates Jenny's struggles with her unexpected single motherhood with honesty and humor. I recognised that helicopter mothering you do with your first child, the inability to have a shower for days at a time and that all consuming craving for sleep. Less realistic was her lack of concern for finances - I couldn't really figure out exactly how she was supporting herself though I assum...more
What happens to a woman on the verge of giving birth, while her fiancé continues acting as if he is still an adolescent boy? The answers form the story that follows, in a somewhat predictable pattern…boy-man goes out for cigarettes and doesn’t return; woman goes into labor the next day; and the saga of treading water in the single mom’s world, while trying to recover from heartbreak, could be just another predictable tale.

But Jenny Harris, our single mom, adds that extra spark—her humor, her ten...more
Michelle Robinson
I found this book to be really well written for a debut novel.

My rating it with only two stars does not reflect the writng so much as the content.

Something happens in this book that makes me basically YELL at the heroine. When I finished the book, I felt compelled to email the author! Which I have never done before, what would they care about a simple reader of her work? I mention all of this demonstrate how well the charachters were depicted and how much I found myself caring what happened to t...more
Jul 12, 2009 Jen rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone, especially mothers
Shelves: 2009
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Your Need To Read
Full review here

I have very mixed feelings about this one. For the most part, it was a goodhearted little book, and short, too—in my opinion.

Jenny and Dean are engaged, and Jenny is pregnant, due any day. Literally, from the first few pages, I despised Dean. Jenny—the narration is in her point of view—at some point tells the readers about how she and Dean met, which normally would be a cute anecdote, yes? Not here. I don't know if it was just me, or if thi...more
Chev E
I only read "The Bright Side of Disaster" because I loved "Get Lucky." Incidentally, both are about pregnant women in odd situations. What I loved about both books was how real they were. Instead of skipping over the dirty details, Katherine Center includes the totally unromantic parts of having a baby, which adds to the overall realistic and at the same time feel-good tone of the book. Even at Jenny's most desperate points, there were still remnants of hope which left me confident that she woul...more
“The Bright Side of Disaster” is on the surface a romance novel. You know the kind: girl meets boy, girl ditches boy (or boy ditches girl), girl finds new boy, old boy comes back causing complications. Such stories are common. But “The Bright Side of Disaster” handles its trite subject with wry amusement and a rather in-depth look at additional complications: pregnancy, birth and motherhood.

Here is Jenny’s life laid out with sometimes exhaustive, exhausting and frankly harrowing detail. All the...more
Jenny Harris is nearing the birth of her first baby, when her fiance, Dean, leaves her for good. A few days later she goes into labor, and suddenly she must deal with being a single mother. She worries about everything from getting her baby to nurse to figuring out how to pay for it all. Luckily she has a good support system from her mom and handsome neighbor, but her best friend disappears in a new relationship. After months of struggles, things are finally starting to look up, and the unexpect...more

My thoughts:

After reading Katherine Center's Get Lucky I knew I wanted to read more of her work. On our recent tour of the local used bookstores I found a copy of The Bright Side of Disaster and immediately picked it up.

I think that this is a story that every woman can relate to. Having gone through a difficult breakup herself or knowing someone who has. It is about Jenny's relationship with Dean, but also with herself. It chronicles Jenny's plunge into single motherhood with humor. Anyone with...more
Deborah R
I picked this book up at Costco for a quick read. I could relate to several aspects of the book. The main theme of the book is being a first time mother. I loved as she would remind other adults to look both ways when they crossed the street with her baby. I identified with the frustration of breast feeding, not having time for a shower, holding the child all the time, grabbing quick food to eat instead of a meal. The book also is about relationships with family, friends and romance. I couldn't...more
The biggest compliment I can ever give a book is "It made me laugh." Because tears are easier. You tug on the right human emotions and the tears come. But laughter is much harder. And when a book not only makes you laugh, but has you leaning against something, doing the ugly snorting-laugh thing that you pray no one is observing, it's a winner. This one is a winner, and so am I, because I found another author to love.

I was disappointed in Jenny at one point in the book, but I think that goes to...more
Chick lit is a genre I have not read much of and so I am hoping this moth will fill in some blanks for me. However, this book is not making me jump up and down. It was well written and had some fun, humorous parts. I will admit some of the descriptions of early motherhood were right on target. Unfortunately I was able to figure out where this book was headed almost from the first page - it was just too predictable for me.

Predictable is not always bad. I will admit that I expect a certain story a...more
I have to say I really enjoyed this book. I picked it up because it is listed in a book I have called "What's new in YA Literature 2009", and totally agree that it's meant for high schoolers and adults. This novel is definitely a make lemonade out of lemons book. Jenny's fiance leaves her the day before she gives birth and she must now cope with both a failed relationship and being a single mother who has no clue what she's doing. I cheered for her the whole way. The only reason I didn't give th...more
I read this book because it was listed on Brene Brown's list of her favorite fiction. Well, it was light and funny, a great read if you've just had a baby and want someone to commiserate with about the weirdness of your life. The story was predictable and sweet and a lesson about making good choices in your life. It was just, I guess, kind of fluffy.
This was a better book than I expected going in; I hope to find more by the author soon!

There were times things were a little too expected, but overall, the book had some great lines, and there were some parts of the main character's experiences that felt all too real. I laughed at the struggles she had coming home with a new baby, even as I sympathized. My annoyance at how unrealistic some characters were was short-lived, since the way they were presented really worked well within the story (e....more
Kristi Brokaw
I don't know. I enjoyed many parts of it but the character Dean was just so awful and just too much in it for me. I was expecting something more light hearted, like Get Lucky, but I felt mostly angsty while reading this. I did laugh out loud at several of the new baby moments--very accurate descriptions there. :-)
The Bright Side of Disaster by Katherine Center was….let’s just paint a picture for you. We’ve all had that friend who recently had a baby, who could not shut up about every gruesome detail of their lamaze class, labor, delivery, breastfeeding, sleepless nights, teething, the agony of deciding between cloth or disposable, the color of certain functions …. If you are the person who listened intently, oohing and aahing in all the right places, thrilled with these details of the miracles of birth,...more
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Katherine Center is the author of four novels about love and family: The Bright Side of Disaster, Everyone Is Beautiful, Get Lucky, and The Lost Husband. Her books and essays have appeared in Redbook, People, USA Today, Vanity Fair, and Real Simple—as well as the anthologies Because I Love Her, CRUSH, and My Parents Were Awesome. People magazine calls Katherine’s first novel, “cleverly told and un...more
More about Katherine Center...
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“And I was grateful. For all the things that had brought me to this moment, and for every single thing that would follow.” 7 likes
“Something good was happening. My life was rising from the ashes, and the sight of it left me feeling something like hopeful.” 5 likes
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