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Donny and Ursula Save the World

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Debut author, Sharon Weil, offers up a hilarious, sex-charged, romantic comedy adventure that’s “a fertile cross between Tom Robbins, Kurt Vonnegut and Mr. Toad’s Wild ride.”

Can love make you brave? Hopelessly mismatched lovers, Donny and Ursula, are ignited by their mutual attraction to become unlikely heroes well beyond their imaginations or mere neurotic existences. If good sex can melt fear, and love can inspire leaps, then they’re in trouble because poor earth-loving, travel agent Ursula has never had the Big O, and cynical writer Donny’s heart is in hiding.

But, an agribusiness giant is out to own all the seeds of the world, and someone had better stop them! Could it really be these two will save the world? Find out as this story wheels and banks in eccentric glee, as love, sex, seeds and greed collide in outrageous climax. As they fumble their way to bravery, the flaws and foibles of Donny, Ursula, and their crazy rebel friends, (outlaw guerilla gardeners, belly dancing feminists, gun-crazy survivalists and mushroom messengers) are at once surprising, ridiculous, scary, and heartwarming.

The funniest book about love, sex and GMOs you’ll ever read!
Also available as an audiobook read by the author.

“Weil’s debut has an uproarious premise… Weil’s narrative, by turns winsome and hilarious, is populated with well-drawn comic characters and filled with snappy dialogue; even a cleverly anthropomorphized Mother Earth gets in a few good zingers. The book’s action climax is also delightfully surreal. A fun, raucous eco-novel.” - Kirkus Review

298 pages, Paperback

First published February 28, 2013

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About the author

Sharon Weil

6 books14 followers
Sharon Weil has long engaged the conversation about courage and change as an author, activist, award-winning filmmaker, and somatic educator. She is the author of the novel, Donny and Ursula Save the World, a quirky, political, romantic mishap-adventure. She is also the host of the acclaimed podcast Passing 4 Normal: Conversations with Authors, Artists, Activists, and Awakeners about Seeding Change in the World. In the podcast, Sharon discusses strategies for inspiring change and implementing courage with her guests: fascinating, everyday heroes actively working with change in a wide array of applications. Her book ChangeAbility is based upon discoveries gleaned from the conversations featured in this podcast.

Sharon is an advocate for social justice and the natural world through supporting solutions to climate change, community arts and holistic health and healing. Until 2014, she was the president of The Lia Fund (a private foundation that has now closed), which funded over one hundred innovative and responsive grantee organizations.

Sharon’s writing and worldview is informed by twenty-five years as a teacher of Continuum, a fluid-based somatic practice that aligns one with a natural state of being through breath and movement. The idea that within our fluid nature we, as humans, are far more mutable that we can imagine sets the stage for embracing the constant evolution of change as part of our very existence.

As a screenwriter, Sharon’s guilty pleasure is romantic comedy. She has written several. She was awarded the Women in Film Lillian Gish Award as writer and co-producer, for Best Children’s Film for Sweet 15, which also won an Emmy Award for its director.

In addition to writing, Sharon has been a director, producer, or editor of many film and television projects: narrative, documentary, commercials and music videos. She has directed several original theatrical productions, as well as written and performed her own work in one-woman shows and shared spoken-word evenings. She is a film graduate of NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

Sharon has three daughters, two dogs, a compassionate heart, and one wild imagination. She meets the world with a great sense of possibility and the required sense of humor. She is an eclectic Los Angeles native, a frequent visitor to Northern California and Nashville, and a citizen of the world.

Visit her at www. sharonweilauthor.com

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 39 reviews
Profile Image for zxvasdf.
537 reviews40 followers
September 25, 2013

Fueled by orgasms and several types of neuroses, Donny and Ursula Save the World expects nothing from you, only that you unbutton your pants (you don't have to stop there, really) and sit back for the ride. It educates you on several subjects without being too heavy, and tells you that relentless and unbridled optimism is possible.

After who knows how many heady books, this apocalyptic romantic comedy was a breath of fresh air. The moment I understood what Ursula was all about, fairy dust swirled around my understanding of her and transformed it into the gangly smiling squint-eyed mischief of Jenna Elfman and Donny acquired the crumbling cynicism of a befuddled but smirking Thomas Gibson. And Paul, what the hell, became Simon Pegg, no kidding, while I'm finding Lindey's looking like a younger Melissa McCarthy. I don't usually glamourize with celebrities the characters I read. It just seemed ready made for Hollywood, and then when I checked out Weil's bio, it became a no-brainer.

The bad guy in here is AgriNu which bears a chilling resemblance to Monsanto, and its devious approach to agriculture. Donny and Ursula Save the World is actually a call to arms wrapped up in chuckles. The urgency is there. Corporations are mucking with eons of evolutionary processes. There's an equilibrium there that's being disturbed. But that's only in relation to our species.

Weil has a grandiose perception of Mother Earth, one that I've always shared; I was especially gratified to know someone agreed that the Great Pacific Garbage Patch had the potential to become an ecosystem. If humans manage to kill themselves and fuck up the environment in the process, Mother Earth or, rather, M Earth will just shrug and say, "Hey, you had a good run. You came, you saw, you didn't exactly conquer. Turn's over, kid." Then she'll just turn over and sleep a dream of centuries. Just as the ant and its hill is a natural process, so is Man and his war and industrialism. Time is an ocean.

Big thoughts aside, it's scary, man. You see Weil's depiction of AgriNu potentially coming to fruition in real life. Those corporations have no regard of a way of life apart from accumulation of wealth. Specifically imaginary money wealth. Not the wealth of family. Not the wealth of life. Not the one true wealth that is the happiness that springs from inside when you find your place in the world. You have Paul and his conspiracy theories, and the suggestion that corporations have committed terrorist actions to get their way; the recent Boston Marathon bombing comes to mind, occurring just as the Monsanto Protection Act was about to go through. Could it not have been a perfectly timed distraction to draw the attention of a nation?

I digress. A good book does that. There's the bad stuff, and there's the good stuff also. Weil seems to be channeling many favorite authors into a style wholly her own. It begins with an orgasm and ends with an orgasm. And there's a whole lot of orgasms in between, from astral couples jacked in the mainframe of the universe to orgasms as currency. There's also the lack of orgasms, which brought about all this story.

If you ask me, Donny and Ursula didn't really save the world. Mother Earth doesn't need to be saved. What Donny and Ursula did was make the world a better place for themselves; despite being called "Mother", Mother Earth doesn't give much concession to actual "parenting." So her children must forage ahead and make their own happiness when it is possible.
Profile Image for Andrew.
677 reviews10 followers
September 14, 2013
Sharon Weil's “Donny and Ursula Save the World” is a little, uh, different. In some ways, it reminds me of the works from two of my favorite authors, Carl Hiaasen and Tim Dorsey. There is a little light-hearted adventure. There is over-the-top satire. There is corporate greed and government blindness / corruption. There is romance, and (non-graphic) sex. Oh yeah, and moving into another sphere altogether, there are psychic mushrooms and one rather P.O.ed planet.

Basically, Donny is a guy who cannot commit, but loves love. Ursula is a woman who can commit, but does not know love. (Or physical satisfaction …) They are able to overcome their different lifestyles and hook up, finding common ground in actively working against a government edict banning “natural” seeds and organic farming in return for the GMO product of a large agribusiness conglomerate – producing plants which do NOT naturally seed, requiring annual repurchases from the supplier.

Now, mix in mushrooms that may or may not actually be sending out psychic messages. And a guy who finds conspiracy in everything who actually bumps up against a REAL conspiracy. And a bunch of survivalists who decide to go out and play superhero in the Sonoran desert. And the students of a belly-dancing class. And … Oh, do not forget about M. (short for “Mother”) Earth, who also plays a role in this “drama” (term used REALLY loosely).

If you haven't been able to realize it from this description, “Donny and Ursula Save the World” mixes a real-life message about planetary stewardship with some comic adventure. It's a good read BUT it's not aimed at everyone. If you cannot deal with exaggeration to make a point, if you believe in blind allegiance to the government and its proclamations, if you cannot believe that Dirty Harry would lower himself to make two movies co-starring an orangutan … this book is not for you. On the other hand, if you laugh at “The Big Bang Theory”, love satire, grew up on superheroes … you may just love this.

RATING: Tough call. YES, it was memorable, and will stay with me – which is the dividing line between 4 star and 5 star. BUT, in some places, the book is just TOO far out there, even for me. And I thought there to be a few technical issues – for example, the desert battle scene was too long for my tastes, the climax needed a bit more buildup (which it could have had if we didn't run the battle scene so long), and the whole thing with the mushrooms with a message sort of was a bit over the top for me. (I can't describe further without spoilers – sorry.) Therefore: A solid 4 STARS.

Where do you go next, Sharon Weil?

DISCLOSURE: I won this book in a contest sponsored by the author. Upon arrival, the author asked me for two favors: (1) To provide an honest review upon completion, and (2) To write my name and location in the back of the book and then to pass it along to another reader in another area (with the same two conditions). Both conditions are in the process of being voluntarily fulfilled.
Profile Image for Joel Bresler.
Author 6 books69 followers
June 12, 2013
As a rule, I try to avoid fiction that looks like it might have an agenda. These tend to be preachy, and based largely on internet wisdom, of the "I read it on the internet, so it must be true" variety.
In "Donny and Ursula Save the World", however, author Sharon Weil weaves a topical issue into a plot, literally and figuratively, as if she had invented it solely for that purpose. The novel is first and foremost fun and entertaining, and oh, by the way - there's a message here.
Weil has a light touch, like an artist gently dabbing just the right amount of paint on a canvas. The humor is a bit of "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" over a cup of herbal tea at Anais Nin's house.
DUSW reminds me a little of a Neil Young album. But then, so do most things!
Profile Image for A Voracious Reader (a.k.a. Carol).
1,943 reviews1 follower
November 15, 2017
*Book source ~ NetGalley

Donny and Ursula, an unlikely couple if there ever was one. And yet…somehow they make it work. Along with some friends they take on a big agribusiness in order to save the world.

Ok, this is one of the weirdest books I’ve ever read. That’s not monster porn. Ursula is really weird in a hippy kind of way and Donny is your average Joe schmoe. They have strange friends who end up helping them on their mission to save the world from AgriNu (poking Monsato in it’s great big ass). It’s told from several POVs including Mother Earth herself. It’s a bizarre and trippy read. Kinda long-winded at times with the froufrou stuff, but overall, interesting.
Profile Image for Beverly Diehl.
Author 5 books67 followers
October 13, 2013
Quirky, funny, scary, ridiculous, heartwarming. There are not many books out there which include chapters written from Mother Nature's point of view (or M Nature, as she's calling herself now, to be taken more seriously).

I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Greasy-palmed Donny meets Ursula at a party, and wants to bang her, but not get emotionally involved. Belly-dancer Ursula is propagating a huge colony of vile-smelling Kombucha mushrooms and has never had an orgasm. They SHOULDN'T be compelling characters, and yet somehow they are. And lurking in the not-so-background, a big GMO food company plots to destroy all organic farms and seeds, leaving themselves as the world's only food supplier.

The style reminded me of Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy, very twisty-turny and packed with bizarre characters and scenes. The one thing that I didn't care for is it frequently jumped from past to present tense in the narrative, which I found jarring.

There are many funny and just WEIRD scenes, including a hilarious one near the end where a group of survivalist men play a high stakes game of "Capture the Flag" dressed as comic book superheroes.

In the end, the entities we are rooting for get a Happily For Now, mushrooms (real ones, not fake ones) thrive, and M Nature shakes the crumbs from her tablecloth.

Profile Image for PfromJ.
405 reviews
July 20, 2016
It was kind of fun, and touched on some important issues, but was just, I don't know, silly. Have you ever had a glass of chocolate milk where someone really skimped on the Hershey's syrup? Like that.
Profile Image for Bert Edens.
280 reviews25 followers
October 9, 2013
From my book review blog at:


Through NetGalley, I received a copy of this eGalley from Passing 4 Normal Press, whom I thank for their generosity. Although it was provided to me at no cost, I am under no obligation to give a positive review.

Ursula. I’ve always loved the name Ursula. Ursula Andress (“Dr. No”, anyone?). Ursula K. Le Guin (outstanding author). OK, there was the evil sea witch in “The Little Mermaid”. But still, I like the name. Apparently, in this story so did Donny, as he practices rolling the name off his tongue early in the book. It’s a cool name.

Well, among other things, Ursula has a problem. She’s never had a Big O (no, not Oscar Robertson or Oliver Miller). I’m talking about le petite mort, The Little Death, the Holy Grail. Yeah. That. And she’s pretty well decided it’s not going to happen.

Ursula starts seeing Donny and eventually they do click more and more as they burrow their way into each other’s lives and hearts, even though neither really expected or wanted it to happen.

But this isn’t just a love story. We have AgriNu, a large producer of GMO seeds, who happens to have the President’s ear. Slowly, they start making the use of anything other than their seeds a crime. So away go all the mom and pop and organic farms. Even having a garden in your back yard becomes illegal as AgriNu stages terrorist attacks and other fabricated events to put fear into the populace and hopefully increase their confidence in and reliance on AgriNu.

Then there are the mushrooms. Ursula has bowls of Kombucha mushrooms. Lots and lots of mushrooms. And they start talking to her.

Add in Donny’s best friend who decides to go off the grid, thereby coming into contact with some survival fanatics who are learning to live completely independently, who later come into play in the climax, pun intended, of this book, and there’s a lot going on.

Eventually, Donny, Ursula, and a whole supporting cast decide it’s time to save what’s left of the organic seeds and take AgriNu down a notch or more. All with the help of mushrooms.

Did I mention the mushrooms?

Certainly, this book is a naked, in many ways, cautionary tale of what can happen when corporate America gets too involved with agriculture, thereby wanting to serve themselves, not the people as a whole. Throw in some belly dancing ladies, a new Homeland Security division dedicated to rounding up those with organic seeds, the aforementioned survival fanatics, lots of hormones and lustiness, and much much more, and this is rollicking roll down the political highway.

Wait. Did I mention the mushrooms?

Overall, I found this an amusing book that obviously is trying to drive a point home while having some fun along the way. The author is kind enough to provide some links at the end of the book in case you need more information on the topic of GMOs and what they mean. I found it funny, but not hilarious, but interesting enough to keep reading at least.

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)
Profile Image for Cheyenne Blue.
Author 95 books318 followers
March 20, 2014
I should have loved this book.

Clever and very decent writing *tick*. Anti-government agenda *tick*. Green, organic, buy-local, save-seeds agenda *tick*. Quirky and interesting characters *tick*. Decent plot *tick*. Humor *tick*.

So why didn’t I?

I found this really hard to get through despite it, on the surface, being exactly my sort of read. The main reason I found it so difficult was that those quirky and interesting characters were quirky and interesting and bloody irritating characters. I should have felt great empathy for the geeky and definitely weird Ursula, but she was too overdone. If I met her at a party, I would probably spend a highly enjoyable hour talking with her. But if I saw her a week later in Whole Foods, I would pretend not to see her and duck around into the baby food aisle to avoid having to talk with her again. She annoyed me greatly with her hair twirling and silence and hip gyrations and those damn mushrooms. About a quarter of the way through the book I wanted to tie her back to back with Sheerah and dump the two of them into a river attached to something large and heavy. Gyrate your way out of that one, darling.

The only character I unreservedly loved was Lindey. Pity she didn’t get more air time.

What kept me reading despite the characters was the very decent and twisty plot: big business is destroying all the seeds in the world under the guise of counter-terrorism so that the President of the United States doesn’t have to eat broccoli, er... spinach, again, and that same big business can force every farmer to grow the same GMO seed stock–one that only produces for one season before failing. Sound familiar? It should, it’s already happening on a smaller scale. The plot is well constructed, well written and keeps moving and shaking its way to the end of the book. An ending I did enjoy.

The humor didn’t grab me, but didn’t put me off either, although the humor + sex didn’t work for me (for that I read Jeremy Edwards).

The book undoubtedly deserves more stars than I’m giving it. I would rate it 5 stars for plot, 4 stars for agenda, 2 stars for humor, 4 stars for the writing, and 1 star for the characters (and it’s only Lindey earning that). Overall, I’m wibbling between 2 and 3 stars, simply because it was such a battle to get to the end, such was my irritation with Ursula.
Profile Image for Julian Froment.
Author 9 books11 followers
October 5, 2013
I really enjoyed reading this as it was a fun, easy book to read. It was filled with humour, and had me laughing at the many random situations that arose.

The characters were interesting and there were many amusing interactions between characters that didn’t at first appear to share any similarities or particular character traits. Yet, they seemed to work together. The book seemed to be written in quite a tongue-in-cheek fashion, which I liked a lot.

The story had numerous sub plots, such as the underhanded dealings of big business in collusion with the government, the survivalists and of course Ursula’s attempt to achieve orgasm. The battle of the fake superheroes was amusing, to say the least. These all worked together to support the overarching plot of the book.

As I said, this was a fun, easy read and I would recommend it to anyone that wants something light and humorous to while away an afternoon with. It was not a literary great or filled with complex ideas, but then neither was it intended to be.

This review is based on a review copy.
Profile Image for Becky.
190 reviews15 followers
September 13, 2013
I have decided to stop reading this book - for now at least. It's not a bad book, as can be seen from its 4.82/5 Star rating. It just wasn't a book for me.

The writing style was unique and I actually really liked it. I just never connected with the characters like I wanted to, there was no drive to finish, to know what happened. When I was 50% done and there was no glimpse of this amazing orgasm that has been the focus of the whole book, I just couldn't do it anymore.

Seriously, If you like Adult characters, you should try this out. Like I said, it's not a bad book, it just wasn't for me. And you'll never know if it's for you unless you try it.

If you read it I hope you like it!
May 21, 2013
I was the first one to buy this brilliantly crafted book on Amazon. Weil knows how to construct plot and character, while mixing in so many well-researched ideas and facts in the most playful, laugh-out-loud, entertaining style. This is a writer who thinks, is interested in the health of the earth, and shares it in a most imaginative way. Her creativity is astonishing and her ideas provocative. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to share in Weil’s love of all that breathes and shares this planet.
Profile Image for Deena Metzger.
Author 31 books76 followers
May 24, 2013
Sharon Weil understands that the erotic can be the heart’s intelligence and speaking humor to power is a literary tradition, a most effective medicine for desperate times. This book will delight you and it is also a provocative remedy for passivity and despair. Who knows, but after reading this book, we will all be equally determined, and as indomitable. as Donny and Ursula, when it comes to (truly) saving the world.
Profile Image for Vicki Stolsen.
Author 1 book5 followers
April 3, 2014
I loved this fantastic tale that so creatively combined orgasms, GMO's, and the future of the planet. I also think it would make a fantastic film: the images are vivid and potent, and that could be Ms Weil's screen writing cred percolating through the story.
Profile Image for Isa Lavinia.
596 reviews297 followers
May 8, 2015
I really and truly liked the overall message in this book, but I just couldn't connect with the characters.
Quirky is not for me, I just find quirky characters annoying.

But I'll readily admit this is a good book, it just wasn't for me...
429 reviews8 followers
February 7, 2015
I received a free copy of this book from the GoodReads First Reads giveaways in exchange for an honest review. Fun, quirky and intentionally a little over the top, a fun read.
Profile Image for Isis.
537 reviews26 followers
January 19, 2014
I would like to thank both NetGalley and Passing 4 Normal Press for granting me the chance to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review. Though I received the e-book for free that has in no way influenced this review. I rated this book at 2.5 stars, but rounded up to 3 for sheer ingenuity.

"The most importantly funny book about love, sex and GMO seeds you'll ever read!"

Can one woman's orgasm save the world? That's where it all started... at least for Donny and Ursula, mismatched lovers who become unlikely heroes in DONNY AND URSULA SAVE THE WORLD. The quest for the Big O and its seismic awakening ignites them to daring deeds beyond their mere imaginations and neurotic existences. When an agribusiness giant threatens to control all the seeds of the world in order to own life itself, Donny and Ursula join forces with belly dancing feminists, gun-crazy survivalists, outlaw guerilla gardeners, and comic book heroes, to rise up on behalf of Mother Earth.

You'll be sparked by the Eros of awakening, the Eros of activism, and the Eros of hysterical laughter in this sex-charges, wild-romp, romantic-mishap adventure that can't help but incite you to action.

This book opens as odd and gets progressively stranger as it unfurls. I can easily say that I do not think this is a book for everyone, which is a shame as the message(s) are worthwhile. However the delivery is just a step or three past quirky and into something altogether indescribable for me at least.

Roughly the first quarter to third of this book was a real struggle for me, in that I was not engaged by the characters or their stories in the least. I had to push to get far enough into the story to reach, what for me, was the meat - the GMO fiasco. Of the beginning portion it was actually the character of Mr. Ed and AgriNu that captured my attention the most.

Mr. Ed is an executive rapidly rising to the top of the heap at AgriNu, the book's equivalent of Monsanto. He is totally pro-GMO because of his bottom line - both financially and in terms of personal power. He actually gains the President's ear by banning spinach, which the President hates (a great dig at President Bush and his statements about broccoli). Mr. Ed's devious plan is to sell 'Freedom Seeds,' which are all manufactured by AgriNu of course - eliminating all organic farmers along the way. And the way in which the public buys into the whole scheme is a brilliant piece of black humor, because it is so damned plausible in this crazy country called the United States.

Donny enters the story as a lazy, obnoxious, slob of a bachelor. But somehow he is transformed by Ursula, which is a shocking concept at first, as she is not at all what would normally turn Donny's head or libido. For Ursula 1.0 is an uptight, solitary creature.

Initially her only real connection to other people is via her work as a travel agent who loves connecting other people. One of the only things she asks her customers to do is take a photo with a stranger while on their trip and send it back to her for her map of the world. In addition they must give the person in the photo with them her business card and tell them to look her up should they ever be in her neck of the woods. When those strangers do appear she has her photo taken with them for the map, and sends them on their merry way with packets full of discounts to all kinds of tourist destinations. This obsession becomes crucial later in the story.

Ursula is chasing the elusive orgasm, and decides that taking belly dancing lessons might help her find her inner goddess and unlock her ability to achieve an orgasm, as she's never had one - not with a man or even self-induced. At least not until her belly dancing teacher Sheerah talks to her after class one night.

Sheerah is simultaneously well-grounded and completely free-spirited. She is totally plugged in to her sexuality and owns it 110%. That of course attracts Sean, a photo-journalist for National Geographic and Sheerah's sporadic sexual partner. Whenever Sean is in the area he swings by to do some 'research' with Sheerah, something the two enjoy almost too much, as their research is conducted sexually, sometimes using tantric sex and sometimes just the good old-fashioned mind blowing orgasmic way.

And then there is Paul, Donny's best friend. Paul is as much, or more of a slob, than Donny. A computer nerd with feelings of inadequacy he goes to a survivalist school. It is there that he meets Lindey, one of the only women at this particular camp. Lindey is much more masculine than Paul, so it surprises them both to varying degrees to find themselves hooking up.

All of these people, plus one more major character, play important roles in Ursula 2.0's plans to save the world from AgriNu's deadly seeds. Her plan is unusual, and often comical, but the message itself is real. Buried in a quasi-comedy is a powerful message about the state of the world and the damage we are causing when we blindly accept and allow GMOs into the food supply. The question is, can you make it through the book to get the message? Had anyone asked me this when I initially began the book for the second time I'd have given them a flat "No." However having made it past that invisible line in the book I found that somewhere along the line I'd become engaged in this story to the point of enjoyment. I won't say it is the best book I've ever written, nor is it the worst. It has its moments, and when you find each of them they make slogging through the rest worth it.
Profile Image for Michelle.
75 reviews63 followers
June 29, 2017
LOVE this book.
It's funny, quirky, thoughtful & interesting.
A beautiful & very delightful read.
I cant wait for more from this author.
Received as a Gr giveaway.
Profile Image for Sasha.
864 reviews32 followers
February 6, 2014
What a weird-ass book. It's all environmental gushy stuff and hare-brained Earth-saving plans. I don't even know what I read.

The synopsis on Goodreads and elsewhere is misleading. Yeah, it's about our boy Donny, a stereotypically Italian beef-cake with creepily sweaty palms, and the neurotic and frigid belly-dancer flower child Ursula, who has freaky pony tails all over her head to hide her bald patch. Attractive. I didn't feel the tenderness I tend to feel for the misguided, the geeky, the awkward, the clueless. I was a little repulsed, frankly. So the story is about them and how their union eventually saves Mother Earth (don't get me started on the M.Earth nonsense). But it's not freaking funny. I love funny, and this is not it. It has many, many stupid parts that the fans of Adam Sandler movies would guffaw at, and maybe I'm too snooty. But the more likely theory is that this book is ridiculous just for the sake of being ridiculous. Did nothing for me.

Not to say that there weren't any messages. The anti-GMO, anti-big business messages were crammed down your throat. But then again, there's no secret that this book is all about that, so I guess I can't complain too much. I just prefer more subtlety and consideration for the reader in my message-driven books. Even The Alchemist is more subtle, ffs. I knew this was an environmental book. I don't have a problem with trying to save the earth and cleaning up after ourselves. I just want a book about it to convince me to try harder, to make me more passionate about it. I honestly went into this book with an open mind, ready to laugh and learn. I didn't do that. The book actually confirmed the inkling I had that this lady is a crackpot almost on level with those PETA psychos. Good image to create for yourself, lady. Please exercise some restraint next time.

All this ranting is maybe not fair just because this book was not something I personally enjoyed. The character development was pretty well done, especially with Donny. The sexxy bits were alright, better than others I've read before. The ending was ok - much better than I anticipated. I rolled my eyes a lot of the "funny" parts, but the thing with the belly dancing signal scrambling was silly rather than stupid. So that was alright. This book doesn't make me want to destroy it in a fire. But I'm most likely not reading another environmental book, and certainly not another by this author.

Profile Image for tinyteaplots.
703 reviews2 followers
November 17, 2013
I'd like to start by giving you the synopsis as posted on Goodreads:

"Can one woman's orgasm save the world? That's where it all started... at least for Donny and Ursula, mismatched lovers who become unlikely heroes in DONNY AND URSULA SAVE THE WORLD. The quest for the Big O and its seismic awakening ignites them to daring deeds beyond their mere imaginations and neurotic existences. When an agribusiness giant threatens to control all the seeds of the world in order to own life itself, Donny and Ursula join forces with belly dancing feminists, gun-crazy survivalists, outlaw guerilla gardeners, and comic book heroes, to rise up on behalf of Mother Earth.

You'll be sparked by the Eros of awakening, the Eros of activism, and the Eros of hysterical laughter in this sex-charges, wild-romp, romantic-mishap adventure that can't help but incite you to action."

To say this book was different is putting it lightly. Powdered sugar dusting lightly. I went back and forth a few times between liking and not liking this book and for a few different reasons. I held off on writing a review because I just couldn't make up my mind. Well, you know what? My mind is still not completely made, which is why I think that now is the right time to say what I am thinking.

There was a lot going on here. A number of moving plot pieces. Sometimes it was a little off-putting and at other times it was just plain fun. However, it didn't always make sense. Don't get me wrong, I understand exactly where this book was headed. But with a synopsis like that, this treehugging, planet saving, sexual awakening loving avid reader was expecting more. That synopsis had me believing that I would laugh out loud. There were a couple giggles, but not straight up laughter. I wanted the laughter.

I wanted it to be as exciting as it sounded, but for me it just wasn't there. Interesting and creative is what it was, but there was a certain lack of cohesiveness amongst characters. One story that maybe didn't really belong and, one story that should have been more.

This one goes sadly into my small disappointing read pile.
1,375 reviews18 followers
December 20, 2013
This definitely is not your average book. Donny hooks up with Ursula and this is sort of their story. It also includes a huge sub-plot about how big business, after getting its “foot” into the door of big business, proceeds to throw its influence around. Then there are Donny and Ursula’s friends and routine preoccupations. Donny is a typical slob, interested in downing fast food meals not cleaning up after himself, watching all sorts of stuff on TV, etc. Ursula is a lot of the opposite. She is into belly dancing, mushrooms, and searching within herself for the ultimate, whatever that is. In addition, there are superheroes and a quirky conspiracy friend of Donny’s and Mother Earth who, we realize, can easily take good care of herself (Thank-you ma’am!). A lot of stuff happens in this funny book, but it all comes together to show us that love an thrive and survive in all circumstances, that big business can become a throne in everyone’s side and that the big “O” can have a place in our lives. I found the book at times thoughtful and at times funny as all get out. The mélange of characters and their quirky lives and beliefs only help to make it more interesting and to bring the messages home. In particular, I enjoyed the way the author portrays Mother Earth, as the self-sufficient guardian of our precious planet that we all know she really is. In addition, the conspiracy crazed friend of Donny’s made me laugh a lot and wonder just if all the people like him are like him or not. The insertion of the mushrooms, which ultimately sort of take over Ursula’s life made me wonder whether just such a thing is possible while making me chuckle at their antics, if one becomes too involved with something like them. I think anyone who enjoys a good laugh while still being interested in life around him/her and how it will always go as it wishes, not as we might want it to go, would love this book. Or, someone just looking for something a bit different, with the ability to tickly his/her funny-bone a lot would enjoy this book. I know I did.

I received this from NetGalley to read and review.
Profile Image for Idea Smith.
340 reviews69 followers
October 13, 2013
A quirky little novel that manages to touch on several large issues - the danger of commercializing agriculture, the importance of orgasms, Mother Earth's good housekeeping, conspiracy theories. And in the midst of all this is a strange but lovely love story.

Donny is a regular Joe, a slob who enjoys smoking, video games and hoarding comic books. He meets Ursula at a party and decides to follow his head (the wrong one) and pursue her. But wooing the prudish, New Age travel service operator turns out to be much more than he imagined. In the quest to get her into bed, he stops smoking, spruces up and ingests copious quantities of vile-tasting liquids that Ursula serves him as natural, healthy drinks.

Ursula's character is detailed a great deal more with some nice touches like her postcard-populated world map, her surreptitious mushroom mothering and her struggle to get her body to belly dance. Even so, the more ordinary character of Donny and how he falls in love with her, despite himself, is what catches your attention.

The story starts of seeming to be a regular if somewhat flaky love story but suddenly races into the sub-plots of conspiracy theorist Paul (Donny's best friend) and his adventures in survival camp. Along the way a slimy Mr.Ed, representing government/commercial interests gets a tiny story of his own. And about two-thirds into the book, the naturalist element takes over with M.Earth setting the plot right.

The book's blurb says that it is about an orgasm that saved the world but in truth, the connection is a bit tenuous. The tenses shift like crazy, giving the narrative a slightly flaky feel. Yet, somehow the concept is new and delivered with a light touch so the book entertains and engages. I enjoyed the wry humor in the titles and the sometimes paragraph-short chapters interspersed with long rambling ones. I got this book off NetGalley.
Profile Image for Star Bookworm.
340 reviews2 followers
February 27, 2014
Ok. What do I say about this book. It exceeded my expectations yet was not close to what I expected. Is that a conundrum or impossibility? The very perplexing nature of my reaction is well suited to this story. The writing style is not my favorite but suitable for a modern fiction piece where we have thrown grammar out the #window. There are clear plot lines and definite character development. Some of the content I find wholly unsuitable to modest company. It is a book I will have a hard time recommending. I think there is beauty to the spiritual connected-ness of the mycelium from mushrooms. (If you pull up one mushroom, you can unearth an entire forest floor. While I am allergic to the fungi spore family, I still find them to be an entirely useful and beautiful plant). However, I did not appreciate the Eros allusions.

While it is a book of fiction, it revolves around very strong fact and some pretty solid assumptions. It can help to open our eyes to a very devastating problem in our future. My problem with the book comes with the limited audience it will be able to reach. Some of my relations who really need to understand the importance of seed saving would never touch this book. They would find the lack of modesty mortifying. And I find that to be an entirely different subject to tackle with them. The two together just sort of taint the other, though I see the authors point in connecting them through Mother Earth.
Profile Image for Lectus.
1,029 reviews30 followers
November 25, 2013
Via http://onlectus.blogspot.com/2013/11/...

This story was a fun ride. The book is funny, but don't expect funny in the sense of stand up comedy. This is.... an upscale kind of funny.

Donny doesn't get Ursula and her weird "pets," but he sticks around because he wants to have sex with her, and he knows that eventually, she will have sex with him; it's just a matter of time. Wow! That is self-confidence!

Ursula doesn't want to have sex with Donny because she can't orgasm. So, what's the point, right? Just doing it for the guy's sake? Well, no more. But that changes when Ursula starts taking belly dance classes with xxx. She helps Ursula discover her own sexuality, orgasm, and restore the balance in the universe.

Now, don't think for a minute that the world Donny and Ursula are saving has to do with sex or orgasm. Not at all. There is some threat to mother nature that is going on that Ursula feels she has to take care of, and since Donny would do anything to have sex with Ursula, he enlists in the task.

I was chuckling throughout the book. It was a fun, light read that would definitely enlighten your mood.
Profile Image for Feed the Indie.
9 reviews1 follower
June 7, 2014
Here’s a book about a serious topic that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Sharon Weil managed to write about GMOs, the end of the world, and make it all OK.

This wasn’t a typical romantic comedy, but here’s what I say about that: Good!

Donny and Ursula Save the world doesn’t preach about the dangers of genetically modified seeds, but the reality of it is still there. Instead, it’s wrapped in a quirky woman who deals with life in her own way – even if that is growing mushrooms in her home. Ursula can’t get in tune with Mother Earth and, in turn, she’s never had an orgasm.

When Donny meets her, he feels compelled to be with her and joins in her quests of planting sees without really know what he’s doing, and falling in love where he never imagined it would happen.

Then there is the big, bad company of AgriNu that Weil does a good job of showing actually how scary a company like this can be. While the book was funny and interesting, it did give me pause and think more about GMOs and how they affecting crops.

I didn’t expect this book. It kept me entertained while also making me think.

**This review originally appeared on FeedTheIndie.com**
1 review
June 2, 2013
I loved Donnie and Ursula! The book is really fun and off-beat, but at the same time is about several really serious topics - Love, big business/GMO's, and the environment. Weil has created some great characters and the way she weaves biological facts into the story is fantastic. The book definitely strikes some emotional chords about our current realities. It is a quick read and I never wanted to put it down. Sharon Weil is part behavioralist, part excellent science teacher and part humorist/author Douglas Adams (Hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy). I hope there is a sequel! Dont miss this book!
Profile Image for Crystal Caldwell.
146 reviews1 follower
November 24, 2013
I'm having a little but of a hard time with my feelings on this book. The book was well written and, I thought, incredibly creative. I loved the descriptions of the Eros and connections between certain characters. I wasn't crazy about the end, but it's just not really my type of ending.
It's a book that some parts will stay with me for awhile, while other aspects of it will fade from my memory. I didn't love or hate any of the characters. Some if the characters made me angry, but just didn't elicit that strong of an emotional reaction.

I guess really I'm just trying to say that it was a fundamentally a good book, this particular reader just didn't love it.
128 reviews
December 8, 2013
Choose your ism: survival-ism, terrorism, environmentalism, fatalism, cataclysm, botulism (or something like it), escapism. Employing a series of hilariously apt double entendres, this book explains how money is the root of all evil and sex makes the world go around.

I can pretty much guarantee you won't read another book this year that so brilliantly ties together GMO seeds and belly dancing.

Full review at http://fernweh428.wordpress.com/2013/...

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.
Profile Image for Sharon Weil.
Author 6 books14 followers
January 23, 2014
“Weil’s debut has an uproarious premise… Weil’s narrative, by turns winsome and hilarious, is populated with well-drawn comic characters and filled with snappy dialogue; even a cleverly anthropomorphized Mother Earth gets in a few good zingers. The book’s action climax is also delightfully surreal. A fun, raucous eco-novel.” - Kirkus Review
1 review3 followers
May 15, 2013
Love this book. While reading it I was struck by Sharon's precision in understanding what goes on in the male mind about love and relationships and at the same time offering a heartfelt model of what is possible when two people enjoy each other. This is a laugh out loud read about very serious issues facing us today.
108 reviews20 followers
August 30, 2013
Received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads.
This was funny and somewhat engrossing. I liked all the other intermingling characters and stories, but wasn’t so enchanted with Donny and Ursula. Wish there was more Sheerah and Thor. I guess there were moments when it was great and I liked the fantastical elements. A book with a message, it was fun and not preachy.
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