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How to Party with an Infant

3.35  ·  Rating details ·  2,173 ratings  ·  351 reviews
Raising Ellie as a single mom in San Francisco, Mele Bart navigates the mommy minefields to the best of her ability. She’s found her parent group – Annie, Barrett, Georgia, and Henry – who have meaningful playground conversations and complain about the parents who try too hard.

Then Bobby returns with the news he’s getting married and wants Ellie to be the flower girl. Plag
Hardcover, 227 pages
Published August 9th 2016 by Simon Schuster
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Average rating 3.35  · 
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 ·  2,173 ratings  ·  351 reviews

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Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

3.5 Stars

A few months ago my friend Sarah’s review of How To Party With An Infant popped up on my feed. Sarah’s one of those people who doesn’t say a whole lot, so when she does I try to listen – and that’s just what I did here. After an infinite wait for a library copy, I discovered that the author of this book was also the author of The Descendants, which in case you aren’t familiar, gave us this gem in the field of giffery . . . .

Mele, a single Mom in San Francisco, is seeking a play group for her young daughter. She turns to the San Francisco Mother's Group to pair her with with other Mothers with whom she can develop friendships. After a few disasterous matches, she lucks out with Annie, Barrett, Georgia and Henry.
Mele's story and that of Annie, Barrett, Georgia and Henry is told through the stories they share with Mele for the cookbook she is writing for a contest sponsored by the San Francisco Mother's Group.
The boo
reading is my hustle

The early days of parenting are rough. You are such a weirdo. You need your friends to reign you in. Otherwise it's crazytown. I remember running by the microwave when I was pregnant. My parents joke that all three of our babies were not put down the first 6 months of their lives. I overthought every single decision no matter how big or small. Good G*d. The mania of it all.

I enjoyed reading about these parents. How to Party with an Infant was a bit over the top but the feelings of trying to fig
Book Riot Community
This made me laugh the way Where’d You Go, Bernadette? did—quite a bit of ridiculous behavior. Mele is a single mom who is filling out a questionnaire for a contest with a possible cookbook deal. Except, she’s not going about the answers the way everyone else is, she’s basically airing her dirty laundry and venting out hilarious stories—including the recipes she creates out of these life events—as she tries to come to terms with her daughter’s father inviting them to his wedding. If you’re looki ...more
May 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I liked the format and thought that framing the book using questions from the mothers' club cookbook contest was clever. The characters and dialogue seemed realistic, but I couldn't shake the feeling that this book was for upper middle class (white) women. Sure, the main character, Mele, is described as somewhat ethnic (Hawaiian and a little Chinese) and is the least affluent of her group, but she's still able to live in the Bay A
Bethan Watson
Jul 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: chick-lit, romance, arc
How to Party with an Infant is about a down-to-earth single mother named Mele. I loved the dynamic of this story, as it’s not just your typical romance novel. Of course, in essence it’s a single parent who was left by her baby daddy and has found new love in someone she didn’t quite expect, but there is so much more to it than that.

Mostly all of the book revolves around an application for a cook book deal within Mele’s San Fransisco Mom’s Club. I loved how each character was drawn out piece by p
Aug 10, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I started this book for a review, and for the first 20ish (e-reader) pages, I was in love. It was funny, I was laughing out loud at the gym and getting crazy looks from those around me. Yep, it was crazy.

Granted it is an adult contemporary fiction, which are hit or miss for me, and language was not really my thing. However, I try to not hold that against the author - I ignore it when possible. So that was a minor point against this book.

Then it started jumping on perspectives of the characters
Sep 29, 2016 rated it it was ok
I give this book 2.75 stars. Parts of it I enjoyed. I liked the idea of a cookbook competition but when I read it really wasn't part of the story, just a segue into providing glimpses of the characters. I love sarcasm but some of the mom's stories were not compelling nor did it delve into the characters enough to really love or hate them. Just didn't grab my attention and didn't have enough character development for me. ...more
Aug 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Full review on

I really wish Mele were real and not a fictional character because I would find her and become her friend. Yes, she’s been dealt a pretty crappy blow. She didn’t know Bobby was engaged to someone else when they began their relationship but when she found out she was pregnant she decided to go it alone. She has some help from Bobby, but the majority of child rearing falls on her shoulders. Instead of wallowing in self pity, she makes the best of the life that she
Helen Marquis
Apr 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Having loved "The Descendants", I was really happy to get my hands on the latest novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings. This time around, the action takes place in San Francisco and centres around Mele Bart, who on telling her boyfriend that she's pregnant finds out he's engaged to someone else.
Mele joins the San Francisco Mommy Club to find some new friends, and initially ends up with a group of Nob Hill snobs with whom she has very little in common. Eventually she find a group of "her" people - Annie, B
Nov 21, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016, november-2016
Ugh, I'm hating everything lately. I would say it must be me, but I was never going to like this book. One thing that drives me nuts is when an author doesn't seem to realize that her main character sucks. She is supposedly skewering the catty, judgmental, cliquey kind of moms, but she actually is just as catty and judgmental and cliquey herself. This is the kind of person who assumes that when people don't like her, they must be jealous, when actually it's probably because she sucks. Not as fun ...more
Aug 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
This might be a love-it-or-hate-it book. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is so snarky (which I guiltily admit I loved), but I would argue it is not without heart.
Maybe not the best character development ever, but the author brilliantly captures certain mother "types" and the sometimes wacky culture of modern parenting.
P.S. Very very funny. Laughed out loud many times!
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
Aug 13, 2016 rated it really liked it

How to Party With an Infant by Kaui Hart Hemmings is a highly recommended humorous, yet moving account of being a parent and a person.

Mele Bart is a single mom living in San Fransisco. After a few failed attempts at meeting other moms, she's managed to find a mother's support group where she fits in with the members. Her group joined the official San Francisco Mommy Club. Now SFMC is having a cookbook competition and Mele is filling out the entry form. Actually, the whole book is Mele filling ou
Apr 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I loved this book. The writing, the characters, everything just worked. I found myself smiling and chuckling throughout the whole time while reading it. One of those moments was when Mele got waxed for the first timed and was horrified at the results because she thought she looked like Mr. Bigglesworth, the hairless cat. Then when her daughter starts screaming Dora at the park because she is convinced a Mexican nanny is in fact the Explorer. Barrett's son wanted to have his birthday party at hom ...more
Heather Fineisen
Jul 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: net-galley
There are lines and scenes in this book that had me laughing out loud. Kaui Hart Jennings is witty and real in this story that is formatted as a cookbook entry questionnaire. Mele, the main character, chooses a story from each of her mommy group friends and slyly assigns a recipe to represent their story. Some of the scenarios are funny, heartbreaking, scary, cringeworthy or a combination thereof. You will probably recognize some of your own parenting style somewhere in there. There is adultery, ...more
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
I either have less patience or I've been reading some "difficult" books lately.

If I had to use a dish to describe this book it would be Steamed Okra. For one, its not for everyone, some will love it while some hate it. For those of us who dislike it its an acquired taste, you pretty much want to quit throughout the entire meal but you stick with it because someone of influence recommended it. When you're done you can't believe you actually ate it all; however, its forgettable, doesn't leave a ta
Aug 12, 2016 rated it it was ok
This is too much about parenting to be a broadly funny or approachable book, and I still don't understand the cover art. Is it a bra? Bottle nipples? A bunny mask? None of them make any sense to me, and I feel grumpy. ...more
Aug 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Slicker, sharper and less sentimental than other books I’ve read by Kaui Hart Hemmings, her latest, How to Party With an Infant, makes for entertaining reading.

Recipe blogger, Mele Bart, is single mum to two-year-old Ellie. When she was pregnant, Mele’s boyfriend, Bobby, announced his engagement – to another woman (an artisan cheese-maker from the Napa valley). Bobby wants Ellie to be the flower-girl in his wedding and Mele reluctantly agrees.

To take her mind off the upcoming nuptials, Mele ente
Sarah Obsesses over Books & Cookies
I loved this! Kaui Hart Hemmings had me at the Descendants and then her short stories were just as entertaining and then her The Possibilities was a great straight up novel and then she had a YA book that I have but haven't read yet because YA is something I only do once in a while but this, when I saw it on Netgalley I had to get it because this time around she's writing about being a young single mom. I'm not young or single but I am a mom and if you have children, esp young ones her writing a ...more
Fluff Smut & Murder
Apr 26, 2016 rated it really liked it

Thank you to and to the publisher for the ARC of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

What a delight to read - I had enjoyed Ms. Hart Hemming’s previous work and was super excited for the opportunity to read hew new novel. To find friendship and love in a cold city such as San Francisco is a gift to be cherished. What makes San Francisco a cold city? Cold temperature, ritzy people, city life – c’mon you’ve watched an episode of Million Dollar Listing San Francisco..don’t tel
Lolly K Dandeneau
Apr 22, 2016 rated it liked it
"If they want to pretend that Ellie materialized like a fairy, so be it."

When you tell your boyfriend you are pregnant and his response is that he isn't really yours at all and he is, in fact, already engaged- you know it can't get much worse. Or can it? With that dirty little truth released into her life, Mele Bart realizes she can't yearn for Bobby like some lunatic. We jump ahead and now, Bobby and his darling, perfect fiance want Ellie (love child) to be a flower girl in their wedding. But h
May 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
I picked up this book only because I am a new mother to an amazing 19 month old and the title made me laugh out loud. This book did not disappoint! Mele Bart is a single mother, who is trying to co-parent with her ex who just so happens to be getting married to another woman. To help with some of the anxiety Mele is feeling about having her child in her ex's wedding, she enters a cookbook writing contest. As Mele begins to find inspriation from her friends for the recipes, she also learns about ...more
Sep 11, 2016 rated it it was ok
I had trouble getting into this book and ended up skimming it. Much of Mele's narration is actually from answers to a cookbook contest she enters. In these responses, she overshares to a ridiculous extent. When relating her friends' stories -- which inspire her recipes -- we only get brief glimpses of each person. Most of the characters are pretty unlikeable (including a mom making up crazy lies to her teenage son to get him to like her). ...more
Oct 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: motherhood
The premise is a bit thin (telling a story about each friend in her mom group, and finding recipes to pair with each... in order to enter a cookbook contest?) and the ending is somewhat predictable. However, this book had some lovable characters and very funny moments. The style reminded me of "Where'd you go, Bernadette?" ...more
Nov 27, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-2016
Every character in this book needs to down a bottle of Xanax and pull the giant sticks out of their asses.
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
More important to me than whether or not this is a good book (it is) is my emotional response to it and how I happened to read it at the exact right time. My best friend who saved me from the crippling loneliness of being a stay-at-home mom to babies and toddlers is moving in two days, so I read this book in a whirlwind of escapist reading and then cried into a dish towel in the kitchen. The book is hilarious, with real honesty in the characters and their experiences. Did I relate to how horribl ...more
Staci Marie
Jul 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
I noticed book plot lines that weave cooking or recipes into them work well together.
The idea of making meals or recipes based on a moment of time to tell a story is a great idea.
The mom Georgia that was pushed around by her son Chris, I really wanted her to stand up for herself. The way her son spoke to her was disgusting.
Emily Daley
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was a really fun, enjoyable read. The characters seemed real and relatable, which made it even better. The ending was satisfying, not like one of those books you spend all of your time on just to be disappointed by the ending. Overall, this book was great and I’m so glad I chose it to read.
Jan 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Honestly this is probably more like a 3.5 but I’m a sucker for books with characters that are as judgey as I can be.
Aug 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Cute little read about finding your way. I loved the funny little comments from the message boards in between chapters -- read like "Big Little Lies." Not a highly literary read, but five stars in my opinion for being exactly the light, fun story it is meant to be. ...more
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Play Book Tag: How to Party with an Infant by Kaui Hart Hemmings - 4 stars 1 14 Oct 23, 2016 10:26PM  

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I'm the author of The Descendants, House of Thieves, The Possibilities and Juniors, a YA novel. My next novel, How to Party with an Infant will be published August 9 2016. Visit my website:

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