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The Bright Side of Disaster

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  4,419 ratings  ·  615 reviews
Sometimes the worst thing that can happen is exactly what you’ve been waiting for.

Very pregnant and not quite married, Jenny Harris doesn’t mind that she and her live-in fiancé, Dean, accidentally started their family a little earlier than planned. But Dean is acting distant, and the night he runs out for cigarettes and doesn’t come back, he demotes himself from future
Paperback, 288 pages
Published April 8th 2008 by Ballantine Books (first published June 26th 2006)
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Average rating 3.70  · 
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Susanne  Strong
3 Sweet Stars!

Pregnancy wasn’t exactly in Jenny’s plan but it happened and she embraces it. Jenny thinks her boyfriend Dean does too. After all, he proposed to her. Unfortunately for Jenny, she thought wrong. It becomes crystal clear when he abandons her mere hours before she is due to give birth and yet, she still hopes he’ll come back.. someday. Perhaps those are pregnancy hormones talking?

Jenny however, is one tough gal and except for a few blips in the beginning, she is a natural when it
Jennifer Kyle
3 Stars ...more
Aug 16, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Rebecca Sanders
May 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
Dec 03, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like Center's stuff. She's got a great off beat sense of humor. This book was a romp, filled with unique characters and a cute story line. New mom gets dumped the day before she gives birth. The baby's daddy is a moron. I especially loved Jenny's parents and the way they all interacted. However...I wasn't completely taken with. ..... .Jenny. Sure, she was funny and impulsive. She really made me laugh in spots. But she was also really really stupid with choices and decisions we readers knew ...more
Jan 14, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: didn-t-finish
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.
Jul 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 19, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Jan 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Katherine writes feel good books. There may be difficult times involved but she deals with them lightly, never letting her reader get too overwhelmed by sadness for her characters.

Always guaranteed to be a page turner.

Her heroine was human, real and easy to identify with - you can't help but root for her and hope for the happy ending you know she deserves. If you want a quick read that isn't too heavy but is well written, nicely characterised and just manages to take you out of yourself for
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.

Alisa Jamerson
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book at my local Dollar Tree and decided to purchase it. I'm glad that I did! I liked the story and as a fellow single mom, could relate to the main character's experiences, with the exception of the ending and other male main character.
May 20, 2008 rated it liked it
I liked this book except for that darn “f” word that kept popping up. Why would an author ruin a perfectly good book like that? But the story was nice, even if it was a bit predictable. I can totally see this being made into a movie. And there were some very lovely passages of prose as well, particularly about her love for her baby (maybe I liked that so much because her baby is the same age as my baby right now and I totally got it). But again, why ruin such a nice book with that ugly word?

Natasha Stone
Jul 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Katherine Center has this great ability to make you care for her characters almost immediately. Some
Frustrating moments in this tale but a satisfying ending. Was a great weekend-lounge-by-pool book for sure!
Apr 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even though this story is predictable, I enjoyed the underlying themes of love, forgiveness, sacrifice and the strength of moving on that the main character is faced with. Center is one of my favorite authors I've discovered in the last year.
Jennifer Selander
Aug 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I laughed.....I cried....twas good.
Jan Crossen
Oct 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved it! I'm so glad I recently discovered Katherine Center!
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
The Bright Side of Disaster is the second book by Katherine Center that I've read and it was a cute, enjoyable read. There wasn't a lot of depth but it was a feel good story that made me chuckle more than once. We meet Jenny Harris who is pregnant, engaged and happy when suddenly she shockingly finds herself alone and on the brink of single motherhood. The book follows her struggles in the months that follow and finding her way back to happiness and perhaps a better life than she could have ...more
Robin Ince
I LOVED How to Walk Away by Center and having been dying to get my hands on another of her books. I was disappointed that this one was only meh. It does paint a really good picture of what having a newborn is like which I appreciated. I just didn't love the main character and didn't feel like she was dynamic enough with the circumstances she goes through in this story.
Sep 09, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Started and finished this on our flight home from SF. Some great human insight with very real characters again, but not a whole lot happens, and we don’t get much resolution. Very realistic, as usual, with a lot of good highlighting. But I’m not sure what the point of it was.
Jan 30, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Danielle Merjano
** Possible spoilers**

Jenny and Dean are engaged and Jenny is pregnant. Dean sucks and leaves a day before Jenny goes into labor and she has to figure out how to be on her own (which doesn't last long because she has a handsome neighbor who used to be a doctor and now flips houses, because that's a thing)
My main issue with this book is that her daughter is more of a prop in the book and not a character. She talks about how she cries all the time and doesn't sleep and I get that, but by the end
Judy Christiana
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
After hearing about Katherine on the What Should I Read Next podcast, I decided I need to dig a little deeper. I read Happiness for Beginners last year and loved it. This is her debut from about ten years ago and it was just as delightful. I loved Jenny and Maxie and Gardner and couldn’t stand Dean from the very beginning!
Apr 01, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-fiction
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."
Sep 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chic-lit
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!
May 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The is the first book I ever read by Katherine Center. It came at exactly the right time in my life. It was funny, witty, and made me feel hopeful. I was in the middle of my graduate school research and this was just what I needed to lighten things up in my very tense life.
Andrea Stocking
Mar 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
She's an excellent writer with witty dialogue. Overall, I recommend the book. My only con is that I differ so much from the main character that I had a hard time not wanting to strangle her for her terrible decision-making skills.
Marsha Lambert
Nov 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome Read

I absolutely loved this book as I love the other Katherine Center books I have read. Life, love, twists and turns all combine in this book to show us what are the most important things in life.
Holy wow Dean was the woooorst. I wished we'd gotten more Gardner since he's meant to be Jenny's love interest after Dean.
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Katherine Center is the New York Times bestselling author of How to Walk Away, the upcoming Things You Save in a Fire (August 2019), and five other bittersweet comic novels. Six Foot Pictures is currently adapting her fourth novel, The Lost Husband, into a feature film starring Josh Duhamel, Leslie Bibb, and Nora Dunn. Katherine has been compared to both Nora Ephron and Jane Austen, and the Dallas ...more
“And I was grateful. For all the things that had brought me to this moment, and for every single thing that would follow.” 11 likes
“Something good was happening. My life was rising from the ashes, and the sight of it left me feeling something like hopeful.” 9 likes
More quotes…