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The Bright Side of Disaster

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  6,712 ratings  ·  868 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 hus
Paperback, 288 pages
Published April 8th 2008 by Ballantine Books (first published June 26th 2006)
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Average rating 3.71  · 
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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 com
Jun 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-4
Jenny is forced to wade into motherhood alone when her boyfriend Dean abandons her just before her due date. This had delightfully colorful characters and was quite unlike the other Katherine Center book I’d read, but I still thoroughly enjoyed it. Absolutely loved the hilariously snarky descriptions of the very real moments of motherhood. That birth plan that so did not go as planned. Nursing. I couldn’t stop laughing at poor Jenny’s experience with the almonds. She was such an everyday charact ...more
Jennifer Kyle
3 ⭐️ Stars
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. ...more
Jenny Jo Weir
Jul 30, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ok-read
I love Katherine Center. Every book I've read from her is wonderful. I might not have loved this one, like I have all her other ones, but it was still good and I'm glad I checked it out. I just wish Jenny would have had a backbone. I don't like weak female leads and she didn't do much for me in that regard, but the story itself was worth the read. I'm still a fan of Mrs. Center and will continue reading her work. ...more
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
Jan 21, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021
This was a nice, easy read to spend a few days with. The simplicity of the story was exactly what I was needing to distract me during mundane parts of my day. Though this book centered around misfortune and crappy circumstances, it was still a cheerful and uplifting read.

I wish the ending hadn’t felt quite so rushed, but otherwise I really enjoyed this story.
Leslie D.
May 29, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a cute little novel about dealing with unexpected happenings, new motherhood, relationships, etc. I like that the tone seemed to be upbeat throughout. Good read for a weekend!
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. ...more
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
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 wer ...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 forw ...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 th
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. ...more
I love love love Katherine Center. (ok technically I don’t know her, but I love her books!)The first book I read of hers was How To Walk Away, followed by Things you Save in a Fire, and I was hook line and addicted by the time I read What you Wish For. I just love her style of writing and the storylines she chooses are unique, and the characters very relatable. You can read her books in one sitting, that’s how good they are. I went to the used book store not intending to buy anything (hee hee) a ...more
diann bryan
Apr 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listening-to, audible
All of Katherine Center’s stories are showing the human side of life and how mistakes may happen but they don’t define who you are but maybe they give you a little more character
Susan's Reviews
Mar 07, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another review that has gone missing!
I agree with another Goodreads reviewer (Chloe: Always Booked) that Jenny's Post-delivery behaviour (no spoilers here) with Dean was not rational. I blamed it on hormones or post-partum depression. Dean was pond scum and did not deserve a second chance - at all!!!

Jenny had to cope with raising her child on her own, with no financial help from him. Her baby, Maxie was was a crier

and a handful, and thank goodness for the hot neighbour, John Gardner, who always
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.

Chloe (Always Booked)
4.5 stars. I loved this book. It was the perfect book at the perfect time for me so that may be why, but I thought the characters were great, writing was wonderful, and the pacing was perfect. I LOVED Gardner. My only complaint is that Jenny makes a choice with Dean later in the book that was REALLY frustrating and annoying. I could sort of understand why she did, but she had such a good thing going it was aggravating to see her blow it. Combined with his wretched parents, I don't see the appeal ...more
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. ...more
Ashton Noel
Apr 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had predicted this would be a 5 star read and I was right. I loved this story. It follows Jenny who is a soon to be mother with a jerk of a fiance who leaves her the day before she goes into labor. The rest of the story is her thrust into being a single mother. As a mom of 2 littles I found alot of the labor and delivery scenes and breastfeeding relatable and funny. Her struggles as a new mom like lack of sleep and not taking time to shower or eat was relatable and so true too. I really enjoye ...more
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?

Susan Peterson
May 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love living in the world that Katherine Center creates where everything is imperfect but there is always humor, there is always love, there are always people around you to pick you up when things get bad. In The Bright Side of Disaster, Jenny finds herself in an unenviable position, struggling on so many levels, but never losing sight of what matters most-being the best mom she can be, and living a life that is happy and love-filled. I loved Jenny, who wasn’t perfect, who made mistakes, who wa ...more
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I felt like this story started slow, but only because I disliked Dean so much (more and more the farther in I got) and I was so impatient for Jenny to dump him. I was right there with Meredith in the “not a fan of Dean” club. And then just when Jenny finally got to be happy... (Me: “Please let there be another chapter...” No such luck) Then of course it was over. SIGH. Why is Katherine Center making me want to live inside her books?
Guida Brown
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: chick-lit
I wish I had half — maybe even just a third — of Katherine Center’s talent for writing dialogue and character development. That this is her debut novel is mind-boggling to me! I felt as though I knew each of the characters as well as some of my own friends, and the book is laugh-out-loud funny, too!

It’s a great read about imperfect and real people doing their best to just muddle through, which is what most of us are doing.
Listened to this on audiobook over a couple days. Absolutely adored it! Really got me out of my own head when I needed to the most. Predictable for the most part, but that doesn't take away from the enjoyment this book gave me. The narrator really did a fantastic job! It was also pretty relatable on some personal levels. This would make a great Hallmark-ish movie! Thank you to whoever recommended this earlier Katherine Center book to me! ...more
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!
Cami Smith
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It only took me this long to read because of back to school craziness. As soon as I picked it back up it took me only two days to finish most of the book! I really, really love reading this author and her feel good stories!
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. ...more
Nov 02, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  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.
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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

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