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Crimes Against a Book Club

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“Lighthearted…You’ll speed through this read.” — Real Simple Best friends Annie and Sarah need cash—fast. Sarah, a beautiful, successful lawyer, wants nothing more than to have a baby. But balancing IVF treatments with a grueling eighty-hour workweek is no walk in the park. Meanwhile, Annie, a Harvard-grad chemist recently transplanted to Southern California, is cutting coupons to afford her young autistic son’s expensive therapy. Desperate, the two friends come up with a brilliant plan: they’ll combine Sarah’s looks and Annie’s brains to sell a “luxury” antiaging face cream to the wealthy, fading beauties in Annie’s La Jolla book club. The scheme seems innocent enough, until Annie decides to add a special—and oh-so-illegal—ingredient that could bring their whole operation crashing to the ground. Hilarious, intelligent, and warm, Crimes Against a Book Club is a delightful look at the lengths women will go to fend for their families and for one another.

322 pages, Kindle Edition

First published May 1, 2017

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Kathy Cooperman

2 books110 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,445 reviews
Profile Image for Always Pouting.
568 reviews698 followers
July 22, 2017
When her son Oscar is diagnosed with Autism and requires thousands of dollars in therapy, Annie is at a loss for what to do to pay for it. Then when out shopping with her best friend Sarah she gets brilliant idea, selling beauty products to high end customers. Sarah is gorgeous and until recently was a high power lawyer and Annie know's that Sarah will easily be able to get credit with the rich women at a book club she went to last week. On her part Sarah could also use the money for her expensive IVF treatment also considering she quit her job recently in a moment of anger. The two decide to go ahead and try the scheme out, but Annie who had been planning to make the cream felt guilty for charging so much money without giving her customers anything and decided to spike the cream with cocaine, hoping it might also keep the customers coming back. Soon things get out of hand as Annie runs out of drugs to use and a women who hasn't been able to buy the cream sets out to get revenge on them for snubbing her.

The book was amusing and a good light read, though I had to roll my eyes a few times. I know it's not supposed to be a serious read but it still got on my nerves that Annie was being so annoying about the cocaine. You would think a Harvard graduate chemist would be able to think of legal stimulants to put in her cream if she really felt so bad about cheating her customers. Or she could've simply just not put anything in it because again they were scamming people. The ending was also too neat and like yay everyone's happy forever I guess but it seemed so convenient and cheesy that everyone got away with it and suddenly they're famous and get money and wow life is awesome. I did like reading about the women in the book clubs problems but it kind of ruined it for me that everything was so hunky dory in the end and they all fixed their love lives and who cares that this women lied to them for money lets just stay friends. Also this is really bothering me but can you even absorb cocaine through your skin?
Profile Image for Obsidian.
2,709 reviews928 followers
May 22, 2017
I got this as the Kindle Single this month from Amazon. I have to say, I am shocked at how much I enjoyed this book. Maybe because the book at the top of each chapter goes into a book club read and gives you someone's perspective on it. Or I just loved the fact that some of the lines in this book were so freaking hilarious that I laughed out loud. I was actually sad to see the book end. I do have to say the ending was a bit out there, and not believable in the least bit, but I liked it. I think that some things could be tightened up a bit though (sense of time and it would have been nice to get a better sense of some of the male characters in this one).

The book starts off with two best friends (Annie and Sarah) both coming to a financial hurdle in their lives. Anne is a stay at home mom to three kids. When her son Oscar is diagnosed with autism and she is told how much it's going to cost her family to deal with one year of treatment for Oscar ($80,000) she is justifiably worried that there is no way for her family to deal with this cost on top of their mortgage and other bills.

Sarah is dealing with IVF treatments. She and her husband Michael are trying to have kids. However, due to Sarah's high pressured job (she's a lawyer trying to make partner) there's a worry she's too stressed out to get pregnant. When she finally quits her job (in a hilarious freaking scene) she realizes that she doesn't have the cash to keep paying for the treatments.

Enter the plan. Annie has gone to a book club and realized that these 1 percenters would pay thousands ($2,000) for a facial cream that makes women look younger. Due to Annie being a chemist, she puts together several different types of facial creams and mixes in a secret ingredient (no spoilers) and then uses the fact that Sarah looks a decade younger than her age to push the facial cream first to their book club friends and others.

Can I say though that out of the gate I had real sympathy for some of the book club crew. We delve into each women a little bit here and there along with Annie and Sarah. You get to see in some cases grossly unhappy women who are doing what they can to keep their husbands interested. In other women's cases, they are doing what they can to start all over again after being traded in for a younger model.

I did enjoy Sarah more than Annie. I felt out of like with Annie once we find out about her secret ingredient. Her reasoning behind it was total crap. And I hated that Annie sat around being judgmental about the other women and even Sarah to a certain degree. The two friends do have a falling out, but I was glad that Sarah let Annie have it. She needed it.

I honestly thought that the book worked very well together. I do have to say that the flow was a bit off here and there though. And as I said the ending was not believable at all, but I enjoyed it. I do think that the timeline situation should have been tightened up though. At one point I was reading and someone goes that so and so was 7 months pregnant and I went, wait a minute, they met when she announced she was pregnant, does that mean it's been like 4 months? I just needed the timeline spelled out a bit better.
Profile Image for Michelle.
1,342 reviews115 followers
September 28, 2019
Its been a while since I read a book that made me laugh out loud, this book is hilarious, I loved so much about this.

I loved that at the beginning of each chapter there are notes on various books, most of which I've read, that just made me tear up with laughter.

I loved Chloe, now this woman is a doll!

I loved how the bookclub never discussed the book of the month and used the monthly meetings as a excuse for wine, gossip and to put each other down.

A light read that ticks all the boxes for chick lit trash which I'm personally a big fan of. Perfect sunbed reading.
Profile Image for Sarah Joint.
445 reviews985 followers
May 10, 2017
Laugh out loud funny. Take this one to the beach, if you're not concerned over strangers staring because you're giggling to yourself as you read. Mostly light and quirky. Utterly ridiculous but completely charming. I needed a light, witty read and that's exactly what I got from Kathy Cooperman.

It all started with the book club. Annie is invited by a friend to attend a meeting in an affluent area she lives near but not in. At first eager to read and discuss literature with other women, she quickly realizes that's not going to happen. The book club seems to be more of an excuse to drink wine and gossip. Though she's disappointed, it all leads to a crazy idea...

Sarah is a stunningly beautiful and successful lawyer. To some, she may seem like she has everything... but what she wants is a child. She and her husband have been trying for ages and are undergoing fertility treatments, but much to her frustration it doesn't seem to want to take.

Though very different, these two women have had a loyal and loving friendship that has stood the test of time. They're immensely devoted to each other. When Annie learns that one of her three children has autism and requires incredibly expensive treatment and therapy, she doesn't know where to turn. She hatches a money making scheme: selling extremely overpriced face cream to the ladies in the book club and others like them. Her background in chemistry helps, but she really wants the cream to have some kind of effect to keep the ladies buying. Crazily, she settles on adding something very illegal to the mix... and business starts booming.

I received an ARC of this book from Net Galley and Lake Union Publishing, thank you! My review is honest and unbiased.
Profile Image for Ameetha Widdershins.
386 reviews14 followers
April 9, 2017
Light, quick read.
Introduced me to some novels in the book-related chapter prologues.

The book club connection is very slim.
The ties made to books before each chapter was a little feeble and felt more like a gimmick to bring in the link to the title or like name-dropping. It didn't really add to the story and didn't work well as a device.

I would read other works by this author.
Profile Image for Gina.
373 reviews27 followers
September 9, 2018
Meh. As expected, the book continued to be dumb with rather insipid characters although the premise had a lot of potential. Kim was probably my favorite. I connected somewhat with Annie and Sarah in the beginning but I wasn't thrilled with the ending or epilogue. It felt rushed and too predictable, not enough tension. Avoid the audio, it was WAY overdramatic and I think it took away some of my enjoyment of the story.
Profile Image for Jessica.
102 reviews
April 2, 2017
If you enjoy witty books about female friendships, then you'll enjoy this one. As I read it, my husband kept asking, "What are you laughing at?" The two main characters, Annie and Sarah, are in need of money and trick these rich book club members into buying a face cream with a secret ingredient. The story is mostly set in La Jolla, a wealthy town near San Diego. As a New Englander, I enjoyed reading descriptions of this alien world where women own Hermes bags and plastic surgery is common place. However, the best thing about the book was the friendship between Annie and Sarah. They are strong, intelligent female characters and I routed for them from the very beginning. I highly recommend this book. I just wish Cooperman had more books published, so I could binge read.
Profile Image for Siv30.
2,306 reviews121 followers
October 27, 2018
3.5 כוכבים.

כשאנני מגלה שבנה, אוסקר, אוטיסט ונדרש לטיפולים שיעלו להם 7,000 דולר לחודש, היא חייבת לגבש פתרון מהיר לגיוס הכסף. אנני אינה עובדת, היא עקרת בית שרוב זמנה מטפלת בבנה. בעלה מהנדס שזה מכבר קיבל קידום, אולם משכורתו לא תספיק למימון הטיפולים השונים הנדרשים.

אנני, דוקטור לכימיה, בדיוק עברה עם משפחתה ל- לה הויה. אזור עשיר שבו נשים מוכנות לשלם 2,000 דולר עבור מוצרי קוסמטיקה. היא משכנעת את חברתה שרה, עו"ד בת 42 המנסה להרות ללא הצלחה בשל לחצי העבודה, להצטרף למיזם קוסמטיקה לממכר קרם פנים. היא מציעה שימכרו את הקרם לנשים החברות במועדון הספר של לה הויה.

אלא שאנני, מתבלת את קרם הפנים שלה במרכיב סודי, שגורם לנשים לפרוח ואט אט השמועה עושה לה כנפיים והקרם של אנני צובר הצלחה. חוץ מאצל אחת.

סיפורן של הנשים בחבורה של מועדון הספר, מעניין. אהבתי אותו. הסיפור נע בין הסיפור של אנני, לסיפור של שרה ולסיפור של כל אחת מהחבורה במועדון הספר. הוא סיפור של חברות, של תחרות ושל מעמדות. אבל יותר מכל הוא סיפור של עוצמה נשית והאפליה החברתית של נשים מעל גיל 40:

הן נדרשות להיות חטובות, יפות, מטופחות ובאופן עקרוני באזורים שבהם מדובר להיות צעצועים של הגברים שאיתן. כידוע, צעצועים גם ניתן להחליף, אז לרוב חרב האישה האחרת הצעירה והמתוחה יותר, מונפת מעל צווארן.

מאידך, הגברים מזדקנים במכובדות. גם כשהם מתקרחים. גם כשהבטן שלהם משתפלת וגם כשהם הופכים רופסים, מרוששים וחסרי רלוונטיות. בקטע קורע במיוחד, קים, אחת החברות במועדון, קורעת לגזרים בטניס את הגבר אלפא של החבורה, שאף לא אחד מהגברים רוצה להתמודד מולו.

אהבתי במיוחד את הסיפור של שרה וגם את הסיפור של קים.

אנני לעומת זאת הזויה ברמות על. זה אחד הדברים שהפריע לי בסיפור. אנני ומשפחתה ובעיקר אוסקר היו אמורים להיות מרכז הסיפור, אבל הסיפור תפס כזה טוויסט פרוע והזוי בצד שלהם, שהוא נתפס כבלתי אמין לחלוטין.

הנחמה היחידה בצד של אנני, היא אמא של אנני, קלואי. היא טיפוס צבעוני ומשעשע. הרבה יותר מעניינת מאנני עצמה ולא בכדי בחלק האחרון של הספר הסופרת מסיטה את תשומת הלב אליה.

ספר חמוד ביותר מספר מספר שעות של קריאה מהנה.
Profile Image for Carlin.
1,344 reviews8 followers
June 10, 2017
Kindle First book for April, 2017

I'm having a hard time getting into this book partly because I'm not crazy about any of the characters or the premise. Stopped reading 5/16/17 at 59%. I'll get back to it at some point.
Profile Image for Paula  Phillips.
4,786 reviews289 followers
June 5, 2017
Moving to a new place in California, Annie is invited to attend a book club with the rich people of the neighborhood. Here she meets Dawn and the other rich wives around town. During her time in her new town, she learns that her son Oscar has autism and she needs $84,000 to pay for his therapy. When she is out with her friend Sarah, she watches a woman spend thousands of dollars on a face cream. As Annie has a chemistry background, she comes up with an idea to create her face cream. Sarah has been spending thousands on IVF and fertility treatments as well as working long hours as a lawyer. When she decides to quit her job on a whim, she realizes she no longer has the funds to pay for treatments. With her friend Annie creating the products, Sarah with her beauty and background in public speaking she becomes the face of the product. As the product starts to become popular, They'll be rolling in money in no time. The only problem? The "secret ingredient" is ... illegal.
You know what happens next. Everyone wants Etinav, and the cream is a huge success. But as it grows in popularity, eventually, someone finds out that the "secret ingredient" is ... cocaine.
What will happen though when out of spite someone tests the cream and they find out the secret ingredient?
Fans of the TV show Breaking Bad will enjoy Crimes Against a Book Club as I found it was a cross between Breaking Bad meets the Book World.
Profile Image for Cindy Roesel.
Author 1 book60 followers
April 26, 2017
A couple of girlfriends come up with a scheme to make-a-buck  - quick!
Best friends Annie and Sarah need some cash, quickly. Annie's a brainiac chemist with a Harvard PhD, three kids, and pricey therapy bills for her autistic son, Oscar. Sarah's a lawyer, who wants nothing more than to have a baby, but can't, so she's trying to come up with enough cash for in vitro fertilization treatments. Cha-ching! Annie knows a lot of really rich women in her town of LaJolla. Many of her fellow book club members have more money than they can spend. Sarah has a youthful, gorgeous face that women would die for. Annie creates a "face cream" - Etinav - and together they come up with a get rich scheme to sell face cream for $2,000 a pop. They'll be rolling in money in no time. The only problem? The "secret ingredient" is ... illegal.
You know what happens next. Everyone wants Etinav and the cream is a huge success. But as it grows in popularity, eventually, someone finds out that the "secret ingredient" is ... cocaine.
I enjoyed the pace of CRIMES AGAINST A BOOK CLUB. The plot was obvious, but Kathy Kooper creates a completely believable bunch of southern Cal Ladies seeking the "fountain of youth." I enjoyed the relationship between Annie and Sarah and how they kept one another's back. There were a few times I got lost trying to figure out who was who. I'd suggest editing out a few characters, or finding a way to make them more distinct.
CRIMES AGAINST A BOOK CLUB is a perfect beach of pool read. And with the warm weather coming, you have the perfect book to pack in your beach bag or tote. I'd couple CRIMES AGAINST A BOOK CLUB with a Cosmo ... delish!
Profile Image for Jennifer.
54 reviews
April 20, 2017
This book was okay. It reminded me of a book that I would take to the beach. For me, beach books are those I can read while distracted. I might unintentionally skim over a few paragraphs here and there, but I won't miss anything important in doing so because really, there's nothing all that important anywhere in the book.

The premise was alright. I could see it potentially happening in real life, so I didn't need to make any huge leaps to accept the plot line, which is always a plus to me. I appreciated that there were some moments I could easily relate to in the book, especially when it came to family dynamics. The author clearly has an opinion on society's wealthy families, their values, and what money means to them. The book also makes clear the author's feelings about the quest for eternal youth and how some people will do anything to turn back the clock.

I wasn't crazy about the peripheral characters. Because the main characters were aiming to expand their customer base, they encountered a lot of other women along the way. The author provided brief stories about some of them, but it was a bit of a challenge to keep all the customers straight, especially since I wasn't sure whether they were new or repeat customers. The author developed two minor characters (Chloe and Valerie) a bit more thoroughly, and I enjoyed reading their story lines. I could easily see either or both of those characters getting its own spin-off novel.

Now, I didn't go seeking out this book. It was a free download from Amazon this month, and I chose to read it while I move up on my library's wait list for some of the books I actually want to read. I've been reading this between a few other books, so it took a while for me to get through it.

All in all, if you can get this for free, and you want something that you don't really have to think about when you read, then go for it. But, if you're looking for something profound with a deep meaning that could potentially impact how you view the world, then this is not the book for you.
1 review
April 3, 2017
Didn't expect this one! Thought it would be too fluffy; but good writing, absolutely

Hysterical, I laughed until I cried-recommend for all savvy book clubs!
Even in La Jolla· Hang on to your wallets·
Profile Image for Brittney Hall.
4 reviews1 follower
April 8, 2017
I am not a big fan of Lifetime or Hallmark movies and this book could definitely be one. One of those made for TV movies geared towards women with a little humor and lots of cliche characters. It's not horrible, just not my cup of tea.
Profile Image for Karimama.
7 reviews17 followers
July 3, 2017

At first, I thought it a mystery because of the title, but no, it turned out to be one of the most enjoyable chicklit I've ever read!
The storyline is well thought and woven, and I also liked the author's sense of humor, which often made me chuckle aloud.;D
What I enjoyed most, however, among other things, is the narration! (Yes, I listened to the audiobook,too.) This narrator is such an actress I was amazed by the dramatic effect she added to the story! Especially when the protagonists get emotional, like, furious! lol I should give her a big credit:)
All in all, I recommend this book to every chicklit lover, preferably in Audio version!;)
Profile Image for Kelly.
90 reviews
June 17, 2017
after a few heavy reads, this was a perfect palate cleanser. light, funny, silly. it would be a cute lifetime movie.
336 reviews6 followers
December 14, 2017
I'm not sure where I picked up this book and I want to be clear it's a short book. That said, I had a great time reading this story. The general premise is two friends face financial crisis's and they devise a scheme to make some money. The story really revolves around that process mixing in some serious situations but as a whole the story is very entertaining. Some of the lines were great. So much so that I was laughing out loud.
So if you want a quick, lite, funny read this is for you
Profile Image for Pia.
236 reviews20 followers
October 23, 2017
This book is funny and well written, just not for me.

The premise sounds interesting: two best friends, one married with children the other single. Both need money, so they devise a plan to sell a fake "miracle" cream to the rich ladies of Annie's La Jolla, Ca. book club. The problem is there's a secret ingredient that is totally illegal and potentially dangerous.

This is a fast, light beach read type of book. Maybe too light for me?

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Jackie.
315 reviews12 followers
September 14, 2018
This was a slow start, culminating into a fluffy read at best. From the beginning, you knew they were going to get caught but I'm not sure that was entirely necessary to reveal up front in this book. It took the excitement out of the ending.

This would be good for a filler-book, but I'd say don't go in with high expectations and don't go in thinking this is actually about a book club.
Profile Image for Darcey Hawkins.
45 reviews
April 17, 2017
I'm disappointed.
I'm from the Imperial Beach area of Southern Cali. I suggest the author spend a weekend there and enjoy it for what it offers, which is a lot.
I didn't care for how the novel ended...I won't elaborate as to avoid spoilers.
Profile Image for Chloe (Always Booked).
1,852 reviews120 followers
July 17, 2018
This is a cute story about Annie and Sarah. Annie is kind of nerdy and into science. She’s married with 3 kids and just finds out one of them has autism. He needs therapy, but it’s so expensive she needs to find another means of income to pay for it.
Annie is a gorgeous red head who is also married but she’s struggling with infertility. She’s 42 and has been undergoing treatments for so long, she needs financial help to continue.
These women decide to make a face cream that’s basically just a combo of other face creams on the market and sell it to the high society ladies of La Jolla, CA. Annie invites Sarah to her book club (made up of very wealthy women) and they start their plan there. What Sarah doesn’t know is that while Annie was concocting the formula, she put a gram of cocaine in every bottle. Her druggie brother was staying with them after a stint in rehab so she took it and used it to give an addicting jolt to the face cream.
The book follows their journey as well as some of the other book club ladies story. Annie’s mon, Chloe, joins in on the scheme and becomes the older lady proof. They say they’re much older than they are but the skin cream saved them. They sell $200k worth of the cream ($2k per bottle) and then the cocaine runs out. Chloe is caught doing a drug deal to buy more cocaine and the whole scheme is uncovered. The attention hungry prosecutor leaks a lot of info to the media and makes it so nobody will talk to them. Women are embarrassed to have spent so much and to have virtually become addicted to crack-nobody will talk without a lawyer.
In the end, they can’t prove anything with the drug deal or amount of cocaine, so chloe takes the fall and spends a couple months in jail for falsifying the ingredients. Sarah finally gets pregnant (with twins!) and everyone lives happily ever after.
I loved the characters, thought it was a really interesting plot, and thoroughly enjoyed my reading experience. I did think the ventures into the other women’s stories were interesting but underdeveloped and I would’ve liked to know more. Otherwise, great story!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Courtagonist.
62 reviews392 followers
January 30, 2019
I totally went against ALL of my TBR for the month of January and I am SO happy that I did! Ha! I have had A WONDERFUL reading month! It has been a great start to 2019!

This is a book that I don’t quite remember how it got on my Kindle but I am SO happy that it did! This has to be one of the funniest and easiest reads I have had in a long while. I would put the genre as Chick-Lit and I am living for it!

This is the debut novel for Kathy Cooperman and I can’t wait to read more of what she has to come out. She might be an insta-buy from now on!

This book is all about best friend Annie and Sarah. They are living life like they always have. Sarah is a high powered lawyer while Annie is a stay-at-home mom with a PHD in Chemistry. Sarah is trying for kids but it seems that she put her career ahead of her life wants for too long and is going through the arduous process of EXPENSIVE IVF while still working 80 hour weeks. Annie has given her career a brief pause so that she can raise her three kids. She finds out from her middle child’s teacher that he has autism and need expensive therapy that they just can’t afford.
These two women are desperate to make quick cash to help afford the things that they need in order to start a family and to keep a family. With Sarah’s drop dead looks and Annie’s brains and knowledge of chemistry they decide to sell a “luxury” face cream to the wealthy and aging beauties in Annie’s bookclub. This seems like a win-win in Sarah and Annie’s books until Annie tries to mess with the innocent formula and adds a not-so-legal ingredient to the cream to give it a little oompf.
This book had me laughing, tearing up, and loving my best friend even more. I know that we would do anything for each other. This is a must read!
Profile Image for Jennifer.
1,277 reviews42 followers
July 20, 2018
When Annie and Sarah find themselves in need of some serious cash - Annie to fund the therapy for her autistic son, and Sarah to continue her fertility treatments after she quits her job - Annie concocts a plan to sell overpriced face cream to the wealthy women in her book club and their friends. Annie was a chemist before having children so whipping up a face cream shouldn't be too difficult, but she has trouble finding that special ingredient that will give their customers the feeling that it is working. When her brother visits after a stint in rehab, she confiscates his stash of illegal drugs and inspiration strikes. Most of the book deals with a handful of customers and how using the face cream changes their lives.

This was a fun book. I especially liked how each chapter had a blurb about how that chapter's character felt about reading a particular well-known book and how it related to what was going on in their lives at the time. It would be interesting to go through and read all the books that were mentioned in this novel. I also thought the variety of women characters in this book was well done.
Each character was different and had a lot of depth even though they were essentially all about the same age and from the same social class. My one cringe-worthy observation is that it made the boost from the illegal drug in the cream sound amazing as it changed most characters lives for the better. I found myself jealous of the effects.
Profile Image for Julie.
678 reviews9 followers
November 11, 2017
I kind of thought this would be more about an actual book club but it was more of a sort of framing device for the story, with the initial characters all meeting at one. Also the chapters begin with characters opinions on books, which I mostly skimmed past because I didn't find it that interesting. It was a fun book but not earth-shattering.
Profile Image for Satomi.
779 reviews13 followers
November 9, 2017
Wow. The characters talk a lot! And it’s hilarious! The author uses very unique analogies and I laughed a lot. I do not like the mother at the beginning, but her speech at the end made me smile.

Although this book was a kindle first selection, I had chosen the other book. Wrong decision...

Profile Image for Trudy.
527 reviews39 followers
March 3, 2019
Well I just had the best couple of days with these hilarious characters! This was just pure fun and sometimes that’s just want I need. Big Smiles! Thank you, Kathy Coolerman.
Oh yeah, the narration (by Katherine Kellgren) is exquisite. Highly recommended!
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