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There's a Word for That

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  1,241 ratings  ·  186 reviews
"Engrossing, hilarious, and tender... I couldn't put it down."
---Gretchen Rubin, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Project

A hilarious and moving chronicle of a wildly flawed family that comes together--in rehab, of all places--even as each member is on the verge of falling apart

Introducing the Kesslers: Marty, a retired LA film producer whose self-wor
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published April 2nd 2019 by Little, Brown and Company
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Average rating 3.70  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,241 ratings  ·  186 reviews

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Apr 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Quick read: if you like reading Emma Straub, you will probably like this novel. If you don’t like Emma Straub, try this novel anyway. It’s fun!

Long form: I really liked this novel. It’s what I label lit lite; the writing style is clearly literary fiction, but the tone/plot/subject matter is light enough to enjoy by a pool in between swims. It’s a fine line that is very enjoyable when it works. Think Where’d You Go, Bernadette? or The Vacationers. It works here.

There’s a Word for That is the stor
Sloan Tanen has written a quick and bitingly-funny tale of the unraveling of two burned-out celebrity families. Directions (based on the now-closed controversial Malibu clinic Promises) is the place where these people will reunite, confront their pasts, battle their addictions, and embrace forgiveness and love. Two families will become one seething with multigenerational craziness.

An impressive late-summer read. I enjoyed it.

4 stars

Gretchen Rubin
A gripping, hilarious novel about dysfunctional family dynamics set amid Hollywood and London fabulousness. I love a family story.
Sarah Obsesses over Books & Cookies
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Another compulsive read. Family dysfunction, humor. Great characters. Can't ask for much more. Marty is a 75 year old former movie producer and he's on his umpteenth girlfriend/wife. His money is disappearing at an alarming rate and because he's a sucker what's left of it will be passed to his girlfriend rather than his two daughters. He also might have a small drug problem that lands him in rehab, yet again.
We have his daughter Janine who is a former child actress who is hiding out in her Manh
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, favorites
I loved this book! The relationships between all the characters, the plot, the insanely good weaving of all the components and families and relationships together. It was just a treat to read. Shows real connections between people, both good and bad, and how redemption can happen at any time.
Dec 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: funny
Quick, funny read about a dysfunctional family and what happens during a rehab session and the serendipity of life.
May 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Three and a half stars. A light, fun read that is deceptively well written.
K.J. Dell'Antonia
My favorite book of 2019 so far! This ticks all the boxes for me. Hollywood behind the scenes! Rehab behind the scenes! Families with lots of baggage forced to cope with each other! And—best of all, and I didn’t even know I wanted this—what if JK Rowling was actually an awful, awful person and mother and was roaming drunk around London and Los Angeles? Tasty, I tell you. Loved this one.
Jul 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Witty and sardonic take on overprivileged Hollywood types and the damage inflicted on their messed up offspring. And THEIR offspring. Perfect beach read, and that is meant as a compliment.
Jul 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
I only give 5 stars to books that I think are amazing in some way, so 4 stars mean I really liked something. Entertaining, warm, and very funny, this was an easy and enjoyable read. Take it to the beach and you’ll have a sunburn before you’re ready to put it down.
Claire Zechiel
Dec 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
I probably should not have stayed up so late the day before my Mandarin final to finish, but I did. Because I couldn't put this book down. There was something about this book that made me hold on to every word. Maybe it was because the characters and their disasters of lives made me feel better about where I'm at right now. Maybe it was the tragically funny humor. Maybe it was the way that the twisted mindset of the characters intrigued me. There's a Word for That is sad and hopeful, troubling a ...more
Laura Kelly
Jul 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got caught up in the characters and therefore really enjoyed this. Probably a more realistic view of the children of Hollywood types than most stories. I listened to it on audio and at times thought I must have skipped a chapter because a few things were talked about that I didn't realize had happened. As the story went on, more explanations were given, so it was just the author's way of telling the story. (Sorry, just trying not to give away any spoilers!)
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
forgettable. I read this book 3 weeks ago and had to look at the summary and a couple reviews before I could remember ANY of it.

It wasn't terrible, but is it even worth reading a book that obviously didn't make me think at all?

Poor rich kids who have been handed everything and earned nothing, counting on an inheritance that's already been squandered away. Unbelievable ending, and this is probably a spoiler, but thank God everything works out for these people who did nothing to earn a happy endin
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: family, hollywood
In the likeness of a modern day Jane Austen novel, Sloane Tanen captures the sheltered world of a circle of elite Hollywood socialites, blinded to the outside world in the pursuit of material gain. A compassionate novel with a philosophical undercurrent that critiques the affects of fame and capital success. A wonderful insight into a microsim that the world iconiclizes, perhaps too naively.
Feb 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Good read. Some funny moments and a dysfunctional family with lots of drama and issues. A fast, easy read.
Danielle - BookishRhetor
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Most of us have heard or used phrases like “Money doesn’t fix everything” or “Money doesn’t make you happy.” Well, Sloane Tanen’s There’s a Word for That delves into the topic of money, celebrity, familial relationships, and drug abuse.

Once I started reading There’s a Word for That, I couldn’t put it down. I was compelled to find out what happened next and addicted to the on page drama. In a sense, There’s a Word for That is reminiscent of a season of The Real Housewives. Readers get several POV
Jun 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Tanen examines the long-coming downfall of a patriarch & matriarch of two different but connected families. The effect parents and their choices have on the next generation is examined, and those ripple effects have certainly been hard felt. Narcissism, substance abuse, mental issues, selfish choices…so many hardships and pain, yet the author still manages to make the portrayal amusing, sympathetic, and hopeful. Despite their many flaws, I cared about the characters and wished them well.
Nicely p
Elisabeth Jewell
Jul 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An estranged family gathers together to support the patriarch through his seventh? eighth? stint in rehab ("it's just a little heroin, all this fuss is ridiculous, it's a habit, not an addiction") and turns into a garbage fire of long festering resentments and hurts. A former child actress who fled Hollywood decades ago, the Prettier Sister who is accidentally recreating the same bitter dynamic with her own daughters, a retired Hollywood producer who throws money at problems and at his ex girlfr ...more
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
I won this book on It is the story of a dysfunctional family who come together at the same Rehab. Marty is a 75 year old man addicted to Heroin, his ex wife is an alcoholic. They end up along with other members of their extended family at the same facility, and don't realize they are all together until they bump into each other. At times quite funny, and also very moving.
Susie Williams
Aug 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
3 1/2 stars rounded up to 4.

This is the kind of book that I really enjoy reading, but that probably won't stick with me for a long time and before long, I may have trouble remembering what it was even about. But that's OK because I enjoyed it in the moment and sometimes that's all that really matters!

The book focuses on several different people and it may take a little bit of time before you fully understand how they're all connected. Marty Kessler is a has-been movie producer with a drug proble
Diplomat Brat
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
HILARIOUS, impossible to put down. Wonderful characters that keep you turning the pages wanting to know what will happen. An insight into the inner workings of a non celebrity hollywood family and the havoc the industry wreaks on adults and their children.
May 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this novel -- fun, smart and witty. Tanen has such a wry sense of humor and the writing here is so sharp!
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! This book was a truly enjoyable read! A witty, hilarious, fun and engaging book that I didn’t want to end. I wanted to continue to follow the characters lives. Buy this book for you and one for your best friend! Enjoy! A true delight!
Jul 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
if i'm being honest this book was underwhelming and gave me little to no narrative satisfaction. somehow that fit with the theme, though? so i can forgive it, i think.
Fleur Bradley
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Smart, an unexpected page-turner. Normally not my type of reading, but I really liked it.
ZewsReadingCorner (Booktuber)
I loved this book, it was pit of the stomach achingly hilarious and I couldn't put it down.
Aug 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Highly enjoyable contemporary read.

Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was so good it had many surprises in it and it was a book that got me out of my reading slump! I would highly recommend this book and I honestly think it needs another follow up novel because I want to see what happens next. You grow to love all the characters except for some one it’s just makes you think of all the dysfunctional things a family goes through.
Aug 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
Easy read. Not funny as promised. Very predictble. I have 10 pages to finish it and no drive to do so. I think it could be a good read on the beach on a summer day. Forgetable
Aug 29, 2019 rated it liked it
There’s a Word for That was amusing - funny lines, interesting plot, light summer read, but the ending with the too villainous love-to-hate girlfriend and a nicely-tied-up-with-a-red-ribbon finish was a disappointment.

I am registering a rating of 3.25-3.5 stars.
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Around the Year i...: There's a Word for That, by Sloane Tanen 1 11 Apr 23, 2019 09:49AM  

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Author of nine books including Bitter With Baggage Seeks Same--being re-released by Bloomsbury January, 2019. New novel There's A Word For That, coming from Little, Brown on April, 2019

Instagram: sloane.tanen

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