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Don't Make Me Turn this Life Around: A Novel

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  37 ratings  ·  25 reviews
A seriously funny novel about a woman trying to keep her family vacation—and yes, her life—from going south by the Amazon Charts bestselling author of Life and Other Near-Death Experiences.

It’s been thirteen years since doctors declared Libby Ross-Velasquez a goner. Yet here she is—cancer free. So why doesn’t she feel more alive?

Sure, Libby’s husband, Shiloh, has been dist
Expected publication: May 11th 2021 by Lake Union Publishing
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Nilufer Ozmekik
Dec 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Oh boy, this book is so sad! A true tear jerking, Kleenex craver, heart breaker,dark mood summoner! I cried! I cried! I cried! I burned our lunch! I cried more! I couldn’t find fire extinguisher! I screamed more! At the end I kept crying during the charcoal remnants from dinner and ordering takeout on the phone! ( they sent me free desert to stop my whining! Score! )

I loved the realistic writing! I enjoyed the family of four who are getting through a lot! Libby , 46 , married, with twins who a
Dec 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 stars for this heartfelt new book from Camille Pagan!

I love this author and have read most of her already published books. I had high hopes for Don't Make Me Turn This Life Around since I'm already a fan of this author. I'm happy to say that I was not disappointed!

Libby finds out that she has been declared cancer free for 10 years but instead of feeling happy she doesn't feel much at all. She has a full life with running a charity, being married and raising twin girls. Despite all this Libby
Nov 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes characters from a story leave an imprint on your heart and you hope one day to be able to visit with them again to just check in. Libby is one of those characters for me. Her struggle with losing her mom... her marriage and cancer... and her eternal lust for life just made me love her. So I was very excited to find out Camille was bringing these characters back. I loved this story. Not as tongue in cheek as the first but there were moments. And it made me cry and think. And the ending. ...more
Donna Hines
Dec 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, netgalley
If you've always wanted to travel to a beautiful location with some interesting and dynamic characters getting lost in the dialogue than this book is for you.
Camille Pagan commands a sentence with vivid imagination and wild encounters that play out using characters that are energized like Milagros that flip off the paper as reality strikes.
Hurricanes in Puerto Rico are not uncommon but what is centers upon the lifestyle of a married woman and her spouse that just can't get that spark going with
Andrea Pole
Dec 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Don't Make Me Turn this Life Around by Camille Pagan is the third novel that I have read from this author, and I can say, with conviction, that it is my favourite yet. I was expecting a lighthearted, escapist read, but what I got was so much more in what quickly became a deep dive into my unlimited reserve of emotional empathy.

Libby has just learned that she has reached her ten year anniversary of being cancer free and is ready for a celebration. But the good always seems to be tempered by the b
Genevieve Trono
Dec 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have loved this author’s previous books, so I was super excited to dive into this one, and I obviously couldn't wait until closer to its spring 2021 publication date...oops!

Camille Pagan has a knack for writing for unputdownable reads with strong and relatable characters and Don't Make Me Turn This Life Around is no different. This book follows Libby, a middle-aged mom of tweens, a cancer survivor, and a wife who is concerned that her relationship has started “coasting.”

The family decides to t
Jan 06, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I didn't realize until now that this is a sequel to Life and Other Near-Death Experiences, which I read five years ago (no wonder!). Libby is now married to Shiloh with twin 12-year-old daughters and having a bit of a midlife crisis. A trip to Puerto Rico -- where the couple met met -- ends up being enlightening, and not in the ways Libby expects.

I enjoy all of this author's books. In her note at the end, she reveals that her husband is from Puerto Rico, so they go often. That explains why the
Cathi - LovesBooksMore
When Libby is deemed cancer-free at her 10yr check- she should be elated. She has a husband that loves her, twin preteen girls and a job running a cancer foundation that she believes in.
But life is overwhelming and she needs that spark again. So, when her old landlord offers the family a week at her old guesthouse in Puerto Rico, they jump on it. Especially when this is where Libby and Shiloh first fell in love 13 yrs ago.
But when a tropical storm hits, it tests everyone.
Dec 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 3-5-stars, us
After immensely enjoying pagan’s previous delightful book ‘This Won’t End Well’, the decision to read this book is a no-brainer. It’s completely different from the previous book. It took me a while to get involved in the going-ons of the protagonist's life.

First couple of pages put me in a melancholy mood. Libby is on cancer remission, her latest tests found cancer hasn’t returned. She lost father a few months earlier. Her twin daughter was diagnosed with serious health condition. I understand
Janet Fiorentino
I have enjoyed all of Camille Pagán's novels since reading her debut; an opportunity to review “Don’t Make Me Turn This Life Around” was an early Christmas present to me. When I found out I would be reading the sequel to “Life and Other Near-Death Experiences,” I may or may not have ended up doing the happy dance.

Thirteen years have passed since Libby retreated to Vieques after a cancer diagnosis (and the discovery her first husband was gay). Not only is Libby cancer free, but she is married to
Dec 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you so much to @amazonpublishing, @lakeunionauthors, and @camillepaganbooks for my copy of Don’t Make Me Turn This Life Around! I adore Camille Pagan’s writing, and was so excited to receive my ARC of this book.

Synopsis: It’s been thirteen years since doctors declared Libby Ross-Velasquez a goner. Yet here she is—cancer-free. So why doesn’t she feel more alive? Sure, Libby’s husband, Shiloh, has been distant. One of their daughters has a serious health condition. And her father’s death hov
Jan 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Return To Vieques. As it turns out, this book is a sequel to Life And Other Near Death Experiences. I didn't know that going in, but I've read a couple of Pagan's other books and had to read this one too. (And yes, I *have* Life already, I just haven't *read* it yet. :D) But this is a "sequel" in that it follows some of the same characters years later, rather than being an "immediate aftermath" type sequel. So in that sense, think of it more along the lines of Nicholas Sparks' The Wedding ("sequ ...more
Kelly Duran
Dec 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Camille Pagán’s books are automatic must-reads for me and I was so excited when I found out she was bringing back my favourite character (Libby) from my favourite book (LIFE AND OTHER NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCES) in this one.

A fast-paced and utterly absorbing read, DON’T MAKE ME TURN THIS LIFE AROUND is full of Pagán’s trademark wit and humour. I found myself immediately drawn into Libby’s world and relating to so many of the situations she was dealing with. Libby is an eternal optimist who is consta
Linda Hutchinson
Jan 13, 2021 rated it liked it
Don’t Make Me Turn This Life Around by Camille Pagan starts with Libby discovering that she is cancer-free on the tenth anniversary of the end of her treatment. This should be a happy time for her but she is relegated to seeing the worst in every situation because her father has died, one of her twin daughters has type one diabetes, and her husband is acting oddly. Instead of being happy, she’s depressed. However, Libby plans a celebratory vacation to Vieques, Puerto Rico in an attempt to break ...more
Dec 16, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the last book I read by this author, This Won’t End Well, so I was really excited to get an advanced copy of Pagan’s new release from NetGalley. In Don’t Make Me Turn this Life Around, Libby is a busy New York City mom--running a non-profit, grieving the recent loss of her father, processing her latest health test results, and trying to keep it all together. Her solution is to grab her family and run off for a week in Puerto Rico and Vieques to regroup. A hurricane rolls in and the famil ...more
Dec 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remember enjoying this author's previous titles which I listened to when I needed something lighthearted. This one is no different! Camille Pagán didn't disappoint is delivering another funny yet relevant novel on real issues.

Our protagonist Libby is not particularly happy. Married and with young teenage twins, she should certainly feel more excited about life, especially when she's been cancer-free for thirteen years, right? Unfortunately, each of their family member is fighting their own dem
Sheri P
Dec 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was immediately drawn into Libby's story. When we meet her she has just received great news, and yet she is examining why she doesn't feel more joyous. The more I got to know Libby, the more I related to her internal struggles, her worries as a mother and her fears as a woman. When her brother delivers news that shocks her, Libby takes action to shake up things for her family. She plans a trip to Puerto Rico, where she and her husband met and fell in love. Libby has grand hopes that this trip ...more
Libby is experiencing several mid-life issues; not being on the same wavelength as her husband, parenting struggles, loss, and health struggles. The first 20-30% immediately drew me in and I found it so relatable, not wanting to put the book down. Libby is dealing with things that are common, real-life problems that the every-day adult faces. How do you keep that spark in a marriage? How do you parent effectively? Maintain peace with siblings? Cope with the loss of a loved one? Juggle health iss ...more
Dec 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful, realistic story with people that you will fall in love with!
It is a family story that follows up with the main character, Libby who after ten years, is pronounced "cancer free".
But.. why is she not feeling happy and relieved with her followup appointment?
Her life is overwhelming these days as she takes care of her twin twelve year old girls, tries to understand and trust her husband, and works a demanding job.
She has always been "a glass half full" person, but life is getting too
Nov 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Camille Pagán once again gives us a heartfelt and relatable story about a woman on the edge. This time, Libby knows she should be feeling euphoric about beating cancer for good, and instead she finds the limits of her unrelenting optimism. She can't stop her tween daughters from arguing, make her work more fulfilling, or insulate her marriage from the pressures of middle-age. This is a lovely novel about banishing "shoulds" and welcoming the adventures and inevitable pain of growing just a littl ...more
Dec 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read this book in one whole day. I always know I’m in for a treat when Camille Pagán writes a new book! This book picks up after the other book Life and Other Near-Death Experiences. Libby is married to Shilo with twin 12yr old girls and they decide to go back to visit the where she and her husband first met and fell in love and try to rekindle their marriage while a hurricane is to touch down. Lots of things happen in between but in the end you will need tissue because this story is filled wi ...more
Dec 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Libby has had her set of obstacles lately, her dad passed, her daughter was diagnosed with Diabetes, she has her 10 year cancer check up, her brother is having marital problems and it seems her husband may not be attracted to her anymore.
Libby decided to reset her life, and return to Vieques to reunite with not only a special person but her family ! This vacation does not go as planned, as life seems to have its own plans!

This is my first book by this author and it will not be my last, I relate
Dec 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book kept me intrigued right from the start. While I did find the main character, Libby, to be really annoying at times, I loved the descriptions of Puerto Rico and the combination of loveliness and devastation that happened there after hurricane Maria. Milagros was a wonderful character who knew just how to say the right things at the right time. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.
This Feral Housewife
A perfect blend of life, love and family. It’s like you have been let into the day to day life of any family and you can see your own in theirs.
Dec 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The bloom is off the rose for Libby and Shiloh's marriage. Adolescent kids, serious health issues, stressful jobs will do that to a marriage. Is it the end? Libby is wondering. She just made it to her 10 year cancer-free anniversary and she should be estatic, but she just feels blah. Her twin daughters, one of whom is Type 1 diabetic, are at each other's throats. Her own twin, her brother, is divorcing his husband. Shiloh seems to be distant. Rather than give in, she makes plans to visit the pla ...more
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I’m the author of six novels, including This Won't End Well, I'm Fine and Neither Are You, and the #1 Kindle bestseller Life and Other Near-Death Experiences, which was recently optioned for film. My novels have been translated into nearly two dozen languages.

I've written for Fast Company, Forbes, The New York Times, O: The Oprah Magazine, Parade, Real Simple, Time, and many others.

When I'm not a

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