June 15, 2014

All My Restless Life to Live by Dee DeTarsio ~ Review

Title: All My Restless Life to Live
Author: Dee DeTarsio
Publication date: April 20th 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Review copy through Xpresso Book Tours

Purchase: Amazon | B&N


Award-winning author Dee DeTarsio combines life's darker side with humor and tenderness in a wonderfully charming look at love and the afterlife. 

Life is a soap opera, especially for Elle Miller, who is a TV producer. (Ellen dropped the "n" in her name in hopes of finding a better ending for herself.) When her laptop crashes, she borrows her dead dad's computer and gets way more than she bargained for.

As Elle tries to save her career with a storyline featuring a trip through Atlantis, she takes a trip to the Emmys, and finds herself in the middle of a romance between a real doctor and a hunk who just plays one on TV. Friends, family, and clues from "the other side" all help Elle figure out the difference between living the good life...and living a good life.

Initial Thoughts

  • All My Restless Life to Live immediately caught my attention with its title. Anyone who's a soap fan can see how the title of this book is pieced together from different soap operas, which I very much appreciated having been a soap fan my entire life. In case you aren't familiar with soap operas, here's the three show titles brilliantly put together: All My Children + The Young & the Restless + One Life to Live = All My Restless Life to Live. See? Awesome!  

  • I've found myself getting more and more into chick lit lately. It's nice to read a story that isn't heavy and serious for the entire duration of the story. This isn't to say there aren't some sad moments in All My Restless Life to Live because there were times I felt Elle's sadness profoundly and felt tears gathering in my eyes. I know what it's like to mourn a parent, and I could relate with how she felt. There are also many moments that had me laughing out loud at the craziness that is Elle's life at times.   

Main character - Elle

  • Elle is a TV producer for the show, I'd Rather Be Loved. She's funny, creative and clever yet also a little scatterbrained. She's very passionate about her job, the show, and the entire cast and crew. There's a lot for her to deal with at the moment - her grief from losing her dad, her eccentric mom, her obnoxious boss (and that's putting it nicely!), the stress of her job, and the pressures of dating. She handles all of this as best she can which is better than I could have I must say!   

Elle's job and Liam, her boss 
  • I can see the non-glamorous side of her work, but I'm still jealous of it. I'd love to work on a soap opera for at least a week to see what it's like. I can only imagine how much work it would be to have to remember old storylines, come up with new ones, and stay true to the history of the show and its characters, not to mention meeting deadlines QUICKLY. There's not only that pressure but also the heavy responsibility of making a lot of people happy - Liam (her boss), the viewers, and the network executives. 

  • Ugh! Working for Liam would be a nightmare. I couldn't stand him - he has to be the boss from hell. Luckily, Elle has great coworkers beside Liam. He has these disgusting habits and never appreciates the hard work Elle puts in to the show. His character is meant to be this way, so it's comical at times  I will say without giving anything away that there's a huge surprising twist involving him at the end. So be on the lookout for that! 

Elle's parents

  • Though Elle's dad has died, you can feel his presence so strongly throughout the book it's as if he's alive. I loved that Elle received "signs" and little messages from him and didn't dismiss them right away like I thought she might. I believed they had such a strong connection in life that not even death could break it.  

  • Her mom is a bit neurotic about the laptop, but as the reader you'll know why. It's Elle who has no clue why her mom is so against Elle using her dad's old laptop. I pictured her mom as being adorable, and her sadness made my heart break. It was obvious something more was going on with her attachment to the computer, although as a reader, I was privy to information that Elle didn't know.  

Adam, Elle's best friend

  • Adam goes above and beyond to be a great friend to her. Sometimes I thought she could have given back to him rather than taking so many times. Her mom adores him, and I can see why. With the way her mom accepts him as if he's family, he's like Elle's brother. I know I absolutely adored him! He's a very devoted and loyal best friend.   

Elle's Love Interests 
  • I thought it was so funny for Elle to be caught between a real life doctor and an actor who plays one on TV. I wasn't sold on Quez (the real life doctor) at first, but he grew on me. He drops a pretty heavy bomb on Elle, and you'll have to read to find out what it is and how she reacts. I have no idea what choice I would have made because both men have great qualities about them, but it's not too bad of a predicament to be in! 

Final Thoughts
  • I wondered about Elle's biological brother - he's mentioned a time or two, and maybe I missed it, but I didn't know where he was and why he wasn't featured more prominently in the book. Especially with how badly his mom was doing in the wake of his dad's death. If he lives far away, that's understandable, but there wasn't even a mention of a phone call. I gathered Elle and her brother must not be close?

  • This was a light fluffy read but also with emotional moments that were perfect. And isn't that exactly how life is? There's fluffy moments mixed in with emotionally heavy moments. The chapter titles were funny and clever. I adored Adam and his devotion to his friendship with Elle, and I loved Elle. She's quirky and the kind of character I could see myself becoming good friends with. I highly recommend All My Restless Life to Live - I really didn't want to leave the characters! 

My Rating:


  1. Dear Jennifer! This is my #1 all-time favorite review of All My Restless Life to Live, ever! I should have had you write the cover copy--awesome! Thank you SO MUCH for your time and thoughtful review on this--light, fluffy, with some emotional moments, just like life, is exactly what I was going for! Thank you again and take care! Your fan, Dee

    1. I'm so sorry I'm responding late! You've given me the best compliment ever, and I'm so happy you love the review. We sound like we're on the same wavelength! I can't thank you enough - you just made this bookish girl's dream come true! :D

  2. All My Restless Life sounds great, Jennifer! And I like this review format, too. ;) Hope you're doing okay, girl!

    1. I highly recommend it, Brandee! :) Thank you - I decided to try something different. I'm doing great, how are you? :D


Leave a comment and make my day awesome! :D This is an award-free zone - thanks for your consideration though!