reviews for Everyone is Beautiful
“[A] a breezy read that glows, in part, because its characters bask in the sunny side of life.”
– USA Today
“Endearing … unpretentious, silly, and honest – which Center reminds us can be beautiful things, too.”
– People Magazine
“…a superbly written novel filled with unique and resonant characters.”
“In less deft hands, the horrors of the out-of-control Coates toddlers would resemble bad reality television, but Center’s breezy style invites the reader to commiserate, laughing all the way, with Lanie’s plight.”
– Kirkus Reviews
“What a clear-eyed rendering of the grimy, exhausting, beautiful mess that is early motherhood! I laughed, winced in recognition, and cheered wholeheartedly (sometimes out loud) for Lanie as she struggles to learn how to love everyone enough and still give a part of herself to herself.”
– Marisa De Los Santos, author of Love Walked In
“A loving and hilarious portrayal of motherhood and marriage. Katherine Center has a keen eye and a fresh take on the joys and pains of a mother trying to do everything right and to be everything to everybody. You will laugh and relate, weep and rejoice, on Lanie’s journey of self-discovery. I highly recommend the trip!”
– Adriana Trigiani, author of Lucia, Lucia
“I felt like I was visiting with my girlfriends. We’re conversing, and commiserating, about our lives and loves. Our daily routines and the ruts we’ve fallen into. The grind of holding a family together and finding time for the ‘you and me’ in a marriage … This book is engaging, appealing and down to earth.”
– The Printed Page
“Center has a great voice and Lanie is a charming leading lady. This touching and hilarious read will really open your eyes to what truly makes a person happy, what truly makes a person beautiful in the eyes of another.”
“The novel is part mommy lit, part chick lit and part red hot romance. Readers, especially new moms, will identify with the main character’s struggle to balance parental responsibility with adult needs and desires.”
– The Examiner
“It is not very often in life that I pick up a book, a piece of fiction mind you, and find that the story it tells is mine. It is even rarer that I pick up a book and am drawn in from the first page, finding not only my heart but also my head engrossed; literally cheering out loud for someone I think just might be me. Without giving away the details of this finely crafted tale, I find it difficult to put into words just how profoundly this book reached into my history, into my experiences, into me and gave words and reflections and new meanings to me. The book has been highly publicized for its look at early motherhood and its truly ugly and exhausting side, but I challenge any person, woman or man, mother or father, wife or husband, who has been in a successful long-term, committed relationship to not see themselves in Lanie Coates. She is everyone, and she proves that Everyone is Beautiful.
Everyone is Beautiful by Katherine Center has become one of those rare, cherished, books for me; it is, simply, a gem.”
– Cursing Mama
“This story was real, and honest, and true to life. It wasn’t candy-coated like so many chick lit/mommy lit books are. We don’t all have pristine houses with matching furniture – we decorate using garage sales finds and thrift store treasures because we’re living on a budget – just like Lanie. Our kids don’t have a nanny and do embarrassing things, or aggravating things, or messy things – but we love them with all our hearts – just like Lanie. And our marriages aren’t perfect, misunderstandings happen, and feelings get hurt – but we do everything we can to make things right and hope for the happy ending – just like Lanie. This story was REAL, and that’s what made it so wonderful.
Just a great down-to-earth book, and an engrossing read. Highly recommended!”
– Curvy Mommy
“Katherine Center, author of Everyone is Beautiful, is an ace at the mommy novel. Normally I don’t read much in the “skippy cup” genre (my kid is twenty-one and has long since graduated to beer mugs) but Katherine could write VCR directions, and I’d happily dive in.”
– Karin Gillespie - Granny Panty Chronicles
“Every once in a while a book comes along that changes your way of looking at books. This one is one of those. I do not recall enjoying a book more since discovering Elizabeth Berg’s works of art a few years ago.
Ms. Center’s book, Everyone is Beautiful, made me laugh, cry, and relive my own parenting of two kids back in the eighties. I think this is one every woman should read.”
– Book Madness
“Have you ever found yourself gulping down the words from a book at an alarming rate because you no longer have any sense of the actual world around you? Have you ever connected with a fictional character in such a way that you think there’s possibly an eerie force at nature that led you to the book in the first place? Have you ever had trouble actually seeing the print on the page because of the massive amount of tears streaming down your face? I can honestly answer yes to all of the above about Katherine Center’s new novel, Everyone Is Beautiful.
… I’m not even sure that I can put my finger firmly on it, but I’ve read enough novels in my day to know that this one was different.
…The voice of Lanie speaks with such ferocity when she describes the fear that mothers live with about the vulnerability of their children’s lives, or the drudgery that can so easily swallow a marriage when you are surrounded by young children, or the physical imperfections that are an undeniable fact of life. Lanie goes beyond simply being a realistic character – as I turned the last pages, I felt as if I lived this story, instead of just spending the last day consuming it in a few extended sittings.”
– 5 Minutes 4 Mom
“Katherine’s newest book, Everyone is Beautiful, is one of the best mommy-lit, women’s fic books I have read == ever!”
– Kim Smith
“It’s been quite awhile since I’ve picked up an adult fiction novel that I couldn’t put down. This was one of those reads. I fell into this story, fell in love with Lanie and her family, and continuously rooted for her until the very end of the book. Katherine Center has written a “real” story. By “real,” I mean Lanie could be the stay at home mom down the street. What woman that got married and had kids, hasn’t had regrets, dreams that they put on hold, wished their life had been different somehow, etc.? Lanie’s story is just that. It’s about what really happens in a marriage, the emotions that are out there, and the way women feel but are sometimes so afraid to talk about.
…Nothing was as I expected, and that’s what kept me so intrigued by this book. Center has, in my opinion, a bestseller on her hands.”
– Write For A Reader
“It’s not often that I find myself enthusiastically nodding my head in agreement to something I’m reading in a fiction book, but there was just something about this book that made me do a double-take! Either the author has experienced life in a similar way that I have, or she has done her homework! Katherine Center has written a beautiful book that is full of life, and not just some fantasy life, but a real life, and one that I can relate to, with the perfect amount of reality and humor! Any mom out there will appreciate this book, both for the challenges that children and family life provides, and for the way we see ourselves. This is a truly wonderful story of a woman who is first and foremost a wife and mom, and now she is trying to re-discover herself as well.”
– Wendi’s Book Corner
“This novel is quite easily one of the most accurate portrayals of motherhood and marriage that I’ve ever read.”
– 5 Minutes 4 Books
“Reading Everyone is Beautiful by Katherine Center was an exercise in shock and awe – a writer has created a fictional character whose thoughts mirror mine like no other book character I’ve ever come in contact with before!”
– My Thoughts Exactly
“…I absolutely loved it! Lanie has such a great voice! It’s funny and sharp and never drags and feels absolutely true to life. I tore through the book, never wanting to put it down and really enjoyed every part of it, from the well drawn characters to the humor.
I highly recommend this immensely enjoyable book to all women, no matter where you’re at in your life journey. It’s just a great read!”
– The Friendly Book Nook
“Katherine Center has a wonderful voice, telling the story with a mixture of humor and regret. Not only mothers, but many women will be able to relate to Lanie in her struggles to find the person she used to be. When I approached the end of the book, I was reading in the bath…and I was a complete prune by the time I got out, because I HAD to finish!
What truly impressed me about Everyone is Beautiful is that it inspired me to want to look at my own life to see if I am doing everything I want to be. By the end, Lanie’s musings on how we view ourselves and our relationships were so poignant that I was knocked off my feet. It truly made me look at things differently. Chick lit? Yes (and this genre is my guilty pleasure), but Everyone is Beautiful is definitely not fluff.”
– A Cup of Coffee and a Good Book
“A wonderful tale of love, laughter & motherhood. A story that will teach you, as it taught Lanie, that everyone genuinely is beautiful.”
– Lori’s Reading Corner
“… And Peter and Lanie’s relationship was so … authentic. And romantic. It’s so easy to see why they fell in love – and I adored their back story, inserted deftly throughout the novel – but just as easy to see how the passion began to ebb away. While this is a novel about their marriage, sure, it’s just as much about family dynamics and growing up. Though Lanie is a “grown-up” with a family of her own, she doesn’t realize how quickly the transition from child to parent can take place. She misses her own mother deeply, and calls her frequently. It was refreshing to read a book about a close family that isn’t all drama and suffering – just the normal aches and pains of living and changing. Everyone Is Beautiful is really a coming of age story, too.
I can’t recommend this book highly enough – I loved everything about it. I’ll definitely be reading more from Katherine Center!”
– Write Meg!
“Everyone is Beautiful is another fantastic novel with an addictive plot and great characters.
I was drawn in by this novel immediately. The very first scene in the book is one where Lanie is at the park with her three kids (three boys under the age of three, remember), and as you can imagine, utter chaos ensues. The scene is absolutely hilarious, and through it, the reader gets their first glimpses into the details of Lanie’s life, everything she’s going through as a mom, and her fun personality – it’s impossible not to get hooked at this point. The story just got better from there – of course there was normal kids’ antics all over the place, but there was also a story about a woman who is just feeling so lonely, so bored, so in need of intellectual stimulation that she really just needs some kind of huge change in her life.
I’m sure many women will easily relate to Lanie; especially moms, of course, but there is a lot to the story about the marriage between Lanie and Peter – and I know I’m not alone in saying that I’ve had my fair share of relationship issues. Lanie is so easy to sympathize with because many of us have been there. That’s what’s great about the book – it’s realistic while still remaining funny, heartfelt, and bursting with great characters.
There’s also something that I love about Katherine Center’s writing – although her books would probably be classified as chick lit or women’s fiction, there is definitely a literary quality to her writing style. The words just fit together well – I don’t know how else to explain it. It’s easy to get lost in the story partly because how seamless her writing is and how well each aspect of the book flows together with the next.”
– Book Addiction
“I think all women can relate to this story. We get older, we gain weight, we aren’t as gorgeous as we used to be – we’ve all experienced these feelings whether we’ll admit them or not. I felt that Lanie was such a ‘real’ woman; she had flaws like all of us. Katherine’s writing is wonderful; she draws you into this story, these lives, and so quickly. From the beginning you feel you have a stake in how things will turn out for Lanie and you’re rooting her along in her quest to discover herself again. For me it was an inspiration. Yes, you may lose yourself but with some effort you may be able to find yourself again and reinvent your life. The author also introduced other characters who were just as charming and fit perfectly in the story like Lanie’s new friend Amanda or the ‘mean witch’ Nora who lives in Lanie’s apartment building. She has a real knack for portraying the real emotions and feelings that women have.”
– Peeking Between The Pages
“Katherine Center’s writing is very engaging and down-to-earth, making me feel like I was reading about real people and not just characters in a story.”
“Being a stay at home mom of two young girls, ages 3 and 5, I was really looking forward to reading Katherine’s book. And I was not disappointed. I am not sure if I have read a book that I can relate to as much as I was able to relate to this one….
Whether it was trying to wrangle the kids to go to the park while her husband is busy (been there) to trying to find herself again while trying to gain some “me” time, the author has hit the nail on the head when trying to describe what the life of most mothers is all about. I laughed and cringed at the same time (if that’s even possible) as I have been in many of the same situations, and have felt many of the same emotions as the main character in Katherine’s story.”
– The Review From Here
“There were many times throughout the book where I just had to stop and say – wow, that is just how I have felt.
… I found myself racing through the pages, living right alongside Lanie, as she battles the everyday issues of parenthood. The stress that children put on a marriage goes without saying, but so does the fact that you wouldn’t change the presence of those children for the world.”
– Café of Dreams
“Everyone is Beautiful is a very honest look at hectic life of a mom. There are moments where you will laugh out loud, and moments where you will cry. As a mother of two boys myself, I could completely sympathize with Lanie’s character. This is a must read of any mom, no matter the age of the child.”
– Jenn’s Bookshelf
“I thought the central message of this book was incredible. No one is perfect, and everyone is beautiful. How many times have we really thought of ourselves as beautiful? Not many, I’m guessing. It’s always “my eyes look puffy” or “is that a new wrinkle?” or “ugh, bad hair day!” I love the idea that everyone is beautiful. It puts a positive spin on life!
… As you can tell, I really adored Everyone Is Beautiful. This is a book with great characters, constant humor, an interesting storyline, and a wonderful message. I enjoyed it immensely, and I highly recommend it!”
– S. Krishna’s Books
“…well-written and wry and it earns its title and its ending, much like you have to earn the benefits of a long-lasting marriage.”
– Jeanne, OHIO
“For any mom who has ever found herself on day two of going shower-less; who has ever accidentally flashed her nursing bra in public; who has ever wondered for a second too long why the kids were so quiet, and found them swimming in shaving cream in the bathtub; who has ever wondered how many years until the kids stay quiet long enough for her to have a real and meaningful conversation with her husband; who has ever wondered if that husband and you can ever even look at each other with passion again, this one is for you.”
– The Mommy Blog