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Good-bye To All That: A Novel [Paperback]

Margo Candela
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

July 13 2010
When her Hollywood career goes haywire, a young woman must say good-bye to all that . . . or must she?

Raquel Azorian has worked her way from temp to executive assistant and is this close to a promotion to junior marketing exec at Belmore Corporation, the media behemoth she’s devoted herself to. She’s learned to play the Hollywood game—navigate office politics, schmooze the right people, avoid the wrong ones, and maintain a sense of decorum even in the craziest of times. All she needs is for her boss to sign her promotion memo. Instead of putting pen to paper, he suffers a very public meltdown that puts not only his professional future but also Raquel’s on the line.

Getting to the next rung on the Belmore ladder will require every ounce of focus, but that’s not going to be easy. Raquel’s mom has decided to leave her husband and move into Raquel’s apartment, and her older brother seems to be sinking deeper and deeper into depression. Raquel has to keep her job, stop her parents from divorcing, and save her brother. In the chaos of juggling so much, she finally reaches a breaking point: there’s just not enough time for everything or for everyone. She’s going to have to choose—success at work or happiness at home. But then a chance encounter at a bookstore café leads Raquel to start planning her own Hollywood ending . . . on her own terms.

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Review

--Diana Rodriguez Wallach, author of the Amor and Summer Secrets series.

Praise for Margo Candela’s More Than This

About the Author

Margo Candela has made a name for herself with her debut novel, Underneath It All, followed by Life Over Easy. Margo was born and raised in East LA and studied journalism in San Francisco. She lives in Culver City, California. Visit her at www.margocandela.com.

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A Turning the Pages Review Feb. 14 2012
Format:Paperback
You can also read my review here:[...]

Not since Elle Woods, from Legally Blonde, have I wanted to become a character more than that of Raquel Azorian. The way to tell a true heroine is watching (reading) them fall on hard times and then picking themselves back up and working their way to the top... whatever that may be, becoming the person that they always believed they could be.

The writing style used by Margo Candela was very well done and makes you feel like she's been there, done that. I loved the smaller breaks in the chapters, the titles of each break/chapter that let you know what was coming up, it really made you want to keep reading; a real page-turner. The imagery in Good-bye To All That was not over-looked. I could visualize the 'uniforms' that each of the execs was wearing... and also how they dreaded getting ready in the morning. Can you say booooooring?!?!? Skirts, jewel-toned blouses, round-toes shoes, and panty hose... yes, PANTY HOSE (do they even sell those still), all-day every-day. YUCK! The cattiness around the office was also bang-on! I loved it!

As Raquel's life, both personal and professional, falls apart, you start to feel like enough-is-enough. How can so much bad stuff happen to one person in such a short period of time? But, as she begins to work it all out, you see that it's true, 'when it rains, it pours'. How interesting would it be if she had to deal with one thing and then another instead of dealing with it all at once?

Good-bye To All That not only impressed me but also inspired me. Being a working woman in a man's-world is hard and making yourself noticed for more than boobs and butts in even harder! Well done, Margo, showing that it can be done through your words, was great!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't Connect With Main Character Dec 23 2011
By Lydia - Novel Escapes TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Good-Bye to All That was an easy read, but this chick lit tale didn't quite capture my attention as much as I would have liked. I did laugh along the way, mostly with her family, but a few scenes later in the novel at work had me giggling. The unpredictable ending took me by surprise which I always enjoy, but overall I didn't become too attached to the characters of the story.

After a bit of a slow start, I found myself starting to enjoy the supporting characters more than Raquel and am having a hard time putting my finger on just exactly why. Somehow parts of her personality didn't quite mesh for me and I thought she leaned towards being one dimensional. Candela's descriptive office politics were interesting, yet I found I wasn't able to relate to them, never having worked anywhere like it before.

Unfortunately this single girl tale fell flat for me and wish the focus had been more on her family than on her workplace. I loved the relationship with her mother, and having her come stay with Raquel was an unusual twist instead of the usual single girl going to live back at home.

I can see the appeal of Margo Candela's writing in Good-Bye to All That. It was easy to read, and I enjoyed the portrayal of her characters, especially the supporting cast. I would definitely read another of her novels.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quirky Cast of Characters Are Captivating and Entertaining! Feb. 5 2011
By Genna Sarnak - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
In this cute tale of corporate hierarchies, failed romances, and the delicate intricacies of family relationships, the protagonist, twenty-six-year-old Raquel Azorian manages to navigate the L.A. scene in style. I loved the light and easy-going feel of the book, which make it both relatable and manageable at the same time. The writing is compelling without being redundant, and Candela does a fantastic job of creating well-rounded and captivating characters.

On the cusp of a huge (and well-deserved) promotion from her job at Belmore Corporation as a marketing executive assistant, Raquel is forced to fight for her job after her boss suffers a very public mental breakdown.

Never one to skip a beat, Raquel focuses her attention towards pulling herself out of the corporate catastrophe that could threaten her three years of hard work. At the same time, Raquel's overbearing (and insanely funny) mother, Marlene, moves in with her to reflect on her marital problems. Raquel suddenly finds herself in the midst of a work crisis, her parent's failing marriage, and her brother problems with his demanding wife.

In what can only be described as painfully hilarious, Raquel struggles to maintain her sanity as her job, her social life (or lack thereof), and her family's issues all come crashing down on her head. Other characters not mentioned above include Raquel's crazy sister-in-law, Cricket, the southern-belle turned housewife, Frappa Ivanhoe, Raquel's best friend and agent to the stars (namely anorexic sisters, Cat and Cara), and Kyle Martin, the suave and gorgeous new vice president of Belmore who seems interested in Raquel.

Overall, I would suggest Good-bye To All That to anyone looking for a quick, yet entertaining, and well-written book. If you've ever worked in an office before, you will crack up laughing at Candela's honesty and knack for recreating the trials and tribulations of office life!

[...]
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spunky Raquel Jan. 24 2011
By Barbara Hightower - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Raquel is a funny and witty character, spunky might be a better word for her. She is trying to climb the corporate ladder when her boss has a melt down. She tries to save him, then herself. Her whole family has issues. Her sister in law is quite annoying. She is one I can live with out, but at the same time causes from funny scenes. The book was an easy and nice read. The ending what not what I expected it to be, but that is a good thing. Margo does a excellent job with these characters and how the "real World" in Hollywood works. I was not disappointed in this read what so ever.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spot-on and laugh-out-loud funny Nov. 28 2010
By Up in the Fog - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I can't remember the last time I finished a book in one sitting or laughed out loud many times while doing so. I kept reading passages to my husband, so a certain Franglais pun has been added to our vocabulary. With her dead-on observations and well-drawn characters, Margo Candela clearly knows Los Angeles, Hollywood culture, corporate culture, and dysfunctional family dynamics.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyed it! July 6 2013
By Kelli of I'd So Rather Be Reading - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This was such a smart, fun read. I really liked it! It has love, family relationships, a woman making something of her career, and lots of humor. Raquel is not your typical secretary, whoops, executive assistant. She works for a movie executive and is trying to secure a much-deserved promotion. She has no time to date and discovers that due to a crazy work schedule allowing no time for exercise or a balanced diet, she weighs 147.6 pounds, which classifies her as obese by Hollywood standards.

The book is about Raquel getting her life together, but nothing goes the way she plans. She's searching for love, career fulfillment and happiness. The ending is not your typical "Hollywood ending" but more of a mix between a happily ever after and real life. I liked that---Margo Candela has the gumption to give us a realistic story with a realistic ending. This was my first time reading Margo Candela, and I was so impressed with Goodbye to All That, I'll definitely be back.

Just One Gripe:
I have a hard time keeping characters straight when I don't have good physical descriptions to go on.

The Best Thing About This Book:
Raquel has chutzpah and I love that.
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Perceptive Oct. 17 2010
By C. Wong - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I loved this book! Good-bye to All That by Margo Candela caught me a little off guard I thought it would be a light read and fun read. Well, it hooked me as soon family problems entered. At first I was a little annoyed because it seemed like Raquel, the main character only cared about work. That is so ironic. This book is about the work culture at an entertainment company and also the culture of that part of Los Angeles. Raquel works as an administrative assistant for Bellmore. Bellmore has a status system that determines the parking places but even more invades the way people dress and how comfortable or uncomfortable they feel talking to other employees. Rachel is so wrapped up in work that she keeps to herself, survives on junk food and doesn't really relate to her parents or her brother. She is just as secretive around them as she is with the employees of Bellmore. She made some decisions that I didn't agree with in the book but at the end, I was totally on her side. I think that Margo really understands the different cultures in Los Angeles because with my small experience with the entertainment, everything fit. Just as Margo had a culture shock in the book growing up in a different area than where she worked, I had one moving from Indiana to Northeast Los Angeles. Now I really want to read more Than This, Life over Easy and underneath it all, which both involve San Francisco's culture.
Margo Candela starts out slow by showing how much of Raquel's life was tied to work and then when her family problems are added and she gets into a precarious situation, the pace of the book picks up and I could not put the book down. This book is funny and also very serious at the same time. Anyone who doesn't like it didn't read the whole book. I just finished it yesterday and all night long ideas were bubbling through my head. She really set me to thinking about business and city cultures while enjoying the book at the same time.
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