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Pushing 30 [Paperback]

Whitney Gaskell
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 30 2003
“The one thing you should know about me is this: I’m the consummate Good Girl. . .”

Ellie Winters is dependable and loyal and has a near-phobic aversion to conflict. But as her thirtieth birthday looms ever closer, she starts to feel like she’s lost the instruction manual to her life. She has just broken up with her boring boyfriend, despises her job, and is the last of her high school friends to remain single. Worse, her dysfunctional family is driving her nuts, and she’s somehow become enslaved to her demanding pet pug Sally, who she suspects is the reincarnation of Pol Pot.

One night, after a botched attempt to color her hair at home, Ellie rushes to the drugstore for emergency bleach, Sally in tow. Sally is accosted by a smitten canine admirer . . . but it’s the dog’s owner who captures Ellie’s attention. Television news anchor Ted Langston is witty, intriguing, and sexy. The only catch? He’s twice her age--and the only man on the planet who isn’t interested in dating a younger woman. And no one, from Ellie’s best friends to Ted’s ex-wife, wants to see them get together.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Gaskell's sprightly debut tackles one of the great chick-lit dilemmas-how to turn 30 in style. For "consummate Good Girl" Ellie Winters, a snappy but unlikely D.C. litigation attorney, it means breaking up with her staid boyfriend, getting highlights, tossing aside The Rules and diving headfirst into a May-December romance with sexy Ted Langston, a cable TV news big shot. Their first meeting is comically, familiarly inauspicious: his mutt begins "humping at" her pug outside the all-night drugstore where Ellie has gone to buy hair bleach to fix her initial hair-coloring disaster. Upon a later chance encounter at a fund-raiser, though, Cupid's arrow hits its mark. Problems quickly arise on their first date, when Ted puts Ellie's age at 38 or 39, sending her self-esteem into a tailspin and her credit card to the Clarins counter ("The next time he saw me I'd have skin like a baby's bottom, and he'd be full of jealousy... in comparison, he was just a shriveled old geezer"). Meanwhile, Ted decides their 23-year age difference might be insurmountable. After another serendipitous meeting, the flame is rekindled-and then snuffed again. For all the on-again, off-again nature of their affections, readers will see the happy ending coming from miles away. But Gaskell's breezy prose, sharp wit and skillful interweaving of Ellie's struggles-with her boring job, with Ted's nasty ex-wife-keep a fluffily familiar plot from becoming stale cotton candy. Ellie's self-absorption may rival that of a reality-TV dating contestant's, but her down-to-earth appeal as she moons over dazzling Ted, her demanding dog and the ups and downs of the lives of family and friends makes her a delightful romantic comedy heroine.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Take one hapless, likable Good Girl (Ellie Winters). Place in prestigious, lucrative, yet personally unfulfilling profession (litigation attorney). Set in bustling glamorous city (Washington, D.C.). Add one brash and sexy best friend (Nina) and one dashing prominent potential boyfriend (Ted Langston). Toss in some professional drama (coworker Katherine trying to sabotage an important case), romantic competition (Ted's ex-wife, Alice), and an overbearing mother (Gloria). Watch everything explode in the heroine's life as she loses both job and boyfriend and experiences Thanksgiving from the Black Lagoon. See Good Girl rally, with support of best friend and dog, to start over with new self-confidence and creative stress-free job. The latest entry in the chick-lit derby is a fun, fluffy read with some formula scenarios and cliched dialogue--Good Girl meets boyfriend wearing a highlighting cap under a baseball cap to hide the disastrous dye job; Good Girl screams at Mother during horrendous dinner party, "It's my life, not yours!" Recommended for collections that can't keep enough of this subgenre on the shelves for fans. Kaite Mediatore
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, entertaining read Sept. 14 2005
Very funny and entertaining read. Cannot wait to read the rest of the books by this author.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Light and fun!!! June 28 2004
I decided to buy this book when I read the first chapter in the bookstore. It got me from the beginning. Ellie is a "good" girl who always washes off her makeup, writes thank you notes, and sends Christmas cards. Being this kind of girl, it is extremely hard to break up with a man. In this first chapter, this is what she is struggling with. Breaking up with (another) boyfriend who just doesn't seem right for her.
Sooner than later, she runs into a new man. 20 something years her senior, his dog nuzzles up to her dog, and she's in love. She goes on a first date with him, and still has a thing for him, even after he guesses that she is 10 years older than she really is. Unfortunately, it doesn't go so well when he finds out what her age really is.
Fortunately for Ellie, his attraction to her doesn't cease, and he comes back for more, even though his morals keep trying to keep him away. He thinks that dating younger women is wrong, and as a newscaster, he wants to keep a professional reputation. There is also the matter of the ex wife, who doesn't like to see any woman take her place.
Quick, fun, and laugh out loud funny at times, this is a good summer book and only took me a couple of days to finish!
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4.0 out of 5 stars a good, quick read June 11 2004
After a tough day at work, I retreated to the library to gather chick lit. This was the only book in the pile that held my attention (granted, my work situation is similar to Ellie's at the beginning of the book), and I finished it that weekend.
I like that things aren't completely resolved at the end. I think that, at that point, Ellie has grown into a person who will be able to handle the lingering problems and face future ones, too.
Although my library hasn't ordered Gaskell's forthcoming book, I put in a request for it to do so! If they don't, I'll happily buy it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I LOVED this book!!! June 5 2004
Hmmm, I just tried to write a review for this book and it disappeared!?! Let me try again.
Once I picked Pushing 30 up, I couldn't put it down. I read a lot of chick lit, and I think this is one of the better books in the genre. It was very witty, and very romantic, and I just loved the main character, Ellie. I felt like I knew her.
I would definitely recommend this book. I also like books by Jane Green and Sophie Kinsella, so if you like their books, you'll like this one too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A really fun read June 5 2004
I loved this book. I've read a lot of chick lit books, and I think this one was better than most. It was very witty, and very romantic, and I just loved the main character, Ellie. She was so real to me. I also thought the love story between her and Ted was very sexy.
I would definitely recommend it! I also love Sophie Kinsella, Jane Green and Jennifer Weiner, so if you like their books, I think you'll like this one too.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your money June 3 2004
By A Customer
This book was horrible. The writing was average, at best. The plot was just like 10,000 other books out there right now. The characters were flat and uninteresting. I expected to have a few laughs with the book, but I didn't laugh once. It was a big waste of money.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Light-hearted and fun! May 22 2004
Well written, great characters. I really enjoyed this book, it was exactly what I was looking for, something light and fun I could read while curled up in my rocking chair with a hot cup of tea. It is like "Bridget Jones meets Sex & the City", but with an original flare that only Whitney Gaskell can create. And just for the record...I really liked the ending :P
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly entertaining and well written story!! May 18 2004
By A Customer
Basic facts: Ellie Winters is about to turn 30. She is not happy with her career (a litigation lawyer), her hair color (to the point of even doing at-home highlights), or her love-life (she's had her share of boyfriends but no fireworks). This all changes when she meets Ted Langston, a sexy, charming, witty and well known t.v. news anchorman who happens to be 23 years older than Ellie.

This book engaged me right from the start. Although I am happily married, I found myself able to relate to Ellie in many ways and was cheering for her to get her guy right up to the end. Ms. Gaskell's first book has shown that she has an ability to weave likeable (and not-so likeable) characters together with a fun story line. I have already passed my copy on to other friends and am looking forward to her next book.
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