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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
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 great Debut Oct. 3 2003
PUSHING 30 by Whitney Gaskell
Whitney Gaskell's debut novel, PUSHING 30, is a delightful story of a young woman about to turn 30. Ellie Winters is a lawyer working in what she considers a very boring job for Snow & Druthers in the heart of Washington DC. She lives with her spoiled and manipulative pug Sally, and is dating yet another boring but sweet guy; this time the name is Eric. She doesn't see any hope in sight, but she is not one to make waves. She therefore plods along, doing what she thinks everyone else expects of her, especially her parents. The idea of becoming a lawyer was a way for her to make her father happy, since both brothers Mark and Brian refused to go into the family business (their father is a judge). There was no other reason for her going to law school. She had absolutely no desire to become an attorney.
Then, on a really bad hair day, (her hair was pink), Ellie is out with Sally when Sally is accosted by another dog by the name of Oscar, who is owned by none other than handsome Ted Langston, television anchor and eligible bachelor. Ellie and Ted start a rather awkward relationship, not really dating but not really friends either. And, there is something about Ellie that attracts Ted to her and he keeps coming back. Ellie can't stop thinking about Ted, but she is afraid of falling in love with him when she may just be some passing fancy for him. The other big problem is that Ted is only a few years younger than her parents are. And Ellie isn't sure she wants to start a relationship with someone this old.
In the meantime, she is dealing with a somewhat dysfunctional family, a best friend who has gotten involved with a guy Ellie does not like, and the frightening prospect of getting older.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable chick-lit tale Oct. 1 2003
A legal associate in the DC area, Ellie Winters does all the right things especially if it enables her to avoid a confrontation. Now turning thirty, Ellie adheres by the rules, a classic example of integrity, even if no one but she is aware of her actions. However, she detests her job finding it boring even when the rare experience is positive. Her boyfriend Eric Leahy is dependable, but even more tedious than her job. Since she cannot afford to quit her job, she decides to quit her boyfriend. When she starts to inform Eric it is over, he asks her to move in with him. That is typical of life for Ellie, but she still tells him that it is over between them.
After turning her hair pink by accident, Ellie goes out to repair the damage and meets TV anchor Ted Langston and his trusty dog Oscar. She finds him exciting and nice, but he is twice her age. When they meet again at a party, Ted tries to persuade Ellie to defy the rules of seeing an older man and take a chance on him. Though it is out of character for her Ellie feels the attraction is worth the risk.
PUSHING 30 is an enjoyable chick-lit tale starring a delightful lead female character. The story line focuses on squeaky clean Ellie's struggle with her own sense of morality when her heart tells her steppin' out with the man she loves is the right thing regardless of his age. Fans will appreciate this amusing look at the "suffering" of an about to be thirty person.
Harriet Klausner
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3.0 out of 5 stars So good, until the end! Feb. 23 2004
I thought this book started out so strong and then pretty much collapsed at the end. First of all, what Nina did to Ellie's ex at the end was completely cruel. The fact that Ellie has been such a "Good Girl" up until now, I thought that she might have tried a little harder to put things right with him before they got totally out of hand. Then, she gets hammered, ends up with Mr. Right (?) and sort of forgets all about how horribly she treated Eric (not to mention how her so-called best friend treated her). I also can't believe that the author never resolved the whole family situation. Ellie finally gets up the nerve to say what she's always wanted to to her parents and we never get any sort of closure.
Maybe I'm looking for too much in a chick-lit novel, but I just couldn't get past those two situations to feel happy for her at the end.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, entertaining read
Very funny and entertaining read. Cannot wait to read the rest of the books by this author.
Published on Sept. 14 2005 by TC from Brampton
4.0 out of 5 stars a good, quick read
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... Read more
Published on June 11 2004 by "west0360"
5.0 out of 5 stars I LOVED this book!!!
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. Read more
Published on June 5 2004 by "rosellaf"
5.0 out of 5 stars A really fun read
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,... Read more
Published on June 5 2004 by "rosellaf"
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your money
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. Read more
Published on June 3 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Light-hearted and fun!
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... Read more
Published on May 21 2004 by "cornstarr"
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly entertaining and well written story!!
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... Read more
Published on May 17 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and well written!
I felt that this book found me, rather than the other way around, as I came across it browsing through a book store while having my own first real "age crisis". Read more
Published on Jan. 10 2004 by Christine
4.0 out of 5 stars really funny and entertaining
I laughed out loud from the first few pages. I found Ellie having the same neuroses as many women do as they approach tthe 3-0. Sally the pug stole the limelight many times. Read more
Published on Dec 16 2003 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Romantic Comedy of the Year
I love this book! Whitney Gaskell is a great story-teller, and hysterically funny as well. Ellie Winters (the heroine of Pushing 30) is original, authentically rendered and very... Read more
Published on Dec 15 2003
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