Have you been looking for the perfect summer read? Something on the lighter side, but with substance? A book you could easily devour in an afternoon or two, but with humor and an uplifting, inspirational message?
Well, I’m here to tell you I’ve found it!
I had the outrageously excellent fortune of having received an advance copy of Meant to Be: The Lives and Loves of a Jersey Girl, by humanitarian and host of the YouTube show, So Tell Me, Lauren Pizza, a memoir describing her lower middle-class upbringing, her family quirks, friendships, relationships, and later, marriage and children.
The memoir takes us from Lauren’s childhood, through her adolescence and college years, and then her marriage and introduction to parenthood, noting important moments, flashes of insight, and the unique and wise folks who ushered her along her journey.
Wrapped neatly and seamlessly threaded through her anecdotes was an undertone of spirituality, her experience with the other side, a strong intuition, and good ‘ol fate, and the amazing and somewhat unbelievable twists and turns her life has taken – from helping her parents in their New Jersey florist shop to jet-setting around the world with her millionaire husband and his superstar friends.
And, somehow, through lifestyle changes about which some can only dream, heartbreaks, and losses, she maintains her humility, her spunk, and her sense of humor.
I laughed most of the way through, occasionally stopping to read passages aloud to my husband, who nary cracks a smile (he chuckled!).
I was also lucky enough to be granted an interview with this great lady, during which time I was slightly shocked to find so many similarities between herself and I. In a few candid moments chatting about her book, I found the voice on the page was just a (hilarious) two-dimensional representation of the whole person.
Lauren is passionate about her family, lifelong friends, success, and helping others, but, above all, she’s accessible, approachable, and warm-hearted, with no shortage of parenting advice for a woman knee-deep in preschoolers like myself.
She stressed the importance of finding the “house with the best basement”, as this will become increasingly important over time. She was also quick to give me permission to bring in help (something I’ve been struggling with for several years now), in order to both maintain my sanity and nurture my creativity.
As for her rags-to-riches, tell-all memoir, when asked whether or not she’s been treated differently by family (and others) as a result of releasing this book, she replied with a resounding, “Yes!” She also offered that she was told, by someone ‘in the biz’, that after a year or so, the shock and awe should wear off.
When asked whether she’s been compared with another tri-state-area megastar, Theresa Caputo, the Long Island Medium, she replied very matter-of-factly that she has, but was quick to point out that Theresa clearly “has a gift” that Lauren does not possess. I am certain, though, that their tales of Aqua Net would easily rival one another. It also may be fun to have them both in a room. I foresee a much laughing and many people touched.
As for her motivation for writing this book and exercising her creativity with projects including her YouTube channel (where she recently helped raise $17,000 for a young boy with cancer) and movie production, as she stated inside, it was clearly meant to be.
I’ve got something extra special for you in conjunction with this review. Not only am I giving away a gaggle of books, but I’ve also got Alex and Ani bracelets, created with inspiration from Lauren’s book, and an original song written and performed by Lauren’s very own family for you! I will be giving away TEN packs including one book, one audio single, and one Alex and Ani If It’s Meant to Be bracelet!
I’ve literally been bursting with excitement to get this rolling, so I’m very, very excited to be able to offer these gifts to you.
Simply follow the link to the Momma Be Thy Name Facebook page and click the ‘Giveaway’ tab, where you can enter up to five times, plus once per day on Twitter. But wait – before you go – for an extra entry, please leave a comment sharing the most serendipitous occurrence in your life! What was meant to be for you?
Lauren Pizza lives in New Jersey with her husband, son, and daughter. Visit her YouTube channel, Laridan Productions, where she airs her show, So Tell Me, and follow on Facebook and Twitter. Ms. Pizza is currently hard at work on her second book. Meant to Be: The Lives and Loves of a Jersey Girl is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Everywhere and the author have provided me with the book and giveaway items in exchange for this review. All opinions herein are my own.
Giveaway Rules: Valid email address required to be eligible to win Meant to Be Prize Pack. Winners will be drawn on June 24, 2014, by 6pm ET and notified via email, the Momma Be Thy Name Facebook page, and on Twitter @MommaBeThyName. Residents of US and Canada ONLY are eligible to enter. Winners must respond within 24 hours or a new winner will be chosen.