Life of the Party

Life of the Party: A Political Press Tart Bares All

by Lisa Baron

Ginger Emas Schlanger (08/24/11): While I don't typically judge a book by its cover, I really did fall in love with the image on the front of Life of the Party, which gave me an inkling that this book was going to be provocative, revealing and tongue-in-cheek. Believe me, it doesn't disappoint! Though at first I thought this was going to be a breezy beach read, itís actually much more, because author Lisa Baron is a great storyteller: witty, original and very real. Itís that authentic and open voice that kept me reading from the moment I picked it up until I the last page.

For someone like me, who is not particularly politically savvy or party-loyal, the topic itself was secondary; it is the coming-of-age stories and glimpses into Lisa's goals and aspirations as a 20-something that give the book its universal appeal (that is, if itís appealing to you to go behind-the-scenes and hear about the good, the bad and the downright dirty. This is not a G-rated book!) In Life of the Party, Lisa shines the light in all the nooks and crannies of her early career days spent as press secretary for Ralph Reed -- and there are plenty of dark corners. :)

But there's also an important message in Lisa's writing, and that's her journey of self-acceptance and self-reliance. Lisa found that she could follow her dreams AND stay true to herself; that accepting yourself for exactly who you are is the true measure of success. Her message to readers is to forge your own path -- not hang onto to someone else's coattails or reputation. It's not a preachy message, it's just part of what Lisa learned and shares.

With a writing style that's as outspoken as Chelsea Handler but as sharp as Linda Ellerbee, Lisa weaves together all the real-life crazy ingredients that make this a hilarious memoir. I mean, really, what's a 20-something, decidedly liberal, definitely saucy Jewish girl doing working for the Christian Coalition anyway?! The book kept me laughing, thinking and wondering out loud how our political leaders and their young staffs get anything done. But the author does it with intelligence, a wry perspective and even compassion. I found myself racing through the chapters to see what happens next and how she survived to tell it all.
Rating: *****

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