Stories Forever: A Box of Good Luck

Good Luck with That
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They diet, they purge, they exercise, and yet the demons still chase them and seem to ruin any success they have in love relationships. To never have been kissed, to be ignored, to never date in a world where they are hit in the face with an ideal they can never achieve is both sorrowful and bitter. From the very first page, this book entraps you in their world. It makes you see hear and feel what it is like being overweight in a society that values the stick thin, not caring at all about how others who are not thin feel when they are made fun of, not included, and ever so ashamed.

Kristin Higgins hit the reader with hard facts and feelings. She climbs inside along with you to feel, to see, to be an overweight person. She makes her characters real, her characters funny, her characters sad, and as we walk through their lives we stand beside them with our feelings so very close to the surface. So, I encourage all of you to read this book. It will make you never look at an overweight person in the same way. It will allow you to feel their pain, to understand their emotions, to know that within each person there is such goodness waiting to come out if only one can break through the barriers of stereotyping and being fed an image generated upon a society dedicated to being thin.

Well done Ms Higgins, very well done Thanks once again to my local library for having this most poignant book available for this reader. My reviews can be seen here: View all 32 comments. This is the story of three friends: They met at a weight loss camp when they were years old and forged a bond that continued into adulthood.

Each woman deals with their body in different ways, all seemingly tied to issues stemming from some form of childhood trauma or body shaming by those who should have loved and nurtured them. The stories were fascinating as each of the women presented separate insights into the issues surrounding being ov This is the story of three friends: The stories were fascinating as each of the women presented separate insights into the issues surrounding being overweight. We begin with Emerson whose morbid obesity becomes her downfall and we get her story through her journal entries.

Despite her own obsession with her weight, we get to know her ideals, hopes and dreams through those entries.

Sometimes the situations were heartbreaking but what resounds so loudly and clearly are the essences of these women. I found the story brilliant and brave as the author speaks from her own personal experience.

You have to read the entire story some of the critics have cherry picked passages and made assumptions to truly get the power and triumph of these women. The negative dialogue in your own head can be even more destructive than others, which only compounds the problem.

This is an important and time relevant story. I received an advance copy from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review View all 17 comments. Aug 09, Kelly and the Book Boar rated it liked it Shelves: Find all of my reviews at: Anyway, right or wrong it sometimes happens. Please note this list is something that was written by a child, but seriously I never realized how monumental tucking in a fucking shirt could be until I got fat.

Well to begin with: It also felt like it was about 47, pages long. It could definitely stand to take a turn on the chopping block. Next, all three of these women needed massive amounts of therapy stat. The one who dies not a spoiler, the whole story only happens because she dies like instantly is the only one who actually acknowledged not only her unhealthy relationship with food but the reason behind it.

Which leads to the WHY??????? If anyone wants to clutch their pearls and get offended, THIS is what should offend them. Finally, wanting to change other people. Georgia with the nephew and Marley with Will. Annoying and unfortunately the moment never came when either woman was told to STFU and fix herself first before trying to fix someone else. And again, super chick litty. Now to address what started this whole mess. Sit the fuck down. I just scrolled through the top reviews and I'm happy to see people who actually HAVE read it are starting to counteract those uninformed 1 Star ratings.

I don't give a crap if someone doesn't want to read this or ends up thinking it was garbage, but I'm more than a little tired of authors being told what stories they aren't allowed to write. And also thank you Goodreads for putting that block button right up at the top so I have easier access to it: ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Jun 09, Cheri rated it it was amazing Shelves: This is their last day at camp, but not the last of their friendship.

Though no one would say it, all three girls knew things would never be quite the same again. Marley and Georgia end up sharing a place to live in Cambry-on-Hudson, a short ride from Manhattan that oozes charm. They are handed an envelope, which is to be opened after her funeral. Her brother is just as bad, but she puts up with him because she loves his son. Marley, who runs her own catering business, is a chef, creating delicious and nutritious meals, which are delivered to the homes of her customers. Marley still suffers from the loss of her twin sister, who died when she was four.

They each have their own issues, still, with their weight, and with how others treat them because of their weight. The judgment, the looks, the comments. Everyone has their own issues, their own internal dialogue about what they hate or fear, what they wish they looked like — or what they think they look like, a quick judgment on someone just walking by, even. An obsession over size or shape or anything that began as a way of being motivating can become damaging.

A sensitive topic handled with gentle humour, love and charm. View all 40 comments. Within the first 20 pages I knew I was already emotionally invested in the story. Georgia, Emerson, and Marley met at a weight loss camp as teenagers and sixteen years later Emerson has passed away but left the women with a final request. She wanted them to complete the tasks they had written on their list of fears from the summer they spent at camp. This is a story of learning to accept and love yourself.

While the premise of a dying friend asking their loved ones to go out and live their lives Within the first 20 pages I knew I was already emotionally invested in the story. While the premise of a dying friend asking their loved ones to go out and live their lives to the fullest isn't exactly a new idea, I do like how it was done in this book. While most of the story was focused on Georgia and Marley, I thought some of the most touching and heartbreaking moments of the book were the diary entries of Emerson which gave you a sense of everything that led to her death.

I also really enjoyed how Georgia's teenage nephew felt like the fourth member of the group as he dealt with feelings of not belonging. A minor criticism I have is I just wish the author wouldn't have played it so safe. Towards the end I thought she was setting it up so not everything was wrapped up so neatly which in my opinion would have given it a more realistic feel.

This is totally a minority opinion though as most people will have no problem with how everything ended. Overall, a wonderful read and the type of book you can't wait to share with a friend. Have the tissues ready because there are quite a few emotional moments. I won a free copy of this book in a giveaway but was under no obligation to post a review. All views expressed are my honest opinion. Sep 01, Heather 'Bookables' rated it really liked it Shelves: It does talk about some deep issues such as weight, emotionally abuse and more but I thought Kristina Higgins handled them well.

Now as an overweight woman myself this is a very conservational and sensitive topic.

In fact, I hate it.. Throughout reading this book I had a lot of the same thoughts these women have and I did enjoy their journey.

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So t It does talk about some deep issues such as weight, emotionally abuse and more but I thought Kristina Higgins handled them well. So this book deals with tough things and body image but I liked the journey it took and at the end these women were happy with who they are on the inside and the outside.

Thank you to Penguin Publishing Group who provided an advance reader copy via Edelweiss. People who have struggled with weight will surely connect with this story. Three teenage girls befriend each other at a summer camp for overweight kids. Together, they create a bucket list of things they hope to one day achieve. The items on this list were things that only thin girls could comfortably accomplish, such as getting a piggy back ride from a cute guy, eating dessert in public, and tucking in your Thank you to Penguin Publishing Group who provided an advance reader copy via Edelweiss.

The items on this list were things that only thin girls could comfortably accomplish, such as getting a piggy back ride from a cute guy, eating dessert in public, and tucking in your shirt. Emerson, Marley and Georgia maintained their friendship throughout the years, although Emerson lived much farther away and couldn't be physically close. That's why Marley and Georgia were utterly devastated when they got the call that Emerson was on her deathbed.

How they wished they had known just how morbidly obese Emerson had become, which ultimately led to her death. It was too late to offer any help to their beloved friend, who used her last bit of strength to direct them to an envelope at her side in the hospital bed. Georgia took the envelope from Emerson's grip which had "To be opened after my funeral" written across the front.

Its contents were the bucket list the three girls composed so many years ago. The book alternates between the lives of Georgia and Marley, who now share a town house with apartments on separate floors. Marley is a chef who has her own business preparing meals and delivering them to clients. Her twin sister Frankie died at the age of four, failing to thrive while Marley bloomed. Marley carries the burden of guilt that she survived Even so, Marley remains outwardly bubbly, fun and optimistic, mostly at peace with her current weight. She loves food, but has learned to make healthy meals, which Georgia has also benefited from.

If only firefighter Camden would treat her as a steady girlfriend he could be proud of, instead of infrequent hookups Was Camden too embarrassed that Marley was slightly overweight to present her as his actual girlfriend? Georgia managed to have gotten the thinnest of the three friends, but still lacks confidence. This inability to love herself ate away at her marriage to Rafe, the love of her life.

Being constantly body shamed by her rail-thin and plastic surgery obsessed mother "Big Kitty" hadn't helped any.

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Georgia left her career as a Yale educated lawyer four years ago to become a nursery school teacher at an elite school. Will Georgia ever find that nirvana zone with her weight, and will she ever find her way back to Rafe? People who have weight issues will find themselves in this book; the harsh judgements, disregard, the self-inflicted pain caused by food addiction. I've never read a fictional book on this important topic, and it was handled with both poignancy and humor in this well-written offering.

View all 16 comments. Sep 05, Kristy rated it really liked it Shelves: Emerson, Georgia, and Marley have been best friends since they were teens. They met at Camp Copperbrook, a weight-loss camp. They've stayed close ever since, so when Emerson passes away, Georgia and Marley are distraught. Emerson asks her friends to complete a list they made at camp, forcing both Georgia and Marley to confront some long-held fears.

Marley still feels guilty since her twin sister, Frankie, died when they were four. And Georgia, has been scarred by the exacting conditions--especia Emerson, Georgia, and Marley have been best friends since they were teens. And Georgia, has been scarred by the exacting conditions--especially about weight--passed on by her mother and brother. And she's hurt after the ending of her marriage. But Georgia and Marley are determined to complete the items on the list, for Emerson, even if it means getting past their comfort zone and learning to love themselves just as they are.

I wasn't sure I'd like this one in the beginning. The tell-it-like-it-is weight talk is jarring at first, so are Marley's many, many references to her dead twin. But, pretty quickly, this book grew on me, and became a very powerful, very heartbreaking, very realistic, and very lovely read. This isn't an easy-to-read book. It's starkly realistic and tells it like it is. Weight, life, reality, friendship, parenting, and more. It's tough to read and touches on the insecurities we all have deep inside ourselves , plus how cruel the world can be to those it deems "different.

Luckily, the novel is also infused with Higgins' trademark humor. The woman can write a darn funny scene and even with the serious topics she covers here, there are plenty of funny times and warmth throughout this novel. She can make piggyback rides humorous. Marley and Georgia become real people throughout the course of this novel, and so much of their friendship is witty and hilarious. I really grew to love them. The book is also powerful in so many ways. Yes, it can be powerfully sad and heartbreaking at times, but it's also just powerfully well-done.

I really think this is a book everyone should read, especially parents or anyone who spends time around teens. Georgia's teenage nephew, Mason, quickly became one of my favorite characters. His storyline has nothing to do with weight, but everything to do with self-acceptance, and I totally adored him.

Good Luck with That by Kristan Higgins

There's so much going on in this book. The power of friendship. Struggling with weight and loving yourself. And the idea of, What happens when we get everything we want and we still aren't happy? So much resonated with me. The book will make you laugh. It will make you cry. Parts of it are predictable, but in the total Higgins fashion of exactly the way you want them to be. Overall, this book was nothing like what I expected, but that's totally OK. It's really a powerful, tough, emotional read, but completely worth it.

By the end, I was completely immersed in the characters' lives and the story. I found it to be heartbreaking and beautiful, and I certainly recommend it.

View all 8 comments. Here's another excellent review showing why this book is a flaming pile of garbage: Fatphobic as all hell. See below for excerpt from reviewer who did a live tweet while reading an arc. I made it about half way through the book before I had to stop because I was completely sick to my stomach. A few chapters in and I was disgusted with the author, the publisher, and basically anyone associated with saying this book needs to be out in the world. If I ever had any intention of reading this author, this book certainly erased that. I will never touch a Kristan Higgins book.

View all 6 comments. Dec 07, Gail Chianese rated it it was amazing Shelves: As someone who has battled their weight for as long as they can remember, this book hit very close to home. I think I experienced every emotion possible while reading it. I cried — happy and sad tears, and then happy again.

At times it was uncomfortable because it was truthful. Have I ever hated the way I look? Have I ever hated myself for not being strong enough? Have I been the As someone who has battled their weight for as long as they can remember, this book hit very close to home. Have I been the recipient of nasty comments about my weight? I loved this book not just because it was well written, and funny at times, but also because I could relate to these women and their hopes and dreams and fears and struggles.

And yes, that also scared me…but in a good way. This book is so much more than just the back cover copy. Thank you to Berkeley for the advanced copy. View all 11 comments. I was swept up in an emotional landslide, freeing a new piece of myself page by page. The author's captivating story of friendship and the villains they face was heartbreaking and inspiring. I found the characters to be a living breathing bible of emotional truths. Emerson, Georgia, and Marley met for a brief moment in time but built a bond that linked them forever.

The struggles and loss they endure brought me to tears. This is my first time reading this author I know, I know, you can shame me later So much so that I'm scared to read anything else. This book is so brilliantly written that I can't imagine her ever living up to the bar with which I have elevated her to What author Kristan Higgins did in the novel 'Good Luck with That', was show us the open, gaping, festering wound inside many of us and in this readers opinion showed us a way to help those wounds heal I may go so far as to say 'Good Luck with That' could be your spiritual awakening if you'll let it be.

A time to say I lived through this and I for one am a stronger person for it. The journey and hardships documented in this fictional tale could be that of you, your neighbor or your best friend. This story and the topic it faces is usually hidden behind closed doors. Yes, we see the random empowering woman video or campaign here and there and then it's on the back burner until the next time we feel like jumping on the social media bandwagon of injustice. This book covers epic truths about addiction, love, and body shaming. About how the world outside and the monsters within shape how we see ourselves and others while instilling the hope and courage to conquer those demons.

This is an emotional and difficult read, to say the least. You will find yourself in this book. Maybe even multiple times. The spirit of these girls and those they come in contact with live inside us. Some may be hard to face honestly, MANY will be hard to face but face them we should. If you've read her before y'all need to educate me Will she rip my heart out again and again?? What do I read next? Is she a cat or dog person????

Aug 07, Amy rated it it was amazing Shelves: I swear every woman on the planet should read this book you guys. Higgins captures all of the feelings and emotions that coexist alongside these complicated feelings women have about themselves perfectly and she does it with humor and grace as well. This is told from all three friends perspectives, Marley and Georgia in present day and then Emerson in a series of I swear every woman on the planet should read this book you guys.

Short Story: ‘The Luck of Roaring Camp’ by Bret Harte

This is told from all three friends perspectives, Marley and Georgia in present day and then Emerson in a series of heartbreaking journal entries that truly brought me to tears. While this was a very emotional read it was also funny and poignant and unabashedly honest in the way women perceive themselves and other woman. Marley and Georgia stole my heart completely and totally and made me yearn for friends just like the two of them. While many of the issues covered here are heavy and sometimes dark this was a truly uplifting and hopeful read that will make you feel less alone in your insecurities and doubtful moments.

Highly recommended read from one of my all time favorite authors, Higgins hit it out of the park with this one! Good Luck With That in three words: Vulnerable, Emotional and Relevant. View all 4 comments. Sanne van Zwol Great review. You made me want to read it so haha. Aug 08, Lindsay - Traveling Sister Terrific review! I need to read this! Sep 19, Sep 02, Sarah Joint rated it it was amazing. This is a sweet, funny, thoughtful, and emotional book.

It deals with a very sensitive topic for a lot of people: There's no doubt in my mind that some people will think this book isn't sensitive enough, and may not find it a pleasant read. Having never personally struggled with trying to lose weight, it gave me some new perspectives. I know that some people won't find this book accurate for their personal story, but I appreciated looking at things from a different perspective and th This is a sweet, funny, thoughtful, and emotional book.

I know that some people won't find this book accurate for their personal story, but I appreciated looking at things from a different perspective and thought it gave me a better understanding of what many women deal with. This book is the story of three good friends: Emerson, Georgia, and Marley. They're very different people, but they have two things in common.

They have each struggled with their weight, and they love each other. They met as teenagers, and while they haven't always been able to spend significant amount of time together since, they have kept their connection to each other. They're now in their mid-thirties, and Emerson has come to the end of her life. Her struggles with her weight escalated over the years, and eventually led to health complications that will kill her. Georgia and Marley hadn't seen their old friend in some time, but they rush to her side when she calls them.

Emerson leaves them something behind As silly as it may seem to them now, especially at first, the list is made up of things they desperately wanted to experience as teenagers. Emerson wants them to complete it. For the rest of the story, we follow Georgia and Marley as they grant their friend's last wish and deal with their own issues and heartaches. We also get to know Emerson better through journal entries, which are especially poignant and heartbreaking because we know how it ends for her. By the end, I had fallen in love with each character for different reasons.

I'm not ashamed to say this book made me cry several times, it's an incredibly emotional read! I would say it's absolutely worth a look and I really appreciated it. This in no way affects my opinion. Mar 18, Jamie Beck rated it it was amazing. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every colour of the rainbow. Grand old trees graced the landscape and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene. One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man couldn't hear the band - he could see it in his mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words. Days and weeks passed. One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.

As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch and, after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone. Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the world outside. Finally, he would have the joy of seeing it for himself. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed. It faced a blank wall. The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window. The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.

She said, "Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you. Her husband had always been a tender and loving soulmate before he had left for the wars but, ever since he returned home, he was cross, angry, and unpredictable. She was almost afraid to live with her own husband. Only in glancing moments did she catch a shadow of the husband she used to know and love. When one ailment or another bothered people in her village, they would often rush for a cure to a hermit who lived deep in the mountains. She always prided herself that she could heal her own troubles.

But this time was different. As Yun Ok approached the hermit's hut, she saw the door was open. The old man said without turning around: His back still to her, he said, "Ah yes, it's often that way when soldiers return from the war. What do you expect me to do about it? There is a potion that will restore your husband to the way he used to be, but you should know that it requires an unusual ingredient.

You must bring me a whisker from a live tiger. He turned his back. As you can see, I'm very busy. How could she get a whisker from a live tiger? The next day before dawn, she crept out of the house with a bowl of rice covered with meat sauce. She went to a cave on the mountainside where a tiger was known to live. She clicked her tongue very softly as she crept up, her heart pounding, and carefully set the bowl on the grass.

Then, trying to make as little noise as she could, she backed away. The next day before dawn, she took another bowl of rice covered with meat sauce to the cave. She approached the same spot, clicking softly with her tongue. She saw that the bowl was empty, replaced the empty one with a fresh one, and again left, clicking softly and trying not to break twigs or rustle leaves, or do anything else to startle and unsettle the wild beast. So it went, day after day, for several months. She never saw the tiger thank goodness for that! Then one day as she approached, she noticed the tiger's head poking out of its cave.

Glancing downward, she stepped very carefully to the same spot and with as little noise as she could, set down the fresh bowl and, her heart pounding, picked up the one that was empty. After a few weeks, she noticed the tiger would come out of its cave as it heard her footsteps, though it stayed a distance away again, thank goodness! Another month went by. Then the tiger would wait by the empty food bowl as it heard her approaching. As she picked up the old bowl and replaced it with a fresh one, she could smell its scent, as it could surely smell hers.

Not a week later, the tiger allowed her to gently rub its head, and it purred and stretched like a house cat. Then she knew the time had come. The next morning, very early, she brought with her a small knife. After she set down the fresh bowl and the tiger allowed her to pet its head, she said in a low voice: She stood up, speaking softly her thanks, and left, for the last time.

The next morning seemed endless. At last her husband left for the rice fields. She ran to the hermit's hut, clutching the precious whisker in her fist. Bursting in, she cried to the hermit: I have the tiger's whisker! With pride she handed him the whisker. The hermit examined it, satisfied himself that it was indeed a whisker from a live tiger, then flicked it into the fire where it sizzled and burned in an instant.

Tell me, is a man more vicious than a tiger? If a dangerous wild beast will respond to your gradual and patient care, do you think a man will respond any less willingly? Then she turned and stepped down the trail, turning over in her mind images of the tiger and of her husband, back and forth. She knew what she could do. The hedgehogs It was the coldest winter ever.

Many animals died because of the cold. The hedgehogs, realizing the situation, decided to group together to keep warm. This way they covered and protected themselves; but the quills of each one wounded their closest companions. After awhile, they decided to distance themselves one from the other and they began to die, alone and frozen.

So they had to make a choice: Wisely, they decided to go back to being together. They learned to live with the little wounds caused by the close relationship with their companions in order to receive the heat that came from the others. This way they were able to survive. The best relationship is not the one that brings together perfect people, but when each individual learns to live with the imperfections of others and can admire the other person's good qualities.

The fence There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily, gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper.

The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence.

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The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. A name day was set for him. The ceremony was held under the pine trees with Stumpy saying the simple works: Soon after the ceremony, Roaring Camp began to change. The first improvements were made in the cabin of Tommy or "The Luck" as he was usually called. The men painted it white, planted flowers around it and kept it clean. Tuttle's store, where the men used to meet to talk and play cards, also changed.

The owner imported a carpet and some mirrors. The men — seeing themselves in Tuttle's mirrors — began to take more care about their hair, beards and clothing. Stumpy made a new law for the camp. Anyone who wanted the honor of holding The Luck would have to wash daily. Kentuck appeared at the cabin every afternoon in a clean shirt, his face still shining from the washing he'd given it.

The shouting and yelling that had given the camp its name also stopped. Tommy needed his sleep, and the men walked around speaking in whispers. Instead of angry shouts, the music of gentle songs filled the air. Strange new feelings of peace and happiness came into the hearts of the miners of Roaring Camp.

During those long summer days, The Luck was carried up the mountain to the place where the men were digging for gold. He would lie on a soft blanket decorated with wild flowers the men would bring. Nature was his nurse and playmate. Birds flew around his blanket. And little animals would play nearby.

Golden sunshine and soft breezes would stroke him to sleep. During that golden summer The Luck was with them, the men of Roaring Camp all became rich. With the gold they found in the mountains came a desire for further improvement. The men voted to build a hotel the following spring. They hoped some good families with children would come to live in Roaring Camp.

But some of the men were against this plan. They hoped something would happen to prevent it. The following winter, the winter of eighteen fifty-one, is still remembered for the heavy snows in the mountains. When the snow melted that spring, every stream became an angry river that raced down the mountains tearing up trees and bringing destruction. One of those terrible streams was the North Fork River. Late one night, it leaped over its banks and raced into the valley of Roaring Camp. The sleeping men had no chance to escape the rushing water, the crashing trees and the darkness.

When morning came, Stumpy's cabin near the river was gone.