Review: This One is Mine by Maria Semple

Violet Parry is living the quintessential life of luxury in the Hollywood Hills with David, her rock-and-roll manager husband, and her darling toddler, Dot. She has the perfect life--except that she's deeply unhappy. David expects the world of Violet but gives little of himself in return. When she meets Teddy, a roguish small-time bass player, Violet comes alive, and soon she's risking everything for the chance to find herself again. Also in the picture are David's hilariously high-strung sister, Sally, on the prowl for a successful husband, and Jeremy, the ESPN sportscaster savant who falls into her trap. For all their recklessness, Violet and Sally will discover that David and Jeremy have a few surprises of their own. THIS ONE IS MINE is a compassionate and wickedly funny satire about our need for more - and the often disastrous choices we make in the name of happiness. 

Title: This One is Mine
Author: Maria Semple
Format: paperback, 289 pages
Genre: contemporary fiction
Source: publisher (thanks Gigi!)
Published: March 2010
Buy the book: book depo

My Thoughts
This One is Mine is about the never-ending journey to find complete happiness (even when it’s staring you right in the bloody eye) and the disastrous choices made in the pursuit of that happiness.

Violet is a 40-something bored housewife. (She gave up her career as a television writer to start a family.) She’s got it all: a successful husband, David, who’s a rock-n-roll manager, a beautiful daughter, financial security, a massive house with staff, and yet she’s miserably unhappy.

Then Violet meets Teddy Reyes, a bass player who’s battling his own demons. She becomes immediately infatuated with him, even with all his faults. Teddy is epitome of the-one-to-stay-away-from. He screams DANGER in every possible way. Although Violet isn't oblivious to the warning signs, she just chooses to ignore them. I found myself screaming at Violet NO! Don’t do that! What were you thinking?!! There were a lot of red flags that she just blatantly ignored. Teddy's past and vices don’t deter Violet, instead it only makes her want to help him in every possible way. (And made me want to smack her.) But he sparks her sexuality in a new and different way and she doesn’t want to lose that. She's looking to find herself and she tries doing so with Teddy as her vessel.

Sally, Violet's sister-in-law and David’s sister, has had a rough life. Having been a type-one diabetic since she was three, she’s always had to look to David for financial support and she’s determined to cut that string. Unfortunately for Sally, she has a massive debt thanks to a good-for-nothing ex-boyfriend. Now she’s single, which to Sally is unacceptable and just won’t do. She is on the prowl to find her future, successful husband and only the best will do. Enter Jeremy. He’s basically what Sally is looking for, even with his weird quirks, and the two date and later get married. Sally makes a poor, selfish decision (for all the wrong reasons) and jeopardizes their marriage.

Teddy’s presence in Violet’s life brings these characters all together. Everyone’s paths seem to eventually cross and intertwine with Teddy’s. Makes you wonder what if Violet and Teddy never met...?

Reading This One is Mine wasn't at all what I had expected from reading the book blurb. This is not your typical novel about an extra marital affair. These are not your run of the mill characters. These characters are gritty, shallow and fun to read. Their lives are like a train wreck; you're afraid to look at the horrific mangled mess but your curiosity gets the best of you and you have to take a peek. I had to keep reading to see what was going to happen next, and to see where these character's lives were going to go. I may not have agreed with Violet’s choices but I certainly wanted to know where her two feet were going to land. Violet is one character that I won’t soon forget.

Semple has a great ability to take a simple, streamline plot and turn it into an unforgettable story. 

The Book Vixen's Rating

About Brianna: Supermom by day, naughty reader by night. Addicted to chocolate, Twitter, her iPad, her Kindle, and 99¢ Kindle deals. You can follow Brianna on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Instagram.


  1. hi! I love your review on this book! can't wait to read it! I'm currently visiting all of my followers website! Yours is really cool!

  2. Just stopped by to say thank you, I got the nail polish in the mail the other day from the contest, thanks a bunch!


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