Saturday, November 5, 2011

Book Review & Blog Tour: A Slot Machine Ate My Midlife Crisis by Irene M. Woodbury

This darkly funny novel describes Wendy Sinclair’s spin-crazy life in Las Vegas after she impulsively decides to not return to Houston following a bizarre girls’ weekend in 2005.  The confused, unhappy 45-year-old newlywed soon rents a ramshackle apartment in a building filled with misfits; wallows in a blur of spas, malls and buffets, and, ultimately, becomes a designer of cocktail waitress uniforms and an Ann-Margret impersonator in a casino show with Elvis.
         She also hangs with some pretty colorful characters.  Paula’s her bold, brassy glamazon BFF who’s looser than a Casino Royale slot.  Maxine’s her saucy former-Tropicana-showgirl boss.  Paige and Serena are two twenty-something blackjack dealers she shops, gambles, and clubs up a storm with.  Major crushes on a hunky pilot and sexy former rock star are also part of the mix. The phone fights with Roger, Wendy’s workaholic husband waiting impatiently in Houston, are louder and more raucous than a hot craps table at Caesar’s!   Does she go back to him, or does her midlife crisis become a midlife makeover?
     A Slot Machine Ate My Midlife Crisis by Irene M. Woodbury is a novel which is 222 pages of Las Vegas drama, razzmatazz, girlie delights, and the roller coaster of self discovery and wild times that thousands of people travel to the actual city for. Having had the opportunity of doing the 'girl's weekend' with my bestest friend Michelle and our friend Tracy, and my Aunt Ida on two occasions over ten years ago I totally related to the allure that Las vegas wielded over the main character Wendy Sinclair. To this day my girls and I reminisce over who hugged a palm tree, and dancing our butts off in Studio 54, located at MGM hotel. (And yes readers...of my personal Sin City adventures, that's all I'm willing to share with you, because as we know what happens in Vegas...stays in Vegas.) Reading this novel which revolved about main character Wendy Sinclair and her reluctance to return to her mundane, traditional life beng micro managed by her husband's bosses wives made me long to return to this adult play land and get swept away in gambling and pampering.

     But Ms. Woodbury does not only focus on all the fun and debauchery which can take place in Las Vegas. Instead she tackles the tender and sensitive subject of discovering who you are, what you want, and how not to lose yourself when you are in a marriage (or relationship.) The characters Wendy and Richard appear to have been happily in a relationship for (7) seven years and decide to take the plunge and get married. Two successful careers, an extravagant honeymoon in England, they seem to be the golden couple that all us real-life people want to be with their partners. However, the book quickly uncovers for the reader that every one's idea of what a marriage is differs, even when you have been in a long-term relationship and believe that you 'really know' your partner.  Reading about Wendy living as 'single's' life in Vegas, but being married and true to her spouse made me want to both cheer for her resolve not to hurt her husband, but when you read what he puts her through it sets your teeth on edge. This is a character that if she was a real person I'd grab her by the shoulders and scream 'wake-up and stand up for yourself!'

     To be fair, although I truly enjoyed reading this book, A Slot Machine Ate My Midlife Crisis, was a tad difficult for me to get through at times. A self-proclaimed single girl, I often wonder if I am cut out for a long term relationship, and the institution of marriage. I worry about being tied down, and losing myself to someone who puts 'demands' and expects certain things from me...and this book truly made me relate to our protagonist Wendy Sinclair. I enjoyed reading about her escapades in Vegas, at the posh spas, and night clubs. But several times through the novel, Ms. Woodbury seems to get tied up in giving the reader so much detail and description of what our character is doing....that you lose sight and can't focus on the story itself. What Ms. Woodbury does succeed in is making the reader able to see the novel's story from different angles, and truly question each characters motives, scruples, and attitude.

     An enjoyable read, for any woman of any age, I strongly recommend reading A Slot Machine Ate My Midlife Crisis, by Irene M. Woodbury which is available in e-book format both from, and also www. A great gift to give your favorite reader for the upcoming holiday season! This is book review #8 for the Chick Lit Plus 2011 Challenge. Remember it's never to late to start to read.



  1. Great review! I am reading this book for the Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours...need to start it soon. :)

  2. A great honest review!