Sh*tty Mom for All Seasons (★★★☆☆)

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Alicia Ybarbo, Mary Ann Zoellner, Erin Clune  *  Abrams Image  *  April 5, 2016  *  176 Pages

Sh*tty Mom for All Seasons is a sequel to the popular Sh*tty Mom:  The Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us. I really enjoyed reading the first book, so I was excited to read this one.

Sh*tty Mom for All Seasons is divided into four sections, one section for each season. Each section has several chapters covering various topics and situations specific to the season. Examples of chapter topics are:  visiting with the in-laws, sending kids to summer camp, getting ready for school, surviving family vacations, dealing with constant sickness during winter, and sending out holiday cards.

The Winter section definitely contains my favorite chapters, and it actually (finally) made me laugh a few times. But, honestly, the rest of the book is just okay–maybe even worse than okay, eek. Whereas the original book is funny in a genuinely clever but still kind of understated way, the sequel is so heavy-handed. It’s almost as if the authors try to disguise the lack of real substance and insight with a few loud and obvious zingers and a bunch of exclamation points. It all felt so forced, petty, and weirdly fanatical. I just couldn’t connect with the content.

When I finished the book, I kept thinking of that thing Basher Tarr (played by Don Cheadle) says in Ocean’s Thirteen. He says, “Besides, you don’t run the same gag twice. You do the next gag.” I feel like the Sh*tty Mom authors wanted to duplicate the tone and basic content (and probably the success) of their first book but ended up producing a sloppier, less funny version of what readers have already seen from them. I really wish they would have dug in a bit deeper and given us something fresh.

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