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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Roll with the Punches: A Story of Roller Derby, Alzheimer's and Plagiarism is a chick lit novel written by Amy Gettinger. Rhonda's relatively carefree existence gets entirely turned upside down in almost no time at all. The librarian and aspiring novelist finds out that the novel she's been writing for over a year, and spent a full month finishing, has been plagiarized by the mysterious, best-selling author, Reynold Jackson. To make it even more painful a loss, the book's a runaway bestseller and the fact that she had shopped the book to a number of agents means her reputation is totally shot. Things are even worse at home. Monica, the older sister who took care of things relative to their parents, has emigrated to Australia, her mother's in the hospital and her father is acting very oddly.
Amy Gettinger's romantic comedy, Roll with the Punches: A Story of Roller Derby, Alzheimer's and Plagiarism, works on so many different levels that it's awfully hard to categorize it under any single genre. The mystery of the purloined manuscript and the sleuthing efforts of Rhonda, her friend, Harley and the Amazon Rollergirls is first-rate, with plenty of red herrings and an unpredictable ending. Rhonda's adventures in the roller derby world are marvelous as is her love of being active, strong and athletic -- she makes a fabulous role model for young women. The issue of aging parents and the duties that seem to fall willy-nilly on the geographically closest child is a serious one that's handled with love, humor, and respect. Finally, there's the romance, something Rhonda's not too good at, and how she resolves the sudden interest of not one, but two men. Yes, there are sex scenes in Roll with the Punches: A Story of Roller Derby, Alzheimer's and Plagiarism, and they're delightfully free of the usual cliches and filled with invention, frolic and warmth, and they were sheer pleasure to read. This is a big, warm-hearted, hilarious book that wraps the reader up within its covers and holds them there until the last page -- and that's a very good thing. Roll with the Punches: A Story of Roller Derby, Alzheimer's and Plagiarism is most highly recommended.