Customer Reviews for

The Big Shuffle

Average Rating 5
( 8 )
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5 Star

(6)

4 Star

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  • Posted September 11, 2011

    Enjoyed this as much as her last novel

    Having read Hearts Desire last month I was hoping this would follow in the same well-written and interesting tale. It did not fail to disappoint. A maudlin tale is made to feel somewhat light-hearted and even humorous. Not always an easy feat for any author but Pedersen manages it with style and sagacity.

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  • Posted August 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Really good book!!!!!!

    The Big Shuffle was recommended to me by a friend and I haven't read Hallie's other adventures...but now I'm totally excited to!!!! I loved it!

    A tragedy rocks Hallie's world in the first couple of chapters and totally changes her life from carefree college student to responsible adult. It's a huge life change, but Laura Pedersen does a great job of mixing tragedy with humor and warmth and I was completely hooked on Hallie's journey. Her narration made me laugh and yet, she also really touches your heart. Great character and a wonderful book!

    I have to read the other books now and see how it all began. That being said, you can definitely read this book first. It's great all by itself!

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  • Posted October 26, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Carrie Spellman for TeensReadToo.com

    Hallie Palmer just wants to be a normal college student. But that idea has just flown out the window of the frat party she got pulled away from. Her dad just passed away, which caused her mom to have a nervous breakdown. The doctor's send her mom to Dalewood, the local mental institution, for rest and recovery. <BR/><BR/>With Dad gone, and Mom in the "nuthouse", Hallie is back in the place she worked so hard to escape, home. Now she has to arrange a funeral, take care of her eight younger brothers and sisters, sort through insurance information, conquer the growing stack of bills, and figure out which twin brother is which. (If only the ribbon had stayed in place!) Not to mention the runaway sister, the burst pipes in the basement, an on-again off-again boyfriend, and meetings with the school principal who still doesn't like her. Hallie's got her work cut out for her, and she's pretty sure she's done for. <BR/><BR/>Help, and sometimes entertainment, come in strange forms, and Hallie learns that beggars can't be choosers. From the churchwomen brigade who feed them, to crazy Uncle Lenny, who has some questionable ideas about bedtime stories (among other things), to a babysitting chimp, to even crazier Aunt Lala who's more than a little absentminded... It may not be much of a life, but it certainly isn't boring! <BR/><BR/>This is not the first book about Hallie Palmer, but I can say from experience that it stands alone. (Having not read any of the others at this point, though I think I may have to do that now.) I do rather feel like I might have had more connection to the secondary characters if I had read the other books. (It took me awhile to figure out that Gil and Bernard were both men.) Nonetheless, I still found them lovable and entertaining. While I found Hallie a little frustrating at times, it helped to realize that I would be more than lost in that situation. There is a lot going on in this book, but it never felt jumbled or lost. I don't know if Hallie and I would be friends, but I certainly like the people she hangs around with!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2007

    a reviewer

    Hallie Palmer just wants to be a normal college student. But that idea has just flown out the window of the frat party she got pulled away from. Her dad just passed away, which caused her mom to have a nervous breakdown. The doctor¿s send her mom to Dalewood, the local mental institution, for rest and recovery. With Dad gone, and Mom in the ¿nuthouse¿, Hallie is back in the place she worked so hard to escape, home. Now she has to arrange a funeral, take care of her eight younger brothers and sisters, sort through insurance information, conquer the growing stack of bills, and figure out which twin brother is which. (If only the ribbon had stayed in place!) Not to mention the runaway sister, the burst pipes in the basement, an on-again off-again boyfriend, and meetings with the school principal who still doesn¿t like her. Hallie¿s got her work cut out for her, and she¿s pretty sure she¿s done for. Help, and sometimes entertainment, come in strange forms, and Hallie learns that beggars can¿t be choosers. From the churchwomen brigade who feed them, to crazy Uncle Lenny, who has some questionable ideas about bedtime stories (among other things), to a babysitting chimp, to even crazier Aunt Lala who¿s more than a little absentminded¿ It may not be much of a life, but it certainly isn¿t boring! This is not the first book about Hallie Palmer, but I can say from experience that it stands alone. (Having not read any of the others at this point, though I think I may have to do that now.) I do rather feel like I might have had more connection to the secondary characters if I had read the other books. (It took me awhile to figure out that Gil and Bernard were both men.) Nonetheless, I still found them lovable and entertaining. While I found Hallie a little frustrating at times, it helped to realize that I would be more than lost in that situation. There is a lot going on in this book, but it never felt jumbled or lost. I don¿t know if Hallie and I would be friends, but I certainly like the people she hangs around with! **Reviewed by: Carrie Spellman

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    a reviewer

    Eighteen years old card shark and graphic design student Hallie Palmer is enjoying life at the Cleveland Art Institute especially the partying when her summer boss Bernard Stockton arrives to tell her that her father is in the hospital having suffered a heart attack. Bernard and his lover Gil along with their adopted child take Hallie first to the hospital where she learns her mom is sedated having fallen into shock and soon after that her not quite forty dad died. Hallie takes charge of her eight younger siblings while the oldest Eric comes home from attending college in New York to help. --- After talking with Eric, Hallie realizes she must parent her brothers and sisters as Eric is on scholarship. She expects the next in line Louise to help, but she decamps to Massachusetts to live with her boyfriend. Hallie leaves school to raise the seven other Palmer kids with help from her friends Bernard, Gil Police Officer Rich and bookie Cappy. However the best help comes from former sailor Uncle Lenny, who brings discipline, order and humor into a shattered house. --- Switching from the middle class teen¿s amusing poker life amidst the wealthy (see BEGINNER'S LUCK and HEARTS DESIRE) to mothering a family in chaos loses some of the humorous sting that the first two tales contained. The much more serious tome of the story line focuses on the fiasco of a teen with help trying to bring order to her seven little Foys (make that Palmers). Hallie loses some of her spunk (who wouldn¿t) as she draws a losing hand that she has no choice but to play. Fans of the series will appreciate her efforts to run a full house instead of playing a full house. --- Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2006

    Pedersen Has A Winner

    Hallie Palmer is a gambler. But when her father dies suddenly and her mother's grief lands her in Dalewood (where the crazy people are sent), she learns that there's more to life than skill and luck. Sometimes it's the people that surround you that keep a person in the game of life. Hallie's older brother Eric has a college scholarship (free tuition), so the care of the eight younger siblings falls on Hallie. The cast of characters who enter the Palmer household to provide help and support include casserole-carrying church ladies, an aunt who is more trouble than help, an eccentric great uncle, the local pastor, and Bernard and Gil who have recently adopted two little girls from China. It's Bernard who keeps Hallie grounded with his generosity, humor and organizational skills. The Big Shuffle is an engaging story with zany characters, humor galore and a life lesson that smacks of real life. Pedersen has a winner. The Big Shuffle is a stand-alone book, but we recommend her Hallie Palmer novels, Beginners Luck and Heart's Desire. Armchair Interviews says: Pedersen's books will make you laugh and cry, and you'll love them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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