Customer Reviews for

The Idea of Him: A Novel

Average Rating 3.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

In Holly Peterson's newest novel, The Idea of Him, Allie is a PR

In Holly Peterson's newest novel, The Idea of Him, Allie is a PR whiz, toiling away for years for Murray Hillsinger and his clients, mostly people in the entertainment business who want a higher profile or who want people to forget their misdeeds. Her big project is the...
In Holly Peterson's newest novel, The Idea of Him, Allie is a PR whiz, toiling away for years for Murray Hillsinger and his clients, mostly people in the entertainment business who want a higher profile or who want people to forget their misdeeds. Her big project is the Fulton Film Festival, whose big investor is Max Rowland, a Texas garage magnet who just finished serving a prison sentence for fraud.
She is married to Wade, the editor of a Meter, a Vanity Fair-style magazine that profiles big stars, and in the past broke big stories about corruption. Times are tough for Meter, like most print magazines, and Wade is struggling to maintain his position in a world where anyone who reads magazines reads them on their Ipad or tablet.
When Allie catches Wade in their laundry closet with a hot young woman during a party she is devastated. 
She confronts Wade and he hisses that she doesn't understand, he'll explain later. Allie then chases after the woman, Jackie, who tells Allie that she wasn't having sex with her husband, but she was looking for a flash drive Wade had that she needed.
Jackie weaves a crazy story that implicates Wade, Allie's boss Murray and his investor Max in some complicated financial scheme that she claims she will eventually explain to Allie, but right now she needs Allie's help.
Allie is thrown for a loop; why should she trust this complete stranger whom she believes is having an affair with her husband? Jackie seems to always be around in the background when there is trouble; is she the cause or is she telling Allie the truth?
Allie now wonders if she made a mistake marrying Wade instead of her best friend since high school James, who became a doctor working overseas to help children (think Doctors Without Borders). She and James still talk frequently, and they have a complicated past that began during a traumatic experience.
She also is attracted to Tommy, whom she met in her screenwriting class. Tommy is young, hot and reckless and he pursues Allie relentlessly. There are a few explicit sex scenes that may leave readers hot and bothered.
Given that this week's biggest story is about stock market manipulation as described in Michael Lewis's  book Flash Boys, the timing of The Idea of Him with its similar theme is fortuitous. I confess that although my knowledge of the financial markets is rather limited, I found this storyline fascinating.
Another theme is women relying on men to take care of them. Allie relied on James, then married Wade because he reminded her of her late father, and nearly jumped into a relationship with Tommy while still married. Will she take a step back and realize that she is strong enough to take charge of her own life? That is another interesting aspect of the novel.
I have to say that I usually don't completely dislike characters, but I found Wade to be despicable. His behavior towards his wife was appalling and I found it hard to believe that Allie ever found anything redeeming about him. There is also another minor character who is just as awful, but to name her would be a spoiler; when you read it, you'll find out who she is.
The mystery of what exactly Wade is involved in elevates this novel above the usual chick lit. I enjoyed trying to figure out who was doing to whom and the resolution is satisfying. The setting is New York City, and Peterson nails the arrogant entitlement attitude of some of the one percenters. what to whom and the resolution is satisfying. The setting is New York City, and Peterson nails the arrogant entitlement attitude of some of the one percenters.

posted by bookchickdi on April 3, 2014

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Terrible.

Terrible. While I managed to finish this, it was mostly skimming; what a disappointment. Any careful reader is going to pick up on what is wrong with Allie's husband-...
Terrible. While I managed to finish this, it was mostly skimming; what a disappointment. Any careful reader is going to pick up on what is wrong with Allie's husband--or at least have a very good idea--and many readers will probably have the same reaction as I did to the character of Allie: you will want to shake her and scream. This is the story of a mid-30's woman with whining, spoiled children, a NYC lifestyle where the biggest worries are keeping it, and the emotional maturity of a 15 year old. She is a woman who MUST have a man, at all costs, a woman who cannot fathom how to deal with anything without a man to fall back on yet we are to believe she is this high powered media agent. The only interesting character is the alleged 'other woman' but by the end, she is not very bright either. Oh, and the ending is wrapped up so neatly it will make a reader's spin--but if anyone is expecting this main character will really learn valuable lessons about self esteem, character, and independence. Some readers may think so, not me. What a waste.

posted by irishclaireKG on April 15, 2014

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  • Posted April 3, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    In Holly Peterson's newest novel, The Idea of Him, Allie is a PR

    In Holly Peterson's newest novel, The Idea of Him, Allie is a PR whiz, toiling away for years for Murray Hillsinger and his clients, mostly people in the entertainment business who want a higher profile or who want people to forget their misdeeds. Her big project is the Fulton Film Festival, whose big investor is Max Rowland, a Texas garage magnet who just finished serving a prison sentence for fraud.
    She is married to Wade, the editor of a Meter, a Vanity Fair-style magazine that profiles big stars, and in the past broke big stories about corruption. Times are tough for Meter, like most print magazines, and Wade is struggling to maintain his position in a world where anyone who reads magazines reads them on their Ipad or tablet.
    When Allie catches Wade in their laundry closet with a hot young woman during a party she is devastated. 
    She confronts Wade and he hisses that she doesn't understand, he'll explain later. Allie then chases after the woman, Jackie, who tells Allie that she wasn't having sex with her husband, but she was looking for a flash drive Wade had that she needed.
    Jackie weaves a crazy story that implicates Wade, Allie's boss Murray and his investor Max in some complicated financial scheme that she claims she will eventually explain to Allie, but right now she needs Allie's help.
    Allie is thrown for a loop; why should she trust this complete stranger whom she believes is having an affair with her husband? Jackie seems to always be around in the background when there is trouble; is she the cause or is she telling Allie the truth?
    Allie now wonders if she made a mistake marrying Wade instead of her best friend since high school James, who became a doctor working overseas to help children (think Doctors Without Borders). She and James still talk frequently, and they have a complicated past that began during a traumatic experience.
    She also is attracted to Tommy, whom she met in her screenwriting class. Tommy is young, hot and reckless and he pursues Allie relentlessly. There are a few explicit sex scenes that may leave readers hot and bothered.
    Given that this week's biggest story is about stock market manipulation as described in Michael Lewis's  book Flash Boys, the timing of The Idea of Him with its similar theme is fortuitous. I confess that although my knowledge of the financial markets is rather limited, I found this storyline fascinating.
    Another theme is women relying on men to take care of them. Allie relied on James, then married Wade because he reminded her of her late father, and nearly jumped into a relationship with Tommy while still married. Will she take a step back and realize that she is strong enough to take charge of her own life? That is another interesting aspect of the novel.
    I have to say that I usually don't completely dislike characters, but I found Wade to be despicable. His behavior towards his wife was appalling and I found it hard to believe that Allie ever found anything redeeming about him. There is also another minor character who is just as awful, but to name her would be a spoiler; when you read it, you'll find out who she is.
    The mystery of what exactly Wade is involved in elevates this novel above the usual chick lit. I enjoyed trying to figure out who was doing to whom and the resolution is satisfying. The setting is New York City, and Peterson nails the arrogant entitlement attitude of some of the one percenters. what to whom and the resolution is satisfying. The setting is New York City, and Peterson nails the arrogant entitlement attitude of some of the one percenters.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 5, 2014

    In The Idea of Him, author Holly Peterson weaves a fascinating t

    In The Idea of Him, author Holly Peterson weaves a fascinating tale that delves into the intricacies of relationships. The story is full of intrigue, mystery, and dark twists and turns that provides the reader with much food for thought about their own relationships.




    The reader is easily drawn into Allie Crawford's life as she discovers the reality that maybe her relationship with her husband wasn't what she had thought it had been, that perhaps she has been in love with the idea of love rather than in love with him. As disturbing realities about her life come to light and secrets are revealed about the people closest to her, Allie embarks on a journey of self-discovery that will teach her that she could get control her life, stand on her own, conquer her fears, and live the life that she truly wants to live.




    I loved that the author addresses a social issue that women around the world can relate to: the idea of love and marriage ... and how as young girls we grow up with the dream of finding the perfect man, marrying him, and living the happily ever after life that fairytales claim can come true. Then adulthood and reality set in when the struggles of everyday life is anything but a fairytale.




    The reader follows Allie as she struggles through her daily life, trying to stand on her own two feet, and find her own way in life through her choices and decisions. The Idea of Him is a riveting multi-layered story with a complex cast of characters; dramatic dialogue and interactions; intriguing dark secrets and betrayals; intricate twists and turns; and one woman's journey of self-discovery and realization of the difference between falling in love with love and falling in love with the person.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 30, 2014

    I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

    I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

    I will be totally honest in this review. I didn't even look at the book synopsis as one of my reviewers was going to read this book but there was a bit of mix up and I took on this book. When I first started reading it I was thinking oh no another infidelity book (seems to be every where I look this year) and business/politic type people. I am soo not a political person. I wasn't too sure about it but read a bit more and guess what?? I was hooked. So hooked that I tried to cram it all in whenever I got a couple minutes (even while cooking dinner).

    This is the first book I have read by Holly Peterson and I will say now I am interested in reading more. The author has a way of drawing you into the storyline and keeping you wanting to know more. This book had a little of everything ~ lost of soul searching for the answers to what ifs with past loves, tempting hotties, lies, money and everything in between. There were moments that I just wanted to lose it on Wade for being such an ass but then again there were times I was telling Allie to get out while you still can. The suspense got really thick and I couldn't wait to find out the truth of the whole scandal including who is this sexy mystery lady named Jessica. This was a great book especially since I wasn't sure at the beginning and the author was able to draw me in and keep me until the very end.

    I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars!

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  • Posted April 26, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Title: The Idea of Him Author: Holly Peterson Publisher: William

    Title: The Idea of Him
    Author: Holly Peterson
    Publisher: William Morrow and Company
    Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
    Age Recommended: Adult
    Rating: 4
    Review:

    "The Idea of Him" by Holly Peterson was a good women's fiction read. Mary Crawford had a good life with two kids, happy marriage and wonderful job, but was this really true? No, it was not because she soon finds her husband in there laundry room with another woman and this was not the first time. Guess what...there will be more for Mary to discover. Will Mary be able to find answers to all of this and more before it's too late? Be ready for a interesting read however I did find this read somewhat chaotic a times and even complicated as the story seems to jump back and forth from the past to present. I will say the suspense that surround the husband, Wades dealing and all kept me very interested along with the jest of it all where we find from the read that Mary had previously relied on James,(another part of the story) then married Wade because he reminded her of her late father, and nearly jumped into a relationship with Tommy while still married. Another point to the read was seeing Mary befriend a least likely ally to learn the truth about her husband. Believe me when I say it was so good to see that finally Mary develops the backbone that was necessary to protect her and the children. Now, to fully understand it all you must pick up "The Idea of Him" to get the full picture of this read. It will be interesting to see how this mystery of exactly what all Wade was really involved.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 25, 2014

    Allie is living a life most people only dream of. She has an imp

    Allie is living a life most people only dream of. She has an important job at a high profile PR firm in New York City, is mother to two sweet children, and is married to a big-name magazine editor. Things begin to crumble around her though as she catches her husband sneaking off during a party and finds him in the laundry room with a young, beautiful blonde. The more questions Allie asks about her life, the more she discovers that maybe what she thought she wanted isn't really what she truly dreamed of. Allie must work to discover how to make her life truly her own and not just a reflection of what she thinks a good life should be.

    I was kind of split on this book. I found the story to be super interesting. Allie is around my age and in a similar position (married with kids), but she is really discovering that maybe what she hasn't isn't actually what she wants to have. This was truly a story about self-discovery and independence. In the end that was one of the things that also bothered me about Allie. I wanted her so much to just make a hard decision and then stick to it. I felt for what she was going through, but even if she had made a choice that was "bad" in her mind, I'm not sure as a reader anyone would have blamed her. She still would have had my sympathy. This was kind of the point of the whole book, but it did grate on me a bit.

    Other characters were delightful (and sometimes delightfully wicked). Tommy and his unorthodox screenwriting methods were very entertaining. My favorite person was probably the mysterious Jackie. As we slowly discovered who she was and what her place was in the story, I grew to respect her more and more. Sure, she had made some poor choices too, but she truly owned them for better or worse. That's someone I'd love to get to know. Overall, I did feel very drawn into the book from the start, and I did feel compelled to read it even if I didn't like Allie as much as I probably should have. I would recommend this book. It is not afraid to make Allie ask herself some really hard questions, and the answers definitely make one think about their own lives and circumstances. This was a very good read!

    Book provided for review.

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