Room For Improvement

Room For Improvement

by Stacey Ballis

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Stacey Ballis tackles home improvement and reality TV—and reminds us that sometimes life and love are better left unscripted…

What do you get when you give two hopeful singles fashion consultants and interior designers, allow them four days to perk up each other’s homes and get a total style overhaul, then let their single friends celebrate the results at a fabulous party? You get Swap/Meet, the newest reality show on the network block, where major changes are either embraced or embarrassing—and Lily Allen’s dream job turned nightmare.

At first, Lily was thrilled to appear on Swap/Meet. What better way for a Chicago interior designer to promote her business and enjoy some pseudo-celebrity? She just didn’t think she’d be doing take after take with the ditzy host, dodging sabotage attempts, and getting caught in the middle of the fashion czars’ lovers’ spat. Plus, the cute, curmudgeonly carpenter on her team knows just how to push her buttons. Episode by episode, through do-it-yourself disasters and matchmaking miracles, Lily discovers that a little bit of controlled chaos is the spice of life—and love…

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781440624827
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/06/2006
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 782,921
File size: 579 KB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Stacey Ballis is the author of ten foodie novels: Inappropriate MenSleeping OverRoom for ImprovementThe Spinster SistersGood Enough to EatOff the MenuOut to LunchRecipe for DisasterWedding Girl, and How to Change a Life. She is a contributing author to three nonfiction anthologies: Girls Who Like Boys Who Like BoysEverything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume, and Living Jewishly.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Stacey Ballis knows her readers like books smart and funny—and she always delivers.”—Laurie Gwen Shapiro, author of The Matzo Ball Heiress

“Stacey Ballis is warm, witty and wise…Her books suck you in and won’t let you go.”—Cara Lockwood, author of I Do But I Don’t

“Wickedly funny and brutally honest, Stacey Ballis is the thinking woman’s writer.” —Jennifer O’Connell, author of Off the Record

Customer Reviews

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Room for Improvement 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
jendoyle2000 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It held my attention from the moment I started reading it until the very last words -- not something that happens very often these days. Unlike the previous book I read (which, incidentally, also had to do with interior design, to a point), this story integrated the background and the relationships perfectly. I liked reading about the Trading Spaces/Queer Eye for the Straight Guy-type reality show (although I did find it a bit jarring that it kept outright mentioning Bravo -- was it sanctioned by them, I wonder?) as well as how the protagonist's (Lily Allen) life changed as the show became more of a success. The friendships were great, as were the work relationships. Plus the romance didn't feel forced in the way that some of the others I've read lately have. (That said, it definitely is not the main focus of the book so be forewarned if that's what you're looking for.)I was quite happy that it was mentioned only in passing that Lily was on the more voluptuous side (whether a 14 going on 16 or a 16 going on 18, I can't remember). It was refreshing both that she wasn't a perfect size 2 and that it was such a complete non-issue. (In reading the author's website I later learned that she wanted to put books out there that got this message across exactly. She did it perfectly, IMHO.) Although, of course, the picture on the cover doesn't quite represent that; not the author's fault, however. The one thing I didn't like was that there were several places in which the author used a convention of paragraphs using alliteration -- it brought about a smile the first time I came across it; not so much the second and third. That's my one quarrel with the book, however, and not a huge one at that. I also have to note one passage that particularly caught my eye: "We always buy people the KitchenAid stand mixer. Always the five-quart, even if they registered for the four-and-a-half-quart. Always in either deep cobalt blue or bright red, even if we are tempted by the new color choices of the season. (The lavender and spring green this year were particularly difficult to resist.) I think that deep down, all three of us secretly want nothing more than to own a five-quart KitchenAid stand mixer."Those of you who know me know exactly how I feel about the KitchenAid mixer so it won't come as a surprise that, even if I hadn't liked the rest of the book, this one would have earned it a star all on its own. The one sad part about all of this is that it looks like Stacey Ballis only has a few other books out. I guess I'll just have to space them out judiciously.
superblondgirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Funny, entertaining fiction - the story was fast-paced, the characters engaging, the plot entertaining. My complaints are the alliteration that was thrown in randomly (I emailed Ballis and was told none of her other books use that device, and so I'm really looking forward to them!) - it got to the point where I was cringing waiting for alliteration as I read - and that there are places where the story jumps in time without warning, and you are left wondering what happened in between the last chapter and this one (particularly with Lily and the carpenter's relationship change). Altogether a good, entertaining read, though.
BinnieBee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ballis writes in an enjoyable style, with a lot of light-hearted banter throughout her books. This one is no exception.
Griperang72a More than 1 year ago
What I thought of this book: I really liked this book. It has one of my favorite things a house/room remodel show and a fashion makeover. Let's talk about the characters: Lily - I really liked her and felt bad for her for not being able to find a "boyfriend", Naomi and Hillary - they were great friends to Lily and helped her to see what she was doing wrong. I liked that the three of these ladies had been friends since they were little. Curt - I thought he was a good work friend for Lily and I liked how they played off each other. Jake and Gary - I did not like as they were trying to much to be players. Ashleigh - I also did not like her as she just was not nice. The two fashion designers Bryan and Jou were good guys just going through a touch time in their relationship. Another thing I liked was how at the beginning of some of the chapters we got a synopsis of that week's episode of the tv show. This book really read quickly and smoothly for me. It was the first book I have read by this author and I am looking forward to reading more of her books. What did I think of the cover: I thought the cover was very fitting for this book. You see a room designer looking over her plans in a blank slate of a room. I also like the cover choices.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an okay book for chick lit but the main character is really a slut. And what's with the weird alliterative paragraphs? In every chapter there are paragraphs where most of the words start with the same letters: deft, determined, delight, or understand, undetermined, and undermined. It's obviously deliberate and comes off as really fake.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just had to comment that I find it curious that the paperback version is cheaper than the e book for the Nook??? I love Stacey Ballis and came online looking to add a couple of her titles to my new Nook...not yet, I guess... :(
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the book "Inappropriate Men" by this author but not this one. The dialog is really stilted and many of the characters speak in the same "voice". Fun concepts and plot points but the mediocre writing takes away from it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read all of Stacey's books, but this one is the best so far. I loved it! It's funny and the characters are wonderful.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I received an advance copy of ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT and pretty much inhaled it in two days. I adored everything about it - the size 14 heroine Lily who, instead of sitting around apologizing for her weight or feeling sorry for herself, has a fantastic career, great sex, strong friendships, a positive self-image, etc., the interesting and complicated network of supporting players ¿ of which there were many, but were so thoroughly drawn there was never an issue of keeping them straight, the extensively-researched DIY back-story, and, best of all, the humor so pervasive throughout the book. (I defy anyone to not laugh out loud whenever Bob speaks.) For those who say ¿Chick Lit¿ is played out, all I can say is think again. Stacey Ballis proves the genre can be funny, honest, clever, real, and most importantly, totally fresh.