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"You've Been Volunteered" Review

In this sequel to "Class Mom" by Laurie Gelman, heroine Jen is up to her usual hijinks, with less interesting results.

Quick-witted and irreverent mom Jen Dixon's tongue got her booted from her post as Kindergarten Class Mom Gelman's first novel, but she assumes the mantle again a few years later. When she is asked to head up the crossing guard team, she is forced to deal with a prickly new mom and kids of all ages, which is not her idea of a good time. On top of that her husband is taking risky moves with their business, her daughter's love lives are sticky, and her son may be inheriting her smart mouth. Jen tries to balance it all while keeping her sanity and making her nine o'clock spin class.

This book was a miss for me. The story structure was all sorts of confused. There was no central, big conflict driving the story forward. You've heard how Los Angeles is a thousand suburbs in search of a city? Well this book is a thousand stories in search of a narrative. About half of the conflicts are inconsequential to the plot and lead nowhere. Gelman is funniest when she focuses on the delicate ecosystem of the PTA (I actually snorted) and if she had kept her focus on parent politics this book would have been as successful as her first. There is also a strange sexual element like in her first which feels out of place and simply gross. If you're sick of your kid's school and have no one to vent to, I would say pick up the first one, or at least wait until this is out in paperback. 2 out of 5 stars.

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