... this story is deeply felt. Jessica and Emily’s interactions have a sharpness and insight which demonstrates flawed their relationship is, yet there is humour infused throughout. Waxman allows us an insider view inside each of the main character’s heads, and she does this very well. The novel is a pitch perfect depiction of the challenges, heartache, and awkwardness that is characteristic of some mother-teenage daughter relationships. It is a story that will be deeply relatable for many women ... Waxman depicts the pain, love, and discomfort of being a mother of a teenager very well ... Emily’s perspective is interesting and a lot of fun to read, as well ... In addition to crafting an interesting and entertaining story about a mother-daughter relationship, Abbi Waxman describes friendship between women very well ... This book portrays the college visits with a sense of humour and shows how an interesting young lady figures out what is best for her, what she cares about, and what is right ... a fun, genuine, and immensely readable foray into the relationships between teenagers and their parents.
Told in short passages that alternate perspectives between Jessica and Emily, I Was Told It Would Get Easier offers a healthy dose of dramatic irony, as readers recognize—even if the mother-daughter pair don’t—the places where they have things in common, the things they could tell one another but don’t. At times, their story veers perilously close to farce, but it always comes back to a place of tenderness and emotional authenticity, as Jessica and Emily learn to speak up about what each of them wants for—and to honor what the other wants as well.
... another novel full of heart and giggles ... Narration alternates between Jessica and Emily, garnering sympathy on both sides and illustrating the classic adage, 'two sides to every story.' Waxman shines at creating characters that feel like best friends, inspiring compassion, laughs, and cheers, and fans of Katherine Center and Linda Holmes’ Evvie Drake Starts Over (2019) will adore this.
Waxman...expertly navigates the fraught shoals of college admissions in this spot-on tale of an ambitious mother and daughter ... Waxman’s alternating first-person narration from Jessica and Emily rings true, while a memorable supporting cast—ultra-driven students; mean-girl moms; a way-too-perky counselor, Cassidy, from E3—provide excellent support, especially when Cassidy’s unintentionally hilarious but deeply resonating final scene is played out. This sweet treat doesn’t require a college-bound child to enjoy, though anyone who has helped their offspring weather the admissions process will definitely appreciate this sharp send-up.
The college tour is the river the story meanders on, complete with a peppy tour guide, hectic schedule, anxious parents, annoyed kids, and a visit from the FBI. Then there’s the undercurrent of Jessica’s job issues and Emily’s troubles back at school in Los Angeles, neither of which mother or daughter has shared with the other. So there will be a reveal, but the meandering pace dissipates much of the tension by the time that happens ... an understated ending for a tale that promises more than it delivers. Waxman fans may find that this isn't her best, but her witty, ironic voice makes it worth the read.