The Balance Project is a story of loyalty, choices, and balance that will resonate deeply with all women who struggle with this hot-button issue. Loyal assistant Lucy Cooper works for Katherine Whitney, who seems to have it all: a high-powered job at a multibillion-dollar health and wellness lifestyle company, a successful husband, and two adorable daughters. Now, with the release of her book on work-life balance, Katherine has become a media darling and a hero to working women everywhere. In reality, though, Katherine’s life is starting to fall apart, and Lucy is the one holding it all together, causing her own life―and relationship with her boyfriend Nick―to suffer. When Katherine does something unthinkable to Lucy, Lucy must decide whether to change Katherine’s life forever or continue being her main champion. Her choice will affect the trajectory of both of their lives and lead to opportunities neither one could have imagined.
The front cover of The Balance Project says “If you liked The Devil Wears Prada, you’ll enjoy this charming romp..” When I read this quote, I was a little weary because I actually didn’t like DWP when I read it; I loved the movie, though! I was pleasantly surprised reading this book, however. I enjoyed the storyline quite a bit more, regardless of the similarities between the two stories. I found the lives of the characters in the story to be realistic and entertaining. Finding balance in life is a very difficult thing, especially when you throw in the various life events that each character has to go through. I enjoyed that Schnall spent time developing each of her characters, allowing their quirks to show through the story, and working on their various issues.
My favorite character in The Balance Project is Ava, Lucy’s best friend. Her daily quotes and strong outlook are something that I relate to. Lucy, on the other hand, bothered me for some reason. I completely understand being in a position to help you get to another, but there are certain circumstances that I just wouldn’t tolerate. She lacked strength in my eyes, and I didn’t appreciate the way she treated Nick at times. Nick was also a bit frustrating, but I understood him a bit more. Then there’s Katherine – I actually really liked her. What you see on the outside is not always what you get. How often do we pull ourselves together for our audience (family, friends, coworkers) and on the inside we’re blowing up?
A lot occurred in this book, though the pace was slower than I’d have liked to read. Additionally, there were some pretty significant editing errors that caught my eye throughout. Despite this, I think this was a good book. This is a great summer (or any season) read for someone who enjoyed a bit of conflict, strong female characters, and a bit of drama.
The Final Countdown
Characterization – 3.5/5 Stars
Dialogue– 4/5 Stars
Plot – 4/5 Stars
Visual Imagery – 3/5 Stars
Editing – 3.5/5 Stars
Ending 3/5 Stars
Total: 3.5 Stars
- Writer of fiction, essays, editorial, and endless to-do lists.
- Mom of three hilarious boys who play ball in the house.
- Author of The Balance Project: A Novel about work-life balance and On Grace, an enchanting and thought-provoking debut about turning 40.
- Founder of The Balance Project popular interview series about the tragically glorified “doing it all” craze