How to Change a Life by Stacey Ballis


2.5 or 3 STARS. . .

I’m not 100% for sure yet. . .

It wasn’t bad. . .

. . .But it wasn’t good either.

How to Change a Life by Stacey Ballis is just. . .there. I wish I could say something positive or negative about the book but I really have nothing, which is so unlike me.

I’m think this review might get a wee bit messy, fair warning.

Let’s first listen to what the author has to say. . .

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Eloise is happy with her life as a successful private chef. She has her clients, her corgi, and a recipe for the world’s most perfect chocolate cream pie. What more could she need? But when her long-lost trio of high school friends reunites, Eloise realizes how lonely she really is. 

Eloise, Lynne, and Teresa revamp their senior-class assignment and dare one another to create a list of things to accomplish by the time they each turn forty in a few months. Control freak Lynne has to get a dog, Teresa has to spice up her marriage, and Eloise has to start dating again. 

Enter Shawn, a hunky ex-athlete and the first man Eloise could see herself falling for. Suddenly forty doesn’t seem so lonely—until a chance encounter threatens the budding romance and reveals the true colors of her friends. Will the bucket listers make it to forty still speaking to one another? Or do some friendships come with an expiration date?


For starters, I don’t know if this was a romance book, cookbook, or a story about friends. I felt confused from the beginning until the end wondering what type of book I was reading. Don’t get me wrong, it could have made a decent book for either of those types of books.

Eloise is a 39 y/o personal chef for a family of 6 and an older friend of hers. She is still trying to find herself in the world. When she finds her way back into the fold with her 2 high school best friends, they make a pact to complete a bucket list of things they wanted to do as teenagers but have yet to accomplish.

Within the first 5% of the book I felt as though it was dragging out with a lot of useless descriptions of unimportant information that brought nothing to the story. To be honest, it made me want to put the book down. I hoped the story would get better as the book went along but I was disappointed because the useless information kept going and going.  It was just very. . .wordy – Is wordy a word? 🙂

I believe with additional editing, the book would have been loads better.

I think the overly detailed descriptions of everything prevented me from connecting to any of the characters. I never found myself invested in a happily ever after. There was just so much information that didn’t add to the story, that it made me tune out.

It was slightly predictable for me, but it may not be for everyone else. I read loads and loads so it’s not difficult to figure out stories that don’t have an angst aspect to it.

I would put the book in a category women in the late 30’s and early 40’s and not anyone looking for a new adult story. I’m in my 30’s so I could relate to it but those in their 20’s might not.


At the end of the book there is a Reader Guide of questions that I’m guessing is there for bookclubs or something. I’ve never seen that before but I thought it was a cute idea.

As a beautiful, chocolate, African American woman I wanted to answer one of the questions.

  1. Discuss how the book handles race. Why do you think the author chose to feature an interracial couple? How did it affect your reading of the novel?

The fact that the question is even asked is a prime example of what is wrong with America. It shows that some people feel so uncomfortable about interracial relationships that they feel the need to question it’s existence at all.

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I’ll be honest with you guys like I alway am. The last part of the question irritated me. How did it affect my reading? It didn’t affect anything and the question itself is offensive. It’s a fucking book with two people in a relationship who happen to not share the same skin tone. The fact that the question is even asked is silly. It’s not like this book is ground breaking and doing something that’s never been done. I’m black and my husband is a straight off the boat, white Scottish man who moved to America for me – because I’m fucking awesome, not because I’m black. We are not something new and foreign to people. We just are.

How to Change a Life by Stacey Ballis

Overall, it was a quick and easy read, nothing to deep but enjoyable enough to not feel like my time was wasted.

Do I recommend this book? No. It was pretty lengthy in terms of useless information.

Will I read another book by this author? No. Her style was not entertaining enough for me.

I don’t think I got too messy with this one.

TTYL, lovers. . .

Stalk all things messy…




Hey there! I'm Danielle! I just a girl who loves books. I love books so much that I talk about the stories like they are real. Who knows? Maybe, they are real to me. I do love the book world, it's way better than reality. . .sometimes. . .because. . .I'm also a proud mama bear, wife, and mother!

4 thoughts on “How to Change a Life by Stacey Ballis

  1. I agree with you absolutely. When an author describes everything in detail and that detail in detail, it makes me lose my nerves.
    And about that question… Just ridiculous! It’s on the level of: “Discuss how the book handles eye color. Why do you think the author chose to feature a couple with different eye color? How did it affect your reading of the novel?”

    1. It was the most annoying thing. I don’t care the stair case is mahogany with brass trim and pink flowers. Exactly about that question! It has nothing to do with anything. 🙄

  2. Based on the description, this seems like itnwould have worked had the main character been in her early twenties or late teens. That is thebonly time I see a storu with so much going on kind of working. As far ad the interracial question….rofl I don’t know why we are at the cusp og 2018 and people are still shook by interravial couple but okay.

    1. Maybe yes, maybe no. The writing wasn’t that great either. The concept was good, I’ll give the author that but it wasn’t executed very well. The question was just silly. I didn’t like how it was made out to be something that was extraordinary as there are loads and loads of books with interracial couples. It’s not a things where people are blown away by it.

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