Review of the Totlandia Series… thus far
Hey Chick Lit Chickadees! I just discovered this crazy new series called, “Totlandia” by Josie Brown. This series has tons of drama, drama, drama! Right now, there are four books out, but the series isn’t over. Considering that the playgroup featured in the book goes up to Fivesies, there could be up to 20 books in the series! The four books out chronicle the lives of four wanna-be members of the prestigious PHM&TC playgroup. They also show the secret life of the club’s founder, Bettina. Each of the wanna-be members has a secret that, if revealed, would probably prevent them from joining the club. You see, the club has many unwritten rules from Bettina- no overweight moms, no working moms, no single moms, etc.
Bettina’s life is the club. She wants the club to keep its prestigious social standing and continue to be feared and revered by the other moms. However, Bettina’s personal life is not nearly as perfect as it looks on the outside. Her husband, Art, isn’t handling their finances well (among other secrets that I can’t give away, but you will find out later!)
Jade has a scandalous past and is being paid by her ex-husband to play mommy to her son, Oliver, to keep him in the club. Jade’s ex wants nothing to do with her, except for using her to get their son in the club. But Jade is determined to win him back.
Lorna is Bettina’s sister-in-law and they’re constantly in competition for Bettina’s mother’s attention and doting. Lorna loves her son, but is worried that he is developing more slowly than the other babies. She’s trying to hide his slow development from the others, especially Bettina, who she believes would use any excuse to get them kicked out.
Jillian is mom to twin girls, who finds out her husband is cheating on her and wants to leave her for “the other woman.” Jillian is in a huge financial mess due to this situation, but has to act like she is still married to a successful man to stay in the club. She struggles to pay the mortgage, but is expected to finance club events and charities.
Ally’s story was most interesting to me. Her gay guy friend, Barry, donated sperm to make her daughter, Zoe. He and his partner are Zoe’s godparents, but for the purposes of the club, Ally acts like she’s married to Barry. Ally and Jade’s ex-husband have a mutual attraction to each other that Ally tries to fight.
I loved getting to be inside each person’s story. I loved how they were all different, but had some things in common- each wanted an exclusive spot and had something to hide! It was crazy and funny to read about the Mom and Tots Club events and how particular Bettina was about everything. The parents all want the best for their children and truly want to find friends, so they were likeable. I thought a book about wealthy, high-class parents fighting for exclusive spots would make me HATE the characters, but they were much more likeable than I expected.
Each book chronicles a season in the lives of the “onesies.” Secrets eventually come out as the books continue and drama ensues, but friendships also develop. Each of the books made me immediately purchase and download the next book because I was so sucked into each person’s story. The stories are shorter than most e-books.
Mature reader warning: There are some S & M scenes as the book series goes on. I found those easy to skip, since they are only part of one character’s story, and it’s easy to see where the next character’s story starts.
Overall, this is an enjoyable, engaging, easy-to-read story series. I’m definitely going to continue reading it as new books come out! 4 out of 5 chickadees singing.
***The buy links above are from Amazon. Pictures are from the author and used with permission. I do not get paid by authors or publishers for my reviews. They are 100% my personal, honest opinion. I DO, however, receive a small commission when a book purchase is made by clicking on the provided link. This does not impact the authenticity of my reviews in any way.***