review and cover mani: donna has left the building

The back jacket, from Goodreads:

From the beloved, New York Times bestselling author of Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress comes a hilarious, timely, and big-hearted new novel about rebuilding life in the face of disaster.

Forty-five-year-old Donna Koczynski is an ex-punk rocker, a recovering alcoholic, and the mother of two teenagers whose suburban existence detonates when she comes home early from a sales conference in Las Vegas to the surprise of a lifetime. As her world implodes, she sets off on an epic road trip to reclaim everything she believes she's sacrificed since her wild youth: Great friendship, passionate love, and her art. But as she careens across the U.S. from Detroit to New York to Memphis to Nashville, nothing turns out as she imagines. Ultimately, she finds herself resurrected on the other side of the globe, on a remote island embroiled in a crisis far bigger than her own.

Irresistibly funny, whip-smart, and surprisingly moving, Donna Has Left the Building spins an unforgettable tale about what it means to be brave—and to truly love—in a tumultuous world.


Like Uncle Albert and Bert from the OG Mary Poppins, I love to laugh. Whenever possible, I lean into humour because hello! Happy, belly aching, tear producing, breath stealing laughter is where it’s at. And oh my, it's been a long time since a book has tickled my funny bone so relentlessly. In DONNA HAS LEFT THE BUILDING, what may appear to be a typical “wife comes home early to find husband in compromising situation” story is anything but. I cannot stress this enough: In no shape, way, or form have you read anything like this treasure trove of hilarity. Granted, Donna didn't find it terribly amusing, but that’s the awesomeness of fiction, right? Think The Good Place sort of emotional torture. 😂

Jacket design and illustration by Brian Levy.
Jacket ©️ 2019 Hachette Book Group, Inc.

But as I laughed my face off while reading on the couch, in bed, and three public waiting rooms, Donna’s journey began to delve into emotional territory. During Donna’s impromptu cross-country road trip, she had to confront the past she remembered with rose-tinted glasses and non-spoiler alert: things didn’t go according to her haphazard plans. Like, at all. Not even a tiny bit. And just when I wasn’t sure if Donna would be able to get out of her own way, the plot took a major turn when she wound up on a remote island where the vibe was anything but jovial. I’ve gotta say it felt a little jarring, on the verge of being two separate books smushed together. Even with steady hints regarding what Donna would be sucked into, the sudden shift in tone could’ve been smoother. Not that it was bad, but Donna’s voice started out like jazz hands and then became subdued as the final quarter came to pass. Reflective, perhaps, and there’s nothing like a genuine crisis to have one reflect on their previous behaviour. *side-eyes Donna*

If you love books that flip expected tropes and crank them up to 11, while snickering as wildly unpredictable characters take you on a ride, DONNA HAS LEFT THE BUILDING is the book for you! It hit shelves yesterday, June 4th, so I encourage you to run like the wind to your bookseller of choice because this gem is a must read. Big thanks to Hachette Book Group Canada for a complimentary ARC!


For this mani, I used:

OPI – A Good Man-Darin Is Hard to Find, matte topcoat

China Glaze – I Got a Blue Attitude and Bottoms Up

ORLY – Skinny Dip

FingerPaints – Paper Mâché and Black Expressionism

So Nailicious – spear, needle, and warrior brushes


  1. What a fun cover!! And makes such a cool mani! The neon lighting looks so good!

    1. Thanks, Elyse!! It was a challenge but totally worth the effort! :)

  2. Sounds like a great book.



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