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Miss New York Has Everything    by Lori Jakiela order for
Miss New York Has Everything
by Lori Jakiela
Order:  USA  Can
5 Spot, 2006 (2006)

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* *   Reviewed by Melissa Parcel

Lori Jakiela spent her entire childhood in the small town of Trafford, PA. The television show, That Girl, started her love affair with New York City when she was young and the years only served to fuel the fire of her desire to live in the big city.

She escapes small town life when she goes to college, but only gets as far as Erie. Only after struggling through writing and journalism classes and working at jobs to get her writing career off the ground does Lori finally move toward making her New York dream come true. As she is scanning the ads in the newspaper she comes across one that reads: 'Like to Travel? Want to Move to New York?' Her curiosity is piqued and Lori heads out on the most interesting adventure of her life to date - she becomes a flight attendant. Instead of the glamorous life she had always imagined, New York leaves a little to be desired, as does her new career. However, there are many things Lori experiences that help her to learn more about herself and to ultimately understand her parents and appreciate her small town roots.

This is an interesting memoir about a small town girl who moves to the big city. It's sprinkled with witty moments and wistful nostalgia, so that anyone who grew up in the 70s will appreciate and understand the author's point of view and references. She had me laughing at my own childhood crush on Shaun Cassidy and reminiscing about my growing up years. Her comedic recollections about being a flight attendant gave me better understanding of the job, its benefits and drawbacks. It definitely made me think twice about any smart aleck comments I might want to give to a flight attendant - trust her, they've heard them all before, hundreds of times.

This is a fresh, hopeful memoir. The fact that Jakiela didn't have overwhelming dysfunction or a dire situation to overcome makes her approachable to the average person. The book is structured as a series of essays about her life, making it easy to read in small bits of time. If you're looking for a well written and entertaining story, Miss New York Has Everything fits the bill.

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