Beautiful, bold, and born with a silver spoon firmly planted in hand, Melanie St. John is, by all outside accounts, the picture-perfect Texan Oil Princess. An independently wealthy daddy’s girl through and through, Melanie has spent her adult years flitting from one exotic, exclusive locale to another, being wooed by handsome, successful men, and in the dizzying center of dazzling, diamond-encrusted society life.
But behind the glittering façade of her debutante life lays a very different story.
In Stupid By Choice, this summer’s must-have beach read from author Leighton Summers, we follow the fictional and fabulous Melanie as she attempts to find true, lasting love amongst the wealthy, jet-set, spoiled, sought-after playboys in the elite social circles of Texas, Monte Carol, Manhattan, Newport, and Palm Beach.
Facing one destructive love affair after another, as well as financial troubles, family drama, unplanned pregnancy, and more, Melanie and her friends traipse through the high high’s and low low’s of elite society, all while negotiating the blows they’re dealt with vulnerability, extravagance, and a resilience that every woman, regardless of social strata, will recognize as her own.
“Stupid By Choice is pure fiction, but it’s entirely inspired by the affluent, privileged world that I grew up—and still live—in,” says Summers. “All that glitters is not gold. It’s easy to get caught up in the glamour of it all, but no matter what your age or station in life, we all have to learn—as Melanie does—to not be ‘stupid by choice’ and stay stuck or settle if we’re not happy.”
A celebratory romp through the lives of ladies who have, lose, and ultimately triumph over it all, Stupid By Choice is as juicy a summer read as they come—equal parts entertaining, thought-provoking, and emotionally gripping. Among the topics and themes explored in it are:
- Don’t mess with Texas! An insider’s look—good and bad—at what socialite American society life is really like from a Texans’ P.O.V.
- The ‘problem-free’ lifestyles of the rich and well groomed: does money solve as many issues as one might think? Or does it just create more?
- Handling divorce, infidelity, family problems, motherhood, and career goals with grace and fearlessness
- Finding courage in the face of the unknown, taking risks, and following your heart!
About the Author:
Leighton Summers is a sixth generation Texan who has traveled extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe throughout her whole life. During her travels, she was always surrounded by interesting, successful (and often eccentric) people who encouraged her to find her passion and live life to the fullest. Writing novels always intrigued her, and so one day while in New York City she took out her laptop in a café and decided to jot down some notes about how a female character, created from her own world, could “love smarter.” Over the next four years, those notes turned into both funny and sad adventures of a woman’s quest to find friendship, love, self, and family and became Stupid By Choice, Summers’ debut novel.
Stupid By Choice is available as an e-book from Amazon.
Stupid by Choice is a self-deprecating portrait of dysfunction in the upper echelons of society. The book follows Melanie, a thirty-something Texas debutante who has all the trappings of success in New York through her personal “aha” moment. The story opens with her inviting movers into her home to relocate her from a bad marriage as stealthily as they can. As the three apply their muscle to packing up her belongings, Melanie unpacks the baggage of all that has transpired to get her to that place.
The story is all at once funny, dramatic, sad and everything in between as we relive Melanie’s life from Texas, Monte Carlo, Manhattan, Newport, and Palm Beach, where she faces destructive love affairs, financial trouble, family issues, unplanned pregnancy, and more of the same with her sister and her friends. Her father, Oldie, is a figure who could be compared to the Rock Hudson character in the classic movie, Giant, and her mother the Elizabeth Taylor character. Her parents raise her as they were before her, as spoiled children of entitlement who have to learn to separate reality from the trappings of privilege to which they have grown accustomed. Melanie suffers a lot of the same trials and tribulations as women of lesser means, despite having been born with the proverbial silver spoon in her mouth.
With a surprising and unprecedented opportunity to have lasting love with the most unlikely person, will Melanie squander it on principal or will she experience the epiphany she needs to free herself from being “stuck on stupid,” or will she remain “stupid by choice?” Find out for yourself. Make Stupid by Choice one of your summer reads.
I give Stupid by Choice 3.5 Stars.