Cleo McDougal Regrets Nothing
Politics is a test of wills in a sharp, funny, and emotional novel about truth and consequences by the New York Times bestselling author.Cleo McDougal is a born politician. From congresswoman to senator, the magnetic, ambitious single mother now has her eye on the White House—always looking forward, never back. Until an estranged childhood friend shreds her in an op-ed hit piece gone viral.With seven words—“Cleo McDougal is not a good person”—the presidential hopeful has gone from in control to damage control, and not just in Washington but in life.Enter Cleo’s “regrets list” of 233 and counting. Her chief of staff has a brilliant idea: pick the top ten, make amends during a media blitz, and repair her reputation. But there are regrets, and there are regrets: like her broken relationship with her sister, her affair with a law school professor…and the regret too big to even say out loud.But with risk comes reward, and as Cleo makes both peace and amends with her past, she becomes more empowered than ever to tackle her career, confront the hypocrites out to destroy her, and open her heart to what matters most—one regret at a time.

Cleo McDougal Regrets Nothing Details

TitleCleo McDougal Regrets Nothing
Author
ReleaseJan 1st, 1970
Rating
GenreFiction, Womens Fiction, Chick Lit, Contemporary, Business, Amazon, Politics, Literary Fiction, Humor, Novels, Adult Fiction

Cleo McDougal Regrets Nothing Review

  • Allison
    January 1, 1970
    Well, I suppose it's time to review my own book, since its pub date is just around the corner! This one took me a while to come into: I worked on a different manuscript for some time, writing it and rewriting it, but while the intention behind it was working -- I wanted to shine on a light on being a woman in this particular moment in the world -- the words and storyline were not. And then came Cleo McDougal. Cleo is a complicated, headstrong, ambitious, independent woman. She is a Senator, yes, Well, I suppose it's time to review my own book, since its pub date is just around the corner! This one took me a while to come into: I worked on a different manuscript for some time, writing it and rewriting it, but while the intention behind it was working -- I wanted to shine on a light on being a woman in this particular moment in the world -- the words and storyline were not. And then came Cleo McDougal. Cleo is a complicated, headstrong, ambitious, independent woman. She is a Senator, yes, but this isn't a story about politics, and I worked hard to ensure that. This is a story about power: having it, losing it, abusing it, flaunting it, sharing it, craving it, and bequeathing it. It is, I hope, a story that a lot of us can find ourselves in: none of us has to be running for President to understand Cleo's broken (and restorative) friendships, her family fractures, her love for her son, her aspirations to be the best at her job, the hurdles she faces and the triumphs she embraces.I'm really pretty proud to be telling the story of a woman like Cleo. She may have a list of 233 regrets, but really, there isn't much about her that I'd change. I hope you love her as much as I do.
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  • Andrea
    January 1, 1970
    I was lucky to receive an early copy of Cleo McDougal Regrets Nothing. This is a very layered book- on the one hand it is a fabulous story of a woman politician negotiating her way through US politics. On the other hand, it is the story of a very independent single mom raising a wickedly bitingly funny teen boy. And the central theme is regrets.I read this book in one long sitting. Many times I found myself nodding at the concept of regrets and how we must get over them. As a mom of teens, I lov I was lucky to receive an early copy of Cleo McDougal Regrets Nothing. This is a very layered book- on the one hand it is a fabulous story of a woman politician negotiating her way through US politics. On the other hand, it is the story of a very independent single mom raising a wickedly bitingly funny teen boy. And the central theme is regrets.I read this book in one long sitting. Many times I found myself nodding at the concept of regrets and how we must get over them. As a mom of teens, I loved the teen boy snark which was perfectly written. I also very much appreciated the themes of women's empowerment but the absolute need for deep women's friendships. Cleo shows us all that it does indeed take a village.The hallmark of Allison Winn Scotch's books is, in my opinion, immediate plot and storytelling. The plot literally starts on page 1 with backstory that emerges via the fast-moving plot.Cleo McDougal is a fabulous novel that is a must-read.
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  • Vibliophile
    January 1, 1970
    The only real regret should be a life not lived generouslyI was intrigued by the premise of this book, but hesitated to pick this up from First Reads because the last thing I want to read right now is someone shoving their political views in my face, but the author actually did manage to keep it close to politically neutral with just a few small slips here and there. Nothing egregious, though I still had no problem figuring out what her political leanings were pretty early on.The book's ideology The only real regret should be a life not lived generouslyI was intrigued by the premise of this book, but hesitated to pick this up from First Reads because the last thing I want to read right now is someone shoving their political views in my face, but the author actually did manage to keep it close to politically neutral with just a few small slips here and there. Nothing egregious, though I still had no problem figuring out what her political leanings were pretty early on.The book's ideology IS clearly feminist-themed - some of it authentic Susan B Anthony level feminism & some of it more Gloria Allred. Translated that means only half of the men are slimes instead of all of them 😉Cleo isn't all that likeable at the beginning. She really isn't a particularly good person, either. It's interesting to see how she initially reflects on her regrets with her best friend in high school, yet concludes that she'd do it all again.She counts things as regrets that she's not necessarily sorry for - it reminded me of the dad who once told me about pressuring his daughter to get an abortion, which he said he regretted, but then said he would do it all over again if he had to. That's unhappy acceptance or resignation, not true regret.So in tackling her old regrets, Cleo manages to discover, or even create, new ones. I liked the idea of repairing or putting one's regrets to rest, & I liked that she wakes up to the wrong she's done & truly comes to regret it. It just felt more than a little surprising that she was only just learning that at 37, and there were aspects of her journey that felt contrived.Still, it's a positive story - and by the end, she even begins to recognize that people being concerned about you and wanting to help can actually be doing it because they care & want to help - not because they think they're superior or you're weak.I liked the story concept. It had something worthwhile to propose, but I honestly felt like it didn't cover near as much ground as it could have because it was fixated on being a feminist story more than a universally human one *POTENTIAL CONTENT ISSUESThe story is totally secular, with casual, recreational attitudes towards sex. Includes the now requisite token gay couple. There is frank discussion, but no graphic scenes or detailsGenerous amount of swearing: 62 f-bombs, 71 sh--, 4 d---, 15 h---Uses the Lord's Name in vain repeatedly, sadly & unnecessarily, including as curses, more than a hundred times.[Realistic language? Author Lucy Maud Montgomery was asked in her later years about the then modern trend toward more "realistic" writing. Her response was that going to the latrine was realistic, too, yet she had no desire to read about it. The authenticity of a character's voice resides in *what* they say, rather than what the author forces the reader to sift thru to get to the substance]
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  • Kelly Hager
    January 1, 1970
    I've been a fan of Allison Winn Scotch's for years now, for so long that I don't remember not loving her and her books. This one might be my favorite yet.I love politics and political stories, and there's some of that in this, but it's more about Cleo herself. Cleo keeps a list of regrets, primarily so that she can learn from those mistakes. "Don't drink bourbon," for example, and I think a lot of people probably have one type of alcohol that they can't drink anymore after overdoing it. (Moment I've been a fan of Allison Winn Scotch's for years now, for so long that I don't remember not loving her and her books. This one might be my favorite yet.I love politics and political stories, and there's some of that in this, but it's more about Cleo herself. Cleo keeps a list of regrets, primarily so that she can learn from those mistakes. "Don't drink bourbon," for example, and I think a lot of people probably have one type of alcohol that they can't drink anymore after overdoing it. (Moment of silence for me and martinis.)And then Cleo decides that what she's going to do is actually fix those regrets. (Well, to be fair, Cleo's campaign manager Gaby decides that for her.) And what happens next is both delightful and very, very relatable. (I experienced a very, VERY strong secondhand wave of mortification at one of them.)This book is a complete delight. I can't wait for everyone to read and talk about it. Highly recommended.
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  • Amanda Swindell
    January 1, 1970
    I wanted to love this book.The characters were great. The plot was promising. I have liked other books by the author. But the writing fell flat and kept repeating. It was like there wasn't enough actual story to sustain a full book, so any time the main character had any interior monologue, she said the same thing: my parents died when I was in high school, I did everything alone, and I had regrets and wrote them down. While yes, these are pillars of the story, it is not THE story. It became mon I wanted to love this book.The characters were great. The plot was promising. I have liked other books by the author. But the writing fell flat and kept repeating. It was like there wasn't enough actual story to sustain a full book, so any time the main character had any interior monologue, she said the same thing: my parents died when I was in high school, I did everything alone, and I had regrets and wrote them down. While yes, these are pillars of the story, it is not THE story. It became monotonous and read like filler. And instead of that, there could have been more exploration of the other characters, more stories behind the regrets on Cleo's list, etc. It was disappointing because I know the author is capable of more. It sound like this may have been a rushed book, based on her comments in reviews and the acknowledgements, and it is obvious in the writing.
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  • Lindsay Schnell
    January 1, 1970
    This book resonated with me on so many levels. AWS has been one of my favorite authors for a long time, and this might be my favorite book of hers. Cleo’s raw honesty about the double standards women face is something every successful woman will relate to. I love the idea of a kickass woman refusing to apologize for stepping into her power, and holding men accountable in the process. And I hope that soon, it won’t just be happening in fictional worlds created by other kickass women.
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  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    Living near Washington DC, I see politics all over the place. Therefore, I am thankful that the focus of Cleo McDougal Regrets Nothing was not on politics, but instead on regrets. I wasn't sure what to expect from this novel, but was pleased with where it went. I enjoyed getting to know Cleo and could relate in regards to being the mom of a teenage boy and also reflecting upon things I regret in my own life. I liked the supporting characters and the relationships between them and Cleo. The dialo Living near Washington DC, I see politics all over the place. Therefore, I am thankful that the focus of Cleo McDougal Regrets Nothing was not on politics, but instead on regrets. I wasn't sure what to expect from this novel, but was pleased with where it went. I enjoyed getting to know Cleo and could relate in regards to being the mom of a teenage boy and also reflecting upon things I regret in my own life. I liked the supporting characters and the relationships between them and Cleo. The dialogue was great throughout, especially between Cleo and Gaby. It was easy to visualize people and settings without the descriptions getting in the way of the narrative. The story pointed out the hypocrisies that happen in real life when it comes down to how men and women are treated in the political arena, and how social media has an impact on people's decisions. There were times I got confused as to whether Cleo or Gaby was talking, as their voices tended to blend together sometimes. I had to go back and read sections when that happened. I could also have done with less swearing when Cleo was being introspective. These issues didn't take away from my enjoyment of the story. This was a great novel that I read most of in one day.Movie casting ideas:Cleo: Ari GraynorGaby: Issa RaeLucas: Lucas Jade ZumannMaryAnne: Kirsten DunstBowen: Channing TatumMatty: Matt LanterGeorgie: Kristen Wiig
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  • Cyndi
    January 1, 1970
    Cleo is a US Senator from New York living in suburban Virginia and working in DC. She tries very hard to fight against the double standards and differing expectations facing women in power. She is no nonsense, no looking backwards, and no regrets. Except... she kind of has a lot of regrets. Some are frivolous - no bourbon. Some are more serious - should you reckon with your MeToo moment, should you tell your child who his father is? Her list of regrets comes to the forefront when her ex-best fri Cleo is a US Senator from New York living in suburban Virginia and working in DC. She tries very hard to fight against the double standards and differing expectations facing women in power. She is no nonsense, no looking backwards, and no regrets. Except... she kind of has a lot of regrets. Some are frivolous - no bourbon. Some are more serious - should you reckon with your MeToo moment, should you tell your child who his father is? Her list of regrets comes to the forefront when her ex-best friend decides to air her grievances 20 years later just as Cleo is about to start her campaign for president.Cleo is a deeply flawed person, but I just like her. I like her a lot. She’s an empowered and strong woman who tries very hard not to compromise her values and give in to the pressures of her life. She’s worked so hard to get to where she is. She has a vision for her life and refuses to bow to the men who resent her accomplishments and try to minimize her because she is a woman. She tries to elevate the younger women on her staff and mentor them. But she’s also a single mom who is figuring out that you can’t do everything by yourself forever without a strong support system, and sometimes that means you have to make yourself vulnerable.I will admit to laughing so hard at one point that my kid came in from the other room to see what was happening. This book definitely has humor. A little sarcastic, a little dark, a little wise-a$$ teenage son, a little flat out slapstick. There are mild elements of romance. There is character development. There was at least one part that made me teary eyed. I’m struggling with quarantine reading because everything is gloomy in the real world, and I just can’t do heavy heavy books right now. At the same time I don’t want “junk food” reading either. I don’t want to feel like I’m wasting my time. This book was perfect for the moment. It was extremely current thematically and dealt with some serious issues while still being light and not soul crushing. Because really, now is not the time, at least for me.
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  • Betsy Boo
    January 1, 1970
    I really, really loved this. I have been of fan of Allison’s for years, but her last two books really spoke to me. As for Cleo - I just loved all of it. It’s exactly the kind of book we need right now. About a strong woman who isn’t afraid to stand up for herself and isn’t afraid of being independent and relying on herself. But also realizing she’s flawed, as we all are - and, most importantly, willing to learn and evolve. I’m 50 and have lived alone since I graduated college. Single by choice, I really, really loved this. I have been of fan of Allison’s for years, but her last two books really spoke to me. As for Cleo - I just loved all of it. It’s exactly the kind of book we need right now. About a strong woman who isn’t afraid to stand up for herself and isn’t afraid of being independent and relying on herself. But also realizing she’s flawed, as we all are - and, most importantly, willing to learn and evolve. I’m 50 and have lived alone since I graduated college. Single by choice, which is something my older parents couldn’t understand - but they also didn’t give me flak about it. Sometimes tho I failed to ask for help because I thought I HAD to do it myself. So this whole story really hit home for me. (I won an ARC from Net Galley and AWS.)
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  • Betsybmaxwell
    January 1, 1970
    I truly loved this book. Not just because it references both Kelly Taylor’s “I choose me” moment, and Dirty Dancing’s “lift” moment. I loved this book because the main character, Cleo, felt not only real, but someone I desperately wanted to meet. In fact allof the characters felt real, especially Cleo’s 14-year-old son who would yell at his mom for texting emojis. This is a book with flawed characters who you still want to see succeed. And yes, this is about the #metoo movement which needs to be I truly loved this book. Not just because it references both Kelly Taylor’s “I choose me” moment, and Dirty Dancing’s “lift” moment. I loved this book because the main character, Cleo, felt not only real, but someone I desperately wanted to meet. In fact allof the characters felt real, especially Cleo’s 14-year-old son who would yell at his mom for texting emojis. This is a book with flawed characters who you still want to see succeed. And yes, this is about the #metoo movement which needs to be written about more.
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  • Jamie Jack
    January 1, 1970
    Who Hasn't Had Regrets?This book is so complex, rich, and even fun at times that I barely know how to describe it! I love books like that. After reading so many fiction books in a variety of subgenres that often seem too similar, I found it refreshing to read a book that does not have a cookie-cutter approach or storyline. The story is apt to resonate with any professional woman who has had to live with double standards while climbing the corporate or political ladder. The story is ultimately ab Who Hasn't Had Regrets?This book is so complex, rich, and even fun at times that I barely know how to describe it! I love books like that. After reading so many fiction books in a variety of subgenres that often seem too similar, I found it refreshing to read a book that does not have a cookie-cutter approach or storyline. The story is apt to resonate with any professional woman who has had to live with double standards while climbing the corporate or political ladder. The story is ultimately about regrets, and who among us after a certain age does it have our own list of these (even if we don’t detail them like Cleo)? Perhaps ours aren't as personally or professionally damning as so many of Cleo's, but the author has certainly tapped on a universal theme in addressing them. Interestingly, while the book is deeply grounded in politics, it is not truly about it, which I don't think was an easy line for the author to straddle but one that she does well. I imagine the author chose this sphere because we see the divisive gender double standards particularly strongly in politics. The book is at turns serious, sad, poignant, frustrating, witty, and even a little zany, making it feel as though it accurately reflected real life. Cleo is a somewhat prickly character. She is not always easy to like, but in the end, you want her to get past her regrets and embrace her life. I particularly loved her teenage son. He really provided a fun counterpoint to the rest of the novel and certainly kept Cleo (and us) from taking it all too seriously. All in all, I enjoyed this book, and think it is a fun one for a July 2020 First Reads pick.I received a free copy of this book, but that did not affect my review.
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  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    An amazon first reads books. I am still in an 'easy reads' rut and this one looked fairly promising. I have to say the writing style irritated me to the point that I couldn't even really enjoy this on a superficial level. Oh, the parenthetical statements...on almost every. single. page. If what fits into parentheses are that important to get into the book, make it a complete, legitimate sentence please. I mean a few are okay, but I have never read a book with that many parentheses. Adding insult An amazon first reads books. I am still in an 'easy reads' rut and this one looked fairly promising. I have to say the writing style irritated me to the point that I couldn't even really enjoy this on a superficial level. Oh, the parenthetical statements...on almost every. single. page. If what fits into parentheses are that important to get into the book, make it a complete, legitimate sentence please. I mean a few are okay, but I have never read a book with that many parentheses. Adding insult to injury, often what was included in parentheses felt like a lecture...making sure you knew that an omelette represented (protein) and that (a muffin wasn't sustaining). While the idea behind regrets and making amends made for an interesting story-line, I think the author was trying too hard to get enough in about women and diversity that it was politically correct. To me, while I applaud the attempt, it felt pushed and rigid particularly since often (these little snippets were include in...you guessed it...parenthesis!!). It may be that I am not big on the political foundation but I also didn't really care about any of the characters. The book served its purpose as an easy read, but I likely won't like be searching out any more of this authors work.
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  • Nancy
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed the book, and I wasn't really prepared to. I liked Cleo, but of course, she wasn't perfect, but maybe she was better than she thought. The one problem that I had...she was getting ready to run for President, right? Of the United States, right? And she had a 14 year old boy, born when she was 20? I thought that a President of the U.S. had to be 45 years old. A pretty long campaign, or a pretty big plot hole.
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  • Geeta
    January 1, 1970
    Five starsI loved this book. Such a great story. I didn't think I'd like the main character, but I did. I liked how she overcame her flaws. She was a very relatable character.
  • Debra Klipstein
    January 1, 1970
    Between the parentheses and run o n sentences, I found it impossible to read. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone that I can think f. I count keep up with all the changes I one sentence.ofThis book is fright with run on sentences and parentheses. Very hard to follow. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone I can think of.
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  • kt
    January 1, 1970
    The story was decent but I felt like a lot of details were repeated over and over like she 1) felt like the reader might be dumb or 2) wrote/rewrote sections separately and forgot which details she'd already given.
  • Sherri Puzey
    January 1, 1970
    I have a hard time finding novels that are purely fun and enjoyable without being predictable and cliched or filled with characters I find to be entirely vapid. but CLEO MCDOUGAL REGRETS NOTHING was none of those things! this book is smart and witty, and the story was engaging and creative. some of my favorite parts of the book were the inner monologues of Cleo because I found her to be such a layered, realistic character. this one comes out August 1, which makes it the perfect book to lose your I have a hard time finding novels that are purely fun and enjoyable without being predictable and cliched or filled with characters I find to be entirely vapid. but CLEO MCDOUGAL REGRETS NOTHING was none of those things! this book is smart and witty, and the story was engaging and creative. some of my favorite parts of the book were the inner monologues of Cleo because I found her to be such a layered, realistic character. this one comes out August 1, which makes it the perfect book to lose yourself in on summer vacation. thank you to the author for my advanced copy! I really enjoyed this one! 4.5/5 ⭐️
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  • Genna
    January 1, 1970
    This book was a great escape. A funny, light-hearted story about a single mom turned politician wanting to run for President, but needing to face her regrets head on first. I enjoyed the strong female character fighting for her place on the political ladder, while also fighting with her past. The teenage boy was spot on, and Allison Winn Scotch did a great job describing their relationship throughout the book. I can always count on this author to provide me with a laugh and a smile. Thank you Ne This book was a great escape. A funny, light-hearted story about a single mom turned politician wanting to run for President, but needing to face her regrets head on first. I enjoyed the strong female character fighting for her place on the political ladder, while also fighting with her past. The teenage boy was spot on, and Allison Winn Scotch did a great job describing their relationship throughout the book. I can always count on this author to provide me with a laugh and a smile. Thank you NetGalley and Allison Winn Scotch for an advanced readers copy in exchange for my honest review.
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  • nicole
    January 1, 1970
    The premise of this book immediately intrigued me, and it's what made me choose this for my Amazon's First Reads this month straight away. The political aspect of it did make me hesitate on starting it for a few days, but I was more than happy to see that it didn't delve into politics too much besides the fact that Cleo is a Senator with the plan of running for President, with the expected settings, conversations, and events that come with that fact.When we finally get into addressing Cleo and h The premise of this book immediately intrigued me, and it's what made me choose this for my Amazon's First Reads this month straight away. The political aspect of it did make me hesitate on starting it for a few days, but I was more than happy to see that it didn't delve into politics too much besides the fact that Cleo is a Senator with the plan of running for President, with the expected settings, conversations, and events that come with that fact.When we finally get into addressing Cleo and her regrets, the ones she and Gaby (her chief of staff) decide to use to repair her reputation seemed to be small, insignificant things that wouldn't exactly do as much good as they hoped. Or, to me at least. I felt that they were the type of "smaller" regrets that might not come off as genuine to the characters of the book, as if Cleo was scrambling to distract everyone from, or even completely negate the effects the op-ed had on the public opinion of her as Senator and potential future presidential candidate. So it made the book worthwhile for me that Cleo does tackle bigger, more meaningful regrets to make amends and find peace with her past for herself. Perhaps not necessarily for the public eye for all of them, but as the reader, I can see Cleo's personal growth, and that's what mattered most to me in the end, not whether or not she's able to restore her reputation in time for her presidential run. Which, as the main character, we should really be rooting for them, right? But I found that I didn't have this particular connection or feeling towards Cleo because she was way too cut-throat for me. As a character, it was enjoyable and interesting to read from the perspective of such a person, but her level of ferocity, even from high school (and before), isn't the type of person I tend to keep in my circle. So in the end, it was very hard for me to genuinely love her as a character to want to root for her 100% throughout the entire book.I really do love this book as an example and inspiration for readers—" . . . to write down all my regrets, so I could look back and see if they truly were mistakes, and if so, learn from them, and if not, learn from that too.” I feel that everyone can learn and benefit from this habit and type of mindset if used in a positive way, which is a great take-away from this book.One minor thing: as an LGBT individual, I wasn't satisfied or happy with the "token gay couple" thrown in at quite literally the last minute. A bit spoiler-y ahead: (view spoiler)[It made sense when the first LGBT character was introduced, as it connected some dots and made me go "Ohhhhhh, so that's why x happened and y didn't. And it was clear once this particular regret unfolded, why we would be learning that this character is LGBT so close to the end. (hide spoiler)]
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  • Bargain Sleuth Book Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    Cleo McDougal Regrets Nothing is not the sort of book that I normally read. I read history books and biographies and children's books and the occasional historical fiction book.  So reading a contemporary fiction book is a little bit out of my wheelhouse. I had to give myself a day or two to really think about how I felt about the book before writing about it.Cleo isn't all that likeable at the beginning (well, if I'm being honest, throughout most of the book) "The truth was that even outside of Cleo McDougal Regrets Nothing is not the sort of book that I normally read. I read history books and biographies and children's books and the occasional historical fiction book.  So reading a contemporary fiction book is a little bit out of my wheelhouse. I had to give myself a day or two to really think about how I felt about the book before writing about it.Cleo isn't all that likeable at the beginning (well, if I'm being honest, throughout most of the book) "The truth was that even outside of high school, even well beyond the MaryAnne Newman situation and the “dumping her perfectly nice boyfriend” situation, Cleo McDougal really hadn’t ever been such a good person.". She's a three-time Congressperson and two-time Senator (and only 37), a single mother and aiming for the White House. She loses both parents before her senior year and pushes everyone away in pursuit of her goals. "When you lose your parents young, there is simply a blight on your psyche that becomes part of your being. Really, it had become background noise to Cleo: she knew the loss was there, but if she paid too much attention to it, it would override everything."Her dad had suggested to her to write down a list of her regrets, and that  has what she has faithfully done for the past 20+ years. There are 233 of them.  Because her childhood best friend publishes an op-ed that says she is a horrible person and it goes viral, Cleo does some soul-searching and decides that she needs to rectify some of the regrets on her list.Cleo is an uber-feminist. Every waking thought and action offers a feminist manifesto. I like strong women and consider myself a feminist, but sometimes think Cleo is way too rigid in her thinking about men. There's even a part in the book when something she does goes viral, and soon there are protestors holding signs outside her office that say "Not All Men." I have to agree.But I also liked Cleo because she was a feminist, breaking that damn glass ceiling and taking men's patriarchy to task. She's constantly reminding the reader that yes, women are equal to men, and we shouldn't have to prove it repeatedly to get the same respect. So props to the author for holding the line throughout the whole book.Cleo McDougal Regrets Nothing is FREE this month to Amazon Prime members through their First Reads Kindle program. Every month Amazon offers up 6-7 books  that are new releases or soon to be released. Normally I don't get a book although the offer is nice because the usual genres are not what I normally read. This month you can select TWO books to read for free with the First Reads program. Take a look at the titles here.To read more of my reviews, check out www.bargain-sleuth.com
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  • Cid
    January 1, 1970
    A funny sweet story about making peace with your past.There is little doubt that anyone gets through life without at least a few regrets. Most of us prefer not to dwell on them or, heaven forbid, CONFRONT them years after the fact. Cleo McDougal, however, is not most of us, and in my First Reads choice for July, CLEO MCDOUGAL REGRETS NOTHING, she does exactly that. Whether you agree or disagree with Cleo's tactics of confronting her past, be it a former best friend she wronged or a married colle A funny sweet story about making peace with your past.There is little doubt that anyone gets through life without at least a few regrets. Most of us prefer not to dwell on them or, heaven forbid, CONFRONT them years after the fact. Cleo McDougal, however, is not most of us, and in my First Reads choice for July, CLEO MCDOUGAL REGRETS NOTHING, she does exactly that. Whether you agree or disagree with Cleo's tactics of confronting her past, be it a former best friend she wronged or a married college professed that seduced, then unceremoniously dumped her, while simultaneously trying to tank her future prospects, you will admire her courage. The fact that her confrontations are live streamed is the ultimate in opening yourself up and laying it all out there. Because Cleo is a 37 year old Junior Senator from New York with Presidential ambitions and a single mother to a 14 year old son, the repercussions from confronting her regrets, are experienced on very public and viral forum.The very best thing about CLEO MCDOUGAL REGRETS NOTHING is Cleo herself. She is the most plucky, courageous, vulnerable and endearing fictional character to champion women, I've come across in a long time. She adds her own unique brand to the "me too" movement, when she outs a man for doing what men have been doing to young women in the guise of "mentoring", for far too long. As women, I doubt many of us have reached adulthood without experiencing some form of being sexually preyed on or taken advantage of by men who capitalized on our youth, vulnerability naivety, innocence or an existing power differential, to put us in a compromising, or at the very least, uncomfortable situation. These are the type of situation we may, later in life, rarely think about, but when we do think about it, it is with regret. As Cleo makes clear, sometimes we regret not being older, stronger, wiser or able to stand up for ourselves. Sometimes what we regret, was never our fault.While the stream of consciousness writing style may not be for everyone, it allows the reader to fully embrace the character of Cleo and lets the reader REALLY get to know , understand and admire her and embrace her flaws. Her relationship with her 14year old son is both realistic and sweet...as she tries to raise him into the kind of man who not only respects women, but acts like it.If you are offended by less than pristine language, this book is not for you. I found the F bombs to be realistic, appropriate, and very much in context. I thought the book was better and more entertaining because of the profanity.
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  • Kaitlyn Joy
    January 1, 1970
    I received a reviewer copy of Cleo McDougal Regrets Nothing by Allison Winn Scotch from the publisher Lake Union Publishing from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.What It’s About: Cleo is the definition of having her life together or so it seems. A senator at 38 and a single mother, she works hard to balance her life and is also trying to set up for a Presidential run. Unfortunately, a friend she wronged in her past writes an Op-Ed, "Cleo McDougal is not a good person." And so begins Cl I received a reviewer copy of Cleo McDougal Regrets Nothing by Allison Winn Scotch from the publisher Lake Union Publishing from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.What It’s About: Cleo is the definition of having her life together or so it seems. A senator at 38 and a single mother, she works hard to balance her life and is also trying to set up for a Presidential run. Unfortunately, a friend she wronged in her past writes an Op-Ed, "Cleo McDougal is not a good person." And so begins Cleo's journey of 'righting her wrong's' before she runs for PresidentWhat I Loved: The story of a woman trying to come to terms with her past is brilliant. As women we are expected to be brave and strong, but not too brave and strong. We are told to be brilliant and independent, but not so much that we look like snobs. As a woman in power, Cleo deals with holding up to the high standards she and society have set for herself, while also trying to succeed at things that seem to be in conflict or challenging to have when you are trying to be an ambitious woman. I really connected with the challenges of having it all and even when you have pushed yourself to a powerful position, you still have regrets. The book is a wonderful story about having power but also having the comfort and support that all humans need. It's hard to explain but this book touched me deeply. I also read this after volunteering for a campaign that was destroyed because of sexism, so this book found me at the right time. What I didn’t like so much: I really loved it, sometimes I felt like some of the mother-son stuff in the book was a bit exaggerated but then again, I've never been a part of that type of relationship, so I wouldn't fully know. Who Should Read It: People who like politics or DC insider like books. People who like novels about strong women. People who like character driven novels.General Summary: A story of balancing personal drive with a support system set against the ambitious DC playground.
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  • Nina
    January 1, 1970
    This amusing book is just right for the times. In the acknowledgements, the author says, “In the end, I wanted to write a book not about politics but about power, about the state of being a woman in this specific moment in history, about learning to take up space without apology.” She succeeded. While not about politics, there is much said about how much more difficult it is for women in that arena than men. E.g.:“Women couldn’t fuck up the way that men could. They were held to a higher standard This amusing book is just right for the times. In the acknowledgements, the author says, “In the end, I wanted to write a book not about politics but about power, about the state of being a woman in this specific moment in history, about learning to take up space without apology.” She succeeded. While not about politics, there is much said about how much more difficult it is for women in that arena than men. E.g.:“Women couldn’t fuck up the way that men could. They were held to a higher standard, as if making mistakes weren’t part of the human experience. Men are forgiven much more easily and much quicker than women.”“And more often than not, women were not only saner than men but actually less hysterical. Cleo and her colleagues had trained themselves to hold their voices firm, their posture unwavering whenever any of their hearings were televised or whenever a reporter tracked them down in the halls within the Senate building. They couldn’t afford to look emotional, couldn’t risk even being called emotional. As if emotion were something that made them less capable at their jobs. Often it made them better.”Cleo is an ambitious female senator considering a run for president. She started keeping a list of regrets when she was very young, but realized that she was using the list as a sort of confession without making attempts to learn from it, to become better, to avoid future regrets. A childhood best friend posted that Cleo was an evil person who shouldn’t ever be president (based on a youthful competition for an internship where Cleo put her friend at a disadvantage). Cleo’s press advisor suggested using this as an opportunity to apologize in person and show how human she is --- and also asked her to pick out other regrets from the list and publicly work on righting the regret, which naturally causes some new regrets! In the end, she was indeed a better person.
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  • Hillary
    January 1, 1970
    This is another Kindle First Reads book. As I've often stated, they are hit or miss.This one was okay. I was expecting--hoping for--more politics and less introspection. Cleo is an imperfect person who has work to do on herself. Don't we all? While the writing is breezy and well-paced, I did get tired at times of her rehashing the same issues and stories again and again. Still, I stuck with the book, because I was intrigued to see how it would end. That's a point in the author's favor.As I said, This is another Kindle First Reads book. As I've often stated, they are hit or miss.This one was okay. I was expecting--hoping for--more politics and less introspection. Cleo is an imperfect person who has work to do on herself. Don't we all? While the writing is breezy and well-paced, I did get tired at times of her rehashing the same issues and stories again and again. Still, I stuck with the book, because I was intrigued to see how it would end. That's a point in the author's favor.As I said, the DC politics and intrigue were the most interesting parts of the book. What it's like to be a woman in today's Washington (no mention of the current White House occupant, though). I liked Cleo's ideals. I could see myself voting for someone like her.But she is a mess on a personal level, and not all is her fault. She found herself an orphan at 17, after all. (Not a spoiler, this comes up fairly early in the book.) My biggest frustrations with the story were these: How the plot moved forward, but then we had to back up to understand where Cleo was at that point and what had occurred to get her there. This happened very often, and its frequency simply isn't my cup of tea.The other issue is perhaps more subtle. The author seems to belong to the "Tell, don't show" camp. Everything had to be explained. Every character's emotion and motives and reactions. It was as if the reader wasn't trusted to draw her own conclusions...or the author didn't feel she could write that way.Still, as I said, I read through to the end, because I wanted to see what happened. I don't regret doing that. ("Regret" is very common word in this book and its title...)One question: Was anyone surprised about two characters named MaryAnne and Mariann (minor character)? What was that all about?
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  • kathleen r.
    January 1, 1970
    NO REGRETSI was interested in the concept of living a life without regrets, but knowing that to be a false fantasy still I wanted to read this novel. As a construct, no one can ever live without regrets but it still doesn't stop some people from trying. Cleo Macdougal aims herself forward with zero tolerance for her missteps and her own personal strength. She's determined to be all knowing and immune from personal issues but ends up falling flat on her face, literally and figuratively before she NO REGRETSI was interested in the concept of living a life without regrets, but knowing that to be a false fantasy still I wanted to read this novel. As a construct, no one can ever live without regrets but it still doesn't stop some people from trying. Cleo Macdougal aims herself forward with zero tolerance for her missteps and her own personal strength. She's determined to be all knowing and immune from personal issues but ends up falling flat on her face, literally and figuratively before she finally realizes that she's not the best self she could ever be. The author tries hard to help her character not only discover her damaged identity but also to assist her teenaged son navigate his rocky journey while still being a normal kid with a popular and political parent. Cleo shines in some aspects but also learns how her protective nature has led her to discover and develop more understanding and tolerance for the younger self growing into the more adult and competent woman she has become. The theme of "ME TOO" is strong within this story as is the solid arc of self determination and accountability. No one gets off lightly or without some sort of self acknowledgment but in a satisfying conclusion all the I's are dotted and the T's are crossed. It ends well with a not-too-dramatic reveal that offers the consolation prize of a job well done without being too preachy or self righteous. It's a quick read that's not without a little extra benefit of a satisfying conclusion. I recommend this book for young adult and up, knowing that a new generation gets to make new rules.
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  • Reese
    January 1, 1970
    Don't apologize for anything if you're not responsible for the problem. Favorite Character: N/AThis book was delightful. I loved the unashamed feminism and the determination (especially of Cleo and Gaby). It was also nice to see while Cleo acknowledged not ALL men are bad, that does not mean the ones that are bad are any less bad. I particularly enjoyed Cleo's growth throughout the novel, from 233 regrets kept locked in a drawer to standing up, admitting where she was wrong, trying to improve, Don't apologize for anything if you're not responsible for the problem. Favorite Character: N/AThis book was delightful. I loved the unashamed feminism and the determination (especially of Cleo and Gaby). It was also nice to see while Cleo acknowledged not ALL men are bad, that does not mean the ones that are bad are any less bad. I particularly enjoyed Cleo's growth throughout the novel, from 233 regrets kept locked in a drawer to standing up, admitting where she was wrong, trying to improve, and working to do so. Cleo also built on her relationships with others. From appreciating Georgie's sometimes overbearing help to trying to become closer with Lucas. However, not everything was perfect. I had a strong disdain toward the attitude toward younger generations. All the teenagers used "like" every other word which was not only unrealistic but also distracted from what they were trying to say. Yes, "like" is used more often but most of the time it is a placeholder word such as "um" or "er" that people use while thinking of what to say. It distracted me from these characters words and made me gag whenever any teen would speak. Also, this is minor but I wish Cleo would have had more regrets. She was supposed to have 233 regrets over 30+ YEARS. I would probably have that many in a year if I counted mine. Having more regrets would have made it more believable. Still, this is a minor concern and overall, this book was fabulous.Until we meet again between the lines,R.
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  • Michelle Only Wants to Read
    January 1, 1970
    I got this book through Amazon First Reads. I chose it because it seemed like something light and funny. Even though the setting is presented as light and funny, Cleo's story has many layers of depth. Cleo McDougal is a senator. She's a single mother senator, which is by itself something almost impossible to imagine. Yet, in this universe, it is possible. She got there by being assertive, determined, and focusing on the goal. You would have to be that way to get to that position. No room for sof I got this book through Amazon First Reads. I chose it because it seemed like something light and funny. Even though the setting is presented as light and funny, Cleo's story has many layers of depth. Cleo McDougal is a senator. She's a single mother senator, which is by itself something almost impossible to imagine. Yet, in this universe, it is possible. She got there by being assertive, determined, and focusing on the goal. You would have to be that way to get to that position. No room for soft, nurturing women in high places. In the process, she may have done some tough and not so honorable decisions. Some of them directed at MaryAnne Newman. Cleo's former high school friend, who decides to write an op-ed letting everyone know what she thinks about Cleo. The theme in this book is regrets (we all have them, for sure. But...do we keep a list of them? Organized and classified? Hmm... perhaps not) and how Cleo has been forced to sort them out. Her perfectly organized and controlled life is suddenly chaotic and messy and she hates it! From her relationship with her witty son, Lucas, to her conflicted relationship with her sister (and everything in between), Cleo's life has turned upside down. I did not tag this book as politics because the story is not about politics. There is a strong statement, and sadly I find it to be true, on how women are perceived in politics and the double standards that are set in that environment. The author focuses on Cleo's personal growth (and it's painful!) in all areas of her life.
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  • Pamela
    January 1, 1970
    Oh, Cleo. She's given up a fun life to go into politics. And now her frenemy from Seattle is taking her down with a nasty news story. Cleo has no choice but to go to Seattle and try to smooth things over. But is it too little too late?When the plot can be summed up in as few words as above, it's not a good sign. I couldn't get into this book. I didn't understand Cleo or feel anything for her. Maybe because she seemed to care only about herself and her political ambitions. I couldn't get into any Oh, Cleo. She's given up a fun life to go into politics. And now her frenemy from Seattle is taking her down with a nasty news story. Cleo has no choice but to go to Seattle and try to smooth things over. But is it too little too late?When the plot can be summed up in as few words as above, it's not a good sign. I couldn't get into this book. I didn't understand Cleo or feel anything for her. Maybe because she seemed to care only about herself and her political ambitions. I couldn't get into any of the other characters either... they all seemed like cliches of themselves. There was the mean girl from high school. The uber confident classmate from law school who just also happened to be Cleo's only friend, confidante, and campaign manager. The slightly wacky estranged sister. And oh yeah, her kid too that she decided to have her senior year of college and somehow still manage to finish law school and launch a political career. Now Cleo has set her sights on President -- yes, President of the whole USA. But women have so many more obstacles than men. To me, the whole scenario was just so over the top. A woman in Congress? Maybe. A woman who wants to run for President? No way. Especially with her crazy past, her son out of wedlock, and her affair with a married professor. And the son just happens to fall for the frenemy's daughter? UGH. They were all just such a crew of boring characters to read about. And the ending was just wrapped way too neatly in a pretty bow.
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  • Ida Wilcox
    January 1, 1970
    Cleo got on my last nerves. She is so focus on "I am woman hear me roar" that she is not only hurting herself in some cases but everyone around her as well. It was like she didnt care how her actions affected the people around her as long as she came out on top and a strong confident woman. It was rather annoying. The writing was ok but really repetitive. Constantly repeating how, what, where, and when she got pregnant, her parents passing away, and how she was the golden child of her parents. A Cleo got on my last nerves. She is so focus on "I am woman hear me roar" that she is not only hurting herself in some cases but everyone around her as well. It was like she didnt care how her actions affected the people around her as long as she came out on top and a strong confident woman. It was rather annoying. The writing was ok but really repetitive. Constantly repeating how, what, where, and when she got pregnant, her parents passing away, and how she was the golden child of her parents. At one point while reading I almost stopped. Couldnt skip pages because I was listening to the book. Lastly on the writing, it was way to many unnecessary details for me. Towards the end of the story when she went to go see her Ex-best friend. I really didnt need to know what the inside of her home looked like. She could have just said it was like stepping back in time and left it at that. Also, the time line was a little confusing when listening to the book. In the middle of a scene she would go back in time and before the story is complete would jump back to the future. That got on my nerve. The Long drawn out details and writing reminded me of reading "Lord of the Rings" That author spent entire chapter describing a tree. In this book she borderline did the same thing. I must say it was putting me to sleep. However, over all the story line of this book I really enjoyed. But I just had to get past the boring parts.
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  • Britta
    January 1, 1970
    This was one of my 'prime first' choices. I was looking for a light read, and it mostly fit the bill. I have seen some comment that the constant notes about the difficulties women face got to be too much, and while I understand why it was said, my reaction is mostly: "try living it". I do feel, however, that the backstories weren't painted in well enough. Let's hear more about Georgie and Cleo's parents, for instance, rather than just being told it was a troubled relationship. I also constantly This was one of my 'prime first' choices. I was looking for a light read, and it mostly fit the bill. I have seen some comment that the constant notes about the difficulties women face got to be too much, and while I understand why it was said, my reaction is mostly: "try living it". I do feel, however, that the backstories weren't painted in well enough. Let's hear more about Georgie and Cleo's parents, for instance, rather than just being told it was a troubled relationship. I also constantly struggled with how angry Mary Ann was because Cleo had encouraged a certain topic for an essay. Really? that's it? If Mary Anne wasn't smart enough to see that it was cliche on her own, maybe she didn't really deserve the position. Finally, (view spoiler)[ the ending with Mary Anne...ummm..no. After all that anger (misplaced or not) she's not suddenly going to eat crow. Oh, sure the part where she apologizes and admit she went too far, I'll take that. But working for Cleo? And Cleo even considering trusting someone who went so over the top. No. That (and a couple of other bits) felt like the 'ok we need to wrap this up' ending, without enough support. /(view spoiler)[ That said, overall a pretty good read. (hide spoiler)] (hide spoiler)]
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