So I’m 110 pages into the book, and I think I can safely say it neatly fits my expectations from the descriptions and reviews I’d read.
Did you all like the opening? I thought it was pretty funny-—and it did a good job of setting the over-the-top tone and fast pace for the rest of the story. If Alex’s reactions to discovering her housekeeper’s true method of employment hadn’t been so extreme, I might not have enjoyed the Bean’s near-caricature personality, or the exaggerated depiction of Maurice the caterer, as much as I did.
I liked Frankie immediately. Having once been the only human character in a public-service play about recycling in which all the other actors portrayed giant, singing/dancing, cartoon-style animals, I felt some pretty serious empathy for his banana voice-over predicament. Frankie’s also interesting to me because he’s willing to take whatever jobs he can to make some money, while still working toward his ultimate goal of being a non–fruit-related actor. I’ve certainly been known to take on some weird assignments while waiting for the right thing to come along, and I think a lot of people are finding themselves in that position right now given the economic state of things. Have you ever done anything crazy/weird/embarrassing while waiting for your dream job?
Alex and Saffron’s relationship strikes me as pretty classic—polar opposites making for best friends—and my guess is that by the end of the book Alex will learn a little of Saffron’s organizational and time-management skills, and Saffron will learn that she needs to think about herself a little more like Alex does. One thing that I thought was a little odd, though, was the implied negative judgment about the way Alex looks. She’s described as tall, athletic, strong, tan, but usually with words that have a negative connotation or within a negative context. Did that strike anyone else as a bit strange? Maybe it has more to do with my circle of friends or something, but I’m used to hearing those physical traits be lauded. I suppose Frankie’s assessment that even busy, athletic women should brush their hair has some merit, but I really hope that by the end of the book Alex’s physicality will be looked on as a positive thing—preferably without a Princess Diaries–style total makeover.
It looks like the big Frankie/Ella secret is about to be discovered, and it should be pretty funny. For next week, I’ll plan to read through Chapter 33—keep your fingers crossed for the big reveal!