Title: The Actor and the Housewife
Author: Shannon Hale
Date Finished: 19 July 2009
My Rating: 3 Stars
Challenges: 100+, Pub, Library
Meh. I liked this book alright. I've decided I am not a big fan of Shannon Hale's adult novels and I've only read 1 of her YA novels so I don't think I can draw a conclusive decision on that front.
The story of Mormon housewife Becky Jack becoming best friends with her Hollywood fantasy was funny and witty and on many levels enjoyable. It was also kinda slow and often repetitive. How many times was Becky going to struggle with her decision whether to be friends with Felix or not?
There were also certain plot points that just had me thinking "really? That is the direction the story is going? Okay..." I didn't necessarily like it but I went with it and kept reading.
Oh, most of the story was outlandish and unbelievable (Becky writing a screenplay on a whim, selling it and becoming best friends with Hollywood heartthrob) but that did not bother me so much because, well, it is a novel and really how many of the novels I read are realistic when looked at from a real world perspective? (The book I am reading right now is about a woman who time travels to Regency England and inhabits the body of someone else. Even more unrealistic than Hale's premise but still an enjoyable read.)
Before reading this I came across many people who said the book made them cry, a lot. So I was on guard and could see what was going to happen a mile away. I wasn't going to cry. Especially considering I am not one of those people. You know, the ones who cry when they are reading a book or watching a movie. I rarely cry over books and movies etc.
I bawled. Like a little girl. And it would not stop. My tear ducts were relentless. I blame it entirely on pregnancy hormones. Ok, and maybe a little on Hales ability to really get at your emotions.
As a Mormon housewife myself (although I've never lived in Utah) I thought it was interesting and fun to read a mainstream novel with a Mormon woman as the main character with lots of little idiosyncrasies of the LDS faith and lifestyle included. The story just seemed to get too bogged down at times and had me wishing something (preferably something I had not already read about 5 times) would happen.
I have to say I am glad things ended the way they did. I was a little worried for awhile and if the book had ended any differently I would have been very tempted to throw the book across the room (but would have refrained since it is a library book). There were lots of things about the plot and story development that I did not like but I think in the end Becky stayed true to herself and that made for a happy ending in my book.
Oh, the book was funny and witty and many people do and will love it but for me it was just alright.