Friday, October 8, 2010

The Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale


What if you were to meet the number one person on your laminated list - you know, that list you joke about with your significant other about which five celebrities you'd be allowed to run off with if ever given the chance? And of course since it'll never happen it doesn't matter...

Mormon housewife Becky Jack is seven months pregnant with her fourth child when she meets celebrity heartthrob Felix Callahan. Twelve hours, one elevator ride and one alcohol-free dinner later, something has happened... though nothing has happened. It isn't sexual. It isn't even quite love. But a month later Felix shows up in Salt Lake City to visit and they know what's hit them, Felix and Becky are best friends. Really. Becky's husband is pretty cool about it. Her children roll their eyes. Her neighbors gossip endlessly. But Felix and Becky have something special... something unusual, something completely impossible to sustain. Or is it? A magical story, The Actor and the Housewife explores what could happen when your not-so-secret crush walks right into real life and changes everything. (from Goodreads)

Shannon Hale is one of my favorite authors, but for some reason this is the first book I'm reviewing by her. It's probably because I haven't read one of her books in a really long time, but I would recommend all of them, even the ones I haven't read. Shannon won the Newberry Medal for Princess Academy, so she has to be a good writer.

Like all of her other novels, I really enjoyed The Actor and the Housewife. I think I like her adult novels better than her young adult (I adored Austenland) so don't skip this just because it's labeled as an adult. I really liked the premise of TAATH because everyone has one (or ten) celebrity that they would love to be best friends with. I would love to be BFF with Ian Somerhalder, but I don't think it could stay that way (he's just too cute!). But I liked that TAATH went after the age-old question: can married women still be friends with men and vice versa? I think it did a pretty good job of showing all aspects: the jealousy it can cause, but also the strength and trust that it can create when you're okay with your significant other being friends with the opposite sex. I liked that Becky was able to be faithful to her husband and still be friends with Felix and I hope other couples can appreciate that too.

As for the story, it was very good. I liked Becky a lot, even though she was nothing like me (I don't plan on becoming a Mormon housewife, but I loved reading about it). The book was very long, but it spans almost fifteen years I believe, so a lot happens. There's some great dialogue between Felix and Becky - they are hilarious together. As for the ending, I thought it was very good. Except for the SAD EVENT which was literally the most depressing thing I've ever read. I usually don't cry while reading books, but I was bawling during this part. Kudos to Shannon Hale for making me cry and I liked that because it mean that I actually felt something for the characters. Which should be every author's goal in my opinion. But overall, I enjoyed The Actor and the Housewife immensely and if you haven't read any of Shannon Hale's work, I suggest you go do that right now.

8 out of 10.

FTC: I borrowed this book from my library.

2009/Bloomsbury USA/352 pages

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