I like nothing better than a book that makes me laugh, so I got a real kick out of reading "Unscripted," the hilarious debut novel of talented newcomers Natalie Aaron and Marla Schwartz. According to their bio, these ladies have toiled behind-the-scenes in reality television for many years, so they know whereof they speak! And their insider's knowledge of that stressful, often chaotic world, as well as the anything-for-ratings mindset of the people who work in it, gave the characters and their trials and tribulations a wonderful authenticity that really added to my enjoyment of the book. In my opinion, the best fiction always has the ring of truth to it!
The thirtysomething heroine of "Unscripted," one Abby Edwards, is at a crossroads in her life, both personally and professionally. She's between jobs (Who knew that producers in reality TV had to bounce from show to show every few months?), her best friend/roomie, Zoë, has finally bullied her SO into popping the question, so now Abby's living arrangements are up in the air, and worst of all, Abby's screenwriter ex is receiving accolades for his new movie, which is based (sort of) on their relationship and paints a very unflattering portrait of her. Abby ends up taking a job on a clip show where her yummy new boss is someone she had an embarrassing encounter with years ago (Abby's still fretting about it, while Will acts as if he doesn't even remember her, or the incident.) And this is where the fun begins as Abby navigates her way through the treacherous waters of a very demanding job and potential romance!
Abby was such an entertaining and likable heroine; I loved her "voice," which was so smart and funny and self-deprecating, and I rooted for her all the way through the book. The supporting characters in "Unscripted" were equally well-drawn and added a lot of flavor to the story. Abby's New Age-y friend Nancy was particularly amusing because she was always dragging Abby into nutty situations like goddess parties (I still crack up every time I think about that chapter in the book.) It was nice that Abby had such a good rapport with most of the men in her life (Knit Cap at work being the one exception and he was such a creeper that I wanted to reach through my Kindle screen and smack him myself!) The slow burn between Abby and Will was done exceptionally well, as I could really see the development of Abby's feelings for him and I understood her doubts and fears because Will was so enigmatic (Was he attracted to Abby at all? Did he have something going with Lisa, the witchy, but gorgeous, supervising producer?) The romantic storyline is something that I think all Chick Lit readers will delight in.
The authors ended "Unscripted" with a great set-up for a sequel, so I'm hoping that we will see Abby and at least some of her posse in a follow-up very soon (Hint, Hint, Marla and Natalie!) Meanwhile, I encourage everyone to read "Unscripted." This is a novel that is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face!
An avid reader and writer, Tracie Banister has been scribbling stories since she was a child, most of them featuring feisty heroines with complicated love lives like her favorite fictional protagonist Scarlett O'Hara. Her debut Chick Lit novel, "Blame It on the Fame," was released in January, 2012. She blogs about books and other fun stuff at Books by Banister and her Twitter handle is @traciebanister
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