Author: Jules Asner
Release Date: June 3, 2008
Genre: Chick Lit
Rating: 4 out of 5
From the dust jacket:
Dani Hale is obsessed with Hollywood murders, from Marilyn Monroe’s suspicious death to the killings she writes about for the TV crime series Flesh and Bone. Smart, sexy, savvy, but not a little unsure of herself, Dani is determined to carve a place among the Los Angeles entertainment elite – becoming a creditcard-carrying member of the very world whose rituals and absurdities she loves to satirize.
Life promises to be perfect for Dani. She has an almost perfect boyfriend, Dave, a TV director who loves that Dani is “factory” – i.e., with no plastic surgery enhancements – and who always knows what’s right for her career. At Flesh and Bone she has an almost ideal job that lets her indulge her macabre forensic passions – even if the star’s Restylene addiction forces Dani to do last minute rewrites to delete her close-ups. She doesn’t yet have the ideal figure, but a few more sessions at Barry’s Boot Camp might fix that. And while that dream house in the Hollywood Hills eludes her, moving in seems just a matter of time – once Dave gets around to mentioning marriage.
But something isn’t quite right with their relationship and Dani – a wily and inventive internet snoop – lears that Dave’s real creative talents are (1) lying and (2) cheating on her. Soon she’s plunged into the world of singledom, enduring a battalion of bad dates with men whose peccadillos would drive a lesser woman to kill. More sleuthing leads Dani to discover the truth behind Dave’s liaisons – and the motives of the Other Woman who cased her all this misery. Ultimately, our heroine is driven to a dramatic choice that is as shocking as it is sensible in the girl-eat-girl world of Hollywood.
Jules Asner, the author of Whacked is THAT Jules Asner. You know, ex-model, TV personality, and wife of Stephen Soderbergh – when she’s writing a book about Hollywood, you know she’s usually discussing fact rather than fiction. However, I really liked this insider’s look; instead of being about the glamourous life of an actress, it was about a TV writer. It still had its share of juicy Hollywood tidbits, but it also had its own style.
I have to say, this book was incredibly weird, but in a way that worked for me. However, judging by the Amazon.com reviews, it didn’t work for everyone. This seems to be a “love it or hate it” type of book. Near the end of the book, I thought it had jumped the shark and was incredulous, but it somehow drew me back in to where I can definitely say I enjoyed the book. The writing style is very seductive and easy to slip into. It definitely draws you in from the first page of the book. While funny, it is a very dark comedy.
As for the main character, Dani. Well. She was obsessed with all things crime-related, to a disturbing degree, and that slowly began to show in her personality. I’m not talking about some sort of cute quirkiness. I think the title really sums it up: she was completely and totally whacked. She seemed to be a caricature of a person, rather than a real person. However, it seems to me, with how crazy the book is, that it was Asner’s intention to make Dani this way. If you read the book feeling like Dani is some sort of satire on an obsessive woman, it is very enjoyable.
I honestly can’t tell you why I enjoyed this book, but I can definitively say that I did. Sometimes, it’s fun to read something weird and crazy just to push you out of your comfort zone. This book definitely did that, and though I had mixed feelings about it at the beginning, I’m glad I took a chance on it.