Monday, April 1, 2013

Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale

Title: Actor and the Housewife
Author: Shannon Hale
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pages: 352
Ages: 18 +
(because of subject matter such as children, marriage, pregnancy)
Review Rating: 4/4 & 2/4 (I'll explain) 

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 hearththrob 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 before they know what’s hit them, Felix and Becky are b
est 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 celebrity crush walks right into real life and changes everything.

(This review may contain spoilers) 

The first thing that I have to say about this book is . . . WTF! Okay, let me explain. I started reading this book in an empty movie theater while waiting for the film to start. I'd just happened to have it in my bag because my sister said I should read it. She actually said 'Oh my gosh, you have to read this book. It's amazing!'. So, taking her as a credible source, I decided to read it.
I start the novel and am very happy with what I'm getting so far. Cute wit, funny banter between the characters. Becky Jack would fit right in with my family and the way we harass one another. Felix sounded like a debonare kind of man that I would like to be best friends with. But I figured this book was heading down the path to them eventually getting together.
Life happened and I left the book for about 6 months before picking it up again. I decided to listen to it while I was at work, which turned out to be quiet an ordeal because I would burst out in laughter every five to ten minutes. Because the book was fourteen hours long and because I only could listen to a few hours at a time at work, it took me quiet a while to get through the first half of the book. But leaving work for the weekend, I decided I had to know what happened, and didn't want to wait until work on Monday.
So, I sat in my office the next day, doing nothing but listening to the book. Literally, I laid down on the couch and listened for 7 hours.
Through the course of the book, Felix and Becky's friendship grow and they help each other through hard times such as divorce, affairs, death etc . . . And also they are together through the good times as well, selling a film script, church socials etc . . . While the relationship is unbelievable in the fact that his is a celebrity and she's just a housewife, the human aspect of their friendship is very believable. You feel like you are looking into the relationship of something special, something that is truly a fairy tale.
After Becky's husband dies of cancer, she spends three years alone, mourning the loss of her sweet Mike. But as the reader, we all see this as a chance for Felix to finally declare his love for her and she can give into the love that he offers.
He begins to woo her, he begins to court her like every woman dreams. Flowers every hour on the hour, presents randomly place throughout her life, music playing and finally him moving to Layton, UT to be closer to her. He starts getting to know her four children, helping them in school and with social problems. He has pretty much won all of our hearts by this point, but still has yet to convince Becky to take the next step and be his.
So when the pivital moment comes, and she decides to take it, you could have heard me cheering for miles around.
BUT . . .

SHE DOESN'T ENJOY IT! That was the WTF moment from the beginning of this review. She spent a total of 400 pages making us fall in love with Felix, with Becky and with their relationship but then doesn't let us enjoy the two of them together. ARE YOU KIDDING ME! I was so pissed off because I wanted them to have this moment where they realize they love each other. Where they stare into each other's eyes and just know they were meant to be in this place, at this time, together. But instead, what happens? Becky is thinking about Mike the whole time, about his kiss and how it is different then Felix's, how much she misses him. She actually has to keep pulling her mind back to the moment. With this hot actor that she has fawned on over and over for years, and she is needing to force her mind back on the current situation. His lips on hers!

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