This is the second chick-lit book in a row that I have absolutely loved, (and as I’ve said before, this is not my favorite genre.)
The Makedown by Gitty Daneshvari was a surprisingly easy read, like your favorite celeb gossip blog only with a character you can relate to and an actual plot to make sense of the madness.
The main character is an over-weight, small town, single girl named Anna who keeps a diary that she addresses as “Dear Fatty”. We get a few flashbacks to her painful adolescence, which are so familiar that I simultaneously giggled and winced as I read them. (Anyone who picked out names for the children they’d have with a New Kid on the Block is a friend of mine.) After graduating college, Anna leaves her weird, dysfunctional family and heads to New York for a new life. After a few false starts she gets the help of “fairy godmother” of sorts, who helps transform her which is somewhat like a modern Cinderella-like story, but this isn’t a fairy tale. Anna lands the man of her dreams, a man she knows is way out of her league, but that childhood insecurity still lurks inside. She worries that he’ll leave her for someone better looking, and so begins the “make down”, which is her attempt at making him less attractive to the women who are actively trying to snatch him away.
This book is full of hilarious pop culture references that any child of the 80’s will identify with. The author did a stellar job of giving Anna a very real voice, and not shying away from those weird thoughts we all have and dismiss. My only warnings are that this book is not for virgin eyes, (curse words and sex scenes abound), and is not totally politically correct, (as Anna’s mother has a proclivity for making racist remarks.)
The Makedown is scheduled for publication towards the end of February 2009. Keep an eye out for it!