Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Book Review: My Girlfriend's Boyfriend by Elodia Strain

Earlier this year, I watched the film My Girlfriend's Boyfriend, and I really enjoyed it. It was a sweet romance with a cliffhanger ending that I never saw coming, and I love it when a book or a movie can catch me off guard like that. When I was asked if I'd like to review the book that was written after the movie came out, I was delighted. I was also curious.

There are certain aspects of film making that don't translate well into a book. And there are certain aspects of book writing that don't translate well into film. How would author Elodia Strain keep the spirit of the movie while putting it down on paper, where we can't see the actors' facial expressions or hear their tones of voice?

In a nutshell, she did very well.

First, the premise.

Jesse works as a waitress in a coffee shop, not her dream job but it gets her by.

Ethan is a struggling actor, trying his best to sell a screenplay, but is told that he needs to write something more real. While shaking off his disappointment, he stops in at the coffee shop and meets Jesse. Sparks immediately fly, and she gives him her phone number. She has cheered him up and given him a reason to keep writing.

But then just minutes later, in walks Troy, the most amazing-looking man she's ever seen. He meets every criteria on her "dream guy" list, and he wants her number too.

As we move through the book, we see Jesse establishing a relationship with both of these men. One thing I really enjoyed about the book as opposed to the movie is the great narrative voice the author creates for Jesse. She's funny, she's insecure, she's creative, and we see that more clearly in the book. I think this narrative voice made Jesse a much more sympathetic character for me, whereas in the film, I didn't like her much until the last five minutes.

I don't want to give anything away here. We'll just say that as we move through the book, we see both men desire to spend the rest of their lives with Jesse, and she doesn't know what to do. And then we get knocked on the head, and we're laughing because it's so clever. I do have to say that I liked the cliffhanger better in the movie - in the book, it's a little harder to grasp, and the author takes the extra precaution of explaining it, which to me, sort of diminished it. But that's not to say it wasn't well done. If I hadn't seen the movie first, I don't think that would have bothered me at all.

This book is fun, clean, romantic, humorous, and I give the author two huge thumbs up for giving us these insights into the characters we could only guess at in the movie.

I received this book for free from the publisher and was in no other way compensated for my review. However, I rented the movie through Netflix before they raised their prices.

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