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Friday, March 07, 2008

The Accidental Diva

****½ The Accidental Diva by Tia Williams. Chick lit.

This book is the result of one of my forays into Amazon's bargain bin searching for new-to-me authors. Wonderful surprises like this are what keep me going back for more.

Billie Burke is a beauty editor for a hot fashion magazine, and she's been totally focused on her career until she meets Jay Lane, street hustler turned writer, and falls in love.

Sounds like a hundred other chick lit books, right? And that's pretty much what I expected when I started reading--there was a lot of fashion name-dropping, all of which went right over my head because you know I couldn't give a rat's ass (which raises the question: why the heck do I like chick lit so much, then?).

But then I started to get to know these characters and it became not just another chick lit book, but a story about real characters that I cared about and wanted to spend time with.

It's a classic case of lovers from opposite backgrounds, and the whole conflict is personified by Pandora. Pandora is a friend of Jay's from his youth, who's her own success story--she's an up-and-coming hairdresser, and she's been carrying a torch for Jay for years. She meets Billie and they become friends, and tells Billie about the guy she's in love with. Jay, however, doesn't know any of that--typical guy-like, he thinks they're just good friends. He also doesn't tell Billie he knows Pandora because he's trying to keep her away from his past.

How the three of them deal with the situation, their various relationships, and how they grow and change as a result--that's what made this a wonderful read.

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