Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Novel Idea by Aimee Friedman

Pages: 234

Required reading has never been so hot.
Once upon a time there was a Brooklyn hipster named Norah. Unlucky in love, and short on extracurriculars for her college apps, Norah decided to start a book group. She knew the perfect locale--a local indie bookstore with a crush-worthy cutie manning the soy latte counter.
When the first meeting arrives, Norah gets a page-turning surprise. The attendees may be bookish, but there are also a few hotties! Most noteworthy: sweet, literary James. He's like a modern Jane Austen hero....Only, how to snag him?
Ever the romantic heroine, Norah devises a secret plan. And if it works, Norah may just find her "Happily Ever After" love story. The End.


Norah Bloom seems to come up a bit short when it comes to her extracurriculars for her college applications. With the help of Audre--Norah's quirky, self-assured skinny-cord-leopard-print-wearing best friend--Griffin--the "cutie manning the soy latte counter"--and Scott--her gayish best friend who is the infinite confidence booster, and probably the most organized person she knows--Norah builds up her own a group based on what she likes to do most. Drink lattes and read. As the members pile in--some accidentally, some by obligation--Norah has a revelation when she realizes that she has a lot more in common with one particular member, and needs to devise a plan to snatch him up because she knows it's up to her to make the next step. After staying up one night reading one of her secret romance paperbacks, Norah finds that she has the to needs to lure James into her feminine entrapment.
Using her younger sister, Norah finds that she can actually look pretty decent with some make-up ans the *cough* right clothes. Using her best friend's college-ruled brother and James's best friend, Neil, she tries to make James a green-eyed monster--not totally unsuccessful, fortunately. Both times hilarious with just a pitch of humiliation. Using Philippa Askance, her favorite novel-writer of all time, as a common ground; this mix-matched group are bound together by some soon-to-be-unveiled secrets that reveal the full potential if their book group. And if some of these events aren't shockingly hilarious enough, get ready to be writhing on the floor when you come upon the ending. Where just one slight, whispered statement from James unravels everything. I guarantee that by the time you finish A Novel Idea, it will make you want to get a hold of the nearest guy handy and say "pucker up, dammit." Who knew that Norah was going to end up being one of those subway-couples that she "used to" make her gag.
A Novel Idea is one of the first romantic-comedies I have ever read. It's witty, comical, passionate (especially for reading, which was what really drew my attention to this book). It met my comedic expectations as a YA reviewer, which I really wish more YA books had, a laughing side. It gives a good name for all other RCs out there. Recommended to the single (and coupled) gals out there who want to read something they can laugh at, blush, and say "aww" too.

Grade: B



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