Saturday, December 21, 2013
Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend
Allison Rushby, 2013
Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I have enjoyed some other books by Rushby so I was intrigued to discover that she had written a book about a heroine obsessed with Marilyn Monroe. Though I'm not a big Monroe fan, I do enjoy many of her films and I understand the magnetism that continues to draw people to her even half a century after her death.
In this book, thirteen year-old Nessa Joanne Mulholland is boarding a cruise ship with her sociologist father for him to conduct interviews and further his research. This setting reminds her of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and miraculously movie star Holly Isles catches on to her quoting of the film, leading to Nessa thinking that they have a connection. To strengthen that relationship, Nessa starts giving Holly relationship advice to aid in finding the Perfect Man and meddles to an extraordinary degree with more than a few lies thrown on to the fire.
So many of Nessa's actions left me cringing! Since she is the narrator, I could see how she acted from a place of good intentions. But she was manipulative and lying (in particular about her age, giving it as sixteen; I can't imagine being mistaken for sixteen when I was thirteen, I still tend to get seventeen/eighteen as a twenty-four year old) and I knew nothing good comes of that for book characters. Luckily this is played as a comedy and everything turns toward a happily ever after with two more books to come, allowing Nessa to fully relish her Marilyn indulgence. It's pretty predictable; as Nessa tries to script a similar outcome as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, the reader is likely to notice a love story blossoming that she overlooks.
However the characters are sweet and endearing. If you're looking for a cute contemporary, this might fit the bill especially if you're a Marilyn fan as well!