Foto dell'autore

Elissa Sussman

Autore di Funny You Should Ask

7 opere 1,023 membri 24 recensioni


Opere di Elissa Sussman

Funny You Should Ask (2022) 571 copie
Stray (2014) 200 copie
Once More with Feeling (2023) 179 copie
Burn (Stray) (2016) 47 copie
Drawn That Way (2021) 24 copie


Informazioni generali




Friends/Enemies to lovers with music is one of my favorite kinds of books. Kathleen, Cal, and Harriet met when they were teenagers at Curtain Call Summer Camp. After the camp, Kathleen and Cal got their big break as teen pop idols. Kathleen was Katee Rose pop princess and Cal was in a boy band with Katee's boyfriend, Ryan, called CrushZone. They toured together and all was great until Katee cheated on Ryan with Cal. Hurt feelings of both boys and negative publicity ended Katee's career and her friendship with Cal and Ryan. Forward 10 years and, Harriet, Kathleen's BFF and songwriter, has written a musical with a part written for Kathleen. Kathleen's excitement turns to horror as she meets the Director, Cal. Can Kathleen work with the man she betrayed years ago? Will he forgive Kathleen? The ups and downs of their relationship made this a fun read. However, at times it was too much. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves the friends/enemies to lovers trope.… (altro)
tami317 | 3 altre recensioni | Feb 23, 2024 |
First things first, the cover is really weird right? Not in a bad way, in a 'what is going on here novel explain it to me' sort of way. Since I read an e-ARC I'm interested to see how it looks in real life. Secondly I freely admit that the first part of this book is of more interest to me then the second latter half. Without spoilers I found Aislynn's life at the Academy and with Linnea to be fascinating and wanted to know more about it.

I felt bad for Aislynn; you could tell from the start that she was so desperate to fit into the life being laid out for her even as she had her doubts. Seen through her eyes the entire system is horrific. Truly, utterly horrific. There's no room for another life--either you marry and uphold the "traditions" or you are regulated to a chaste, loveless life as a "Fairy Godmother". Want something different? So sad too bad you're earmarked as an enemy of the state (a "Stray") and condemned as "evil".

Sussman has used the bare bones of fairy tales and crafted an intriguing, disturbing world where who you shouldn't try to be more then you are (men or women). Women using magic, even in defense of themselves or their loved ones is considered too dangerous to allow. Men who didn't control their women were just as penalized quite frankly, though not as overtly. Men who sympathized or aided the "Strays" were hunted and condemned as well.

Its not a great world for anyone with a thought in their head honestly. This is a book filled with harsh class structures, oppressive societal pressure and worst of all, you can't trust anyone. Aislynn tries, oh she tries so so hard, to be what everyone wants her to be. She tries to live the "true path" she tries to fit in and be the perfect devout follower.

Aislynn's life, both before and after she is condemned to be a Fairy Godmother, at the Academy was of the most interest to me. Even after she is sent to be a Fairy Godmother Aislynn believes in the Path, which I think illustrated something I think a lot of fantasy books in YA land tend to overlook. Aislynn didn't get betrayed and suddenly find the light about how wrong her world was, she accepted (if not happily) that what happened to her was part of the culture. Did she want more? Sure. But she thought the "more" could be attained by proving herself ever more devout. She was a believer and believers need more then a socially approved sanction for misbehavior to break that faith.

Outside of the Academy things get a bit more twisty and I admit I lost some interest. Josetta and the "Strays" are (of course) not what they appear to be because (of course) propaganda being what it is those in charge didn't want folk thinking there was any alternative to their abusive system. Not to say either side is completely on the side of Angels, but well one is more right then the other.

As a subverted fairy tale fantasy this works really well. Sussman does a good job of taking those pieces and hijacking our expectations. Often for darker purposes (looking at you Fairy Godmothers...though in truth they always kind of creeped me out), but sometimes to illustrate how our expectations are what really deluded us (a Prince will not always save you for the right reasons...).

Definitely a recommended read and I look forward to seeing what happens next!
… (altro)
lexilewords | 8 altre recensioni | Dec 28, 2023 |
This book genuinely feels so cinematic as I'm reading it. The plot and the characters make decisions that would never in a million years be translated to reality but it was still very charming. And funny, I laughed out loud several times which is rare for me.
madsnichs | 8 altre recensioni | Oct 29, 2023 |
This was charming. Gabe is a full on dreamboat, and Chani is so relatable, the awkwardness of finding her path felt familiar, and I really just liked her. I have mentioned before that while some of my favorite characters in literature are wildly unlikable, in romance I need to like the MCs because no one wants an asshole to live happily ever after.

For those who don't know the backstory, IRL Edith Zimmerman wrote a GQ profile of Chris Evans just as he was preparing to premiere as Captain America. She basically spent 3 days following him around and maybe trying to shag him, and it is one of the best celebrity profiles ever written (GR won't let me link, but Google Chris Evans, Edith Zimmerman, and GQ and you can get it. Anyway . . . The article went viral, and made Zimmerman a little famous and a lot infamous. Elissa Sussman took that foundation and ran with it in creating this fictionalized version of those three days, and then covering the characters' parting and next decade. Both MCs are smart, very verbal, and exceptionally charming and there are a couple of very good side characters, I especially liked Oliver. It did not hurt that Sussman and I have a few shared interests. Among other things, she repeatedly refers to GoFugYourself and as a fellow member of Fug Nation I loved that, and from her section on "The Novelist" and "the literary Jonathans" I suspect we read many of the same things. I truly liked the read, but I didn't get as absorbed in the story as I love to do, especially in romance. That total immersion, where the world melts away, never happened. and it is that (in addition to good writing, good character development, sexy banter and sexy sex) that makes for a 5-star romance for me. I think here the impediment to immersion was the quite short alternating "then" and "now" chapters. That nearly always kills momentum - something is happening, your heart races, you get invested in what comes next, and then suddenly it is 10 years earlier and it feels like the writer slammed on the breaks and you have been hurtled through the metaphorical windshield. Anyway, it was a super-fun if imperfect read, and Sussman really knows how to write.… (altro)
Narshkite | 8 altre recensioni | Aug 1, 2023 |


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