Saturday, January 24, 2009

Glitter Baby by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Fleur Savagar is the most beautiful woman in the world . . . to everyone but herself. With her oversized hands and paddle-boat feet, her streaky blond hair and funny green eyes, she lives a life filled with secrets that began before she was born. That was when her bewitching mother left home to find James Dean and met Errol Flynn instead. Now Fleur has to grow up quickly, and life won't make that easy.

Jake Koranda is both New York's most brilliant playwright and Hollywood's hottest actor. Difficult, talented, and tormented, he has no patience for international glamour girls, not even ones with beautiful bodies and smart-aleck mouths. But there's more to the Glitter Baby than shine, and Fleur's tougher than Jake expects. Even with the odds stacked against her, she's fiercely determined to discover the woman she's destined to be.

I think that this book is officially one of the weirdest romances I've ever read. The beginning was full of all this random depressing intro about her mother/fathers/stepfather, and even when I thought things were going to be looking up, it all went crashing to the ground! Fleur's mother Belinda is a depressing, mostly non-sympathetic character, that even after life has officially ground her into the dirt, her selfishness makes the reader unsure about whether they care or not. Fleur and Jake are another unique couple. I've read Phillips before, and most of my problems with her books stem from overly alpha men (meaning they're so alpha they're complete jerks) but this time he wasn't so obviously mean to the 'heroine', but still he ended up almost destroying her. And if you're about to point out that this is obviously part of the story meant to help instill suspense about when they happy ending will finally arrive, I KNOW. I still say that the way Phillips separated the sections, with page holders giving hints to Fleur's state of mind, were strange breaks and the way she handled the time line seemed to make me more confused rather than less. In the end the story wasn't a complete loss, the bad guy is defeated, the winners go off into the sunset, and mostly everyone gets what they deserve. But it was still really hard to get into and the lack of Phillips' ability to create sympathy in me for her characters make this a less satisfying romance read than most.