The Devil in the Junior League is a laugh out loud, funny book. Well written, great character descriptions and great realism of those that are simply stuck up for little reason. Yes, there's a lot of unrealistic actions, but they only add to the humor.
This book reminds me very much in tone of the book The Help.
The narrator makes this book, although the writing is so witty I purchased it in print as well. Everything is over the top in this book, which is what the narrator has achieved so well. Even her men are well done as the male stereotypes they're supposed to be.
It's light, almost trite, but hysterically delightful. I highly recommend it for a fun read. For me, it made a ten hour drive to and from Atlanta a breeze.
As far as chick lit goes, this was fast paced and extremely funny. I hate "romance type" novels, but this had just the right amount of romance without taking over the story. The narrator was perfect for the part and I could easily visualize all of the characters. Loved it!
The narrator is fabulous and the text captured my interest immediately. She read each character with skill and humor. While the plot may be frivolous, funny and downright unbelievable at times, I loved it and can't wait to hear the sequel. Bravo!
The things that are wrong with this book include:
1. the narrator- There is simply nothing remotely redeemable about the main character of this book. She is shallow, vain, conceited, narcissistic, ignorant, prejudiced, and lacking in basic human compassion. I thought from the sample (which was reasonably funny) that it would be the low point, and she would improve, but no- she remains a horribly unredeemable person throughout without more than the teensiest bit of personal growth;
2. The narrator- the reader of the audio book is not carrying off a Texas accent, but the fact that the book is set in Texas is kind of a big deal throughout. I wouldn't mind if she simply didn't use an accent (many of us Texas girls don't have them and are only identifyible as Texans because we say y'all), but she does use a passable, but also fake sounding, southern accent. Also, though this is probably a problem with the character more than the reader, she is constantly saying "me, Freddie Ware!" and "moi" in a too-loud, obnoxious, irrationally indignant way that grows to be like finger nails on a chalkboard;
3. The writing- If someone is supposed to know French, she should probably have more than 3 words of it repeated ad nauseam. The plot doesn't exactly make a lot of sense either. I won't give spoilers for those who might buy this book despite everything, so I will only say that the money resolution doesn't make sense and the ending scenes were pulled out of nowhere with nothing leading us to think this might conceivably be some kind of solution;
4. The support staff- The only remotely likeable character in this entire book is the bumbling, crude, bizarrely ignorant seeming lawyer, and he is likeable only in comparison. Everyone else is either as shallow and horrible as the main character or a flat stereotype (devoted maid constantly breaking out into Spanish tirades who would stick around when she was not being paid, please).
I did like the use of lists though. It is a good tool. There were some funny parts, but you kind of have to enjoy mean humor to think so, and that gets very old very fast.
I don't exactly understand how I ended up with this book either. I got here from a Joshilyn Jackson book. That book was so amazing that I wanted to try one that came on the "people who bought this also bought...". I sincerely hope that the fact that I bought this book will not encourage it to stay in that list. As far as I can tell , the only thing the books have in common is what people not from either Texas or the South would think of as a common setting which plays an important role in the story. Beware if you are coming from Ms. Jackson's excellent writing and complex characters.
Jenna Lamia, who did an absolutely brilliant job reading "The Help," here does an annoying to the point of nauseating interpretation of a Texas belle. Frede, the main character, cannot believe that her hitherto unimpeachable standing in her Junior League social circle is threatened by her husband's defection. Over and again Frede says something to the effect of 'surely my previous reputation will carry me through, it's me, Frede Ware.' Perhaps the fault is also with the writing but Lamia's reading was a deal-breaker for me.
This entire book read like an episode of Scooby Doo...trite, hokey, predictable, and tedious to anyone past the age of 12. Save your money and watch anything on The Disney Channel instead.
The narrator was great...except when she slide from her Southern accent (albeit very good) into a British accent.
Anger. Why, based on my purchase history, would this be recommended for me?
I would like to get a refund. Sincerely.
Freddie Ware , just a funny book ,and you cant get the sarcasm if you read the print , this narrator does a great job ,
Love her ,she does snotty & prissy so well
I would say this book just kind of ended up in the middle. It was fun but I wasn't dying to listen to it.
I would read another book by this author just because it was at least humorous and an easy book to listen to.
I had not listened to Jenna Lamia before but her performance on this book lead me to purchase another one of her's.