Thursday, January 31, 2008

Monkey Star by Brenda Scott Royce

Monkey Star by Brenda Scott Royce
Copyright 2007
New American Library
341 pages

What led you to pick up this book? The author, bless her heart, read that her first book, Monkey Love, was one of my "smile inducers" in 2007 and that I'm on a book diet . . . and sent me a copy. I love authors. Thank you, Brenda!

Summarize the plot but don't give away the ending. The second book about Holly Heckerling, Monkey Star begins with Holly in a tight spot. Low on money, behind on her rent and unsure about her relationship with boyfriend Tom, Holly agrees to fly from New York to California, where her best friend Carter needs Holly to step in as her Lamaze coach. Carter's husband Danny -- Holly's former stand-up comedy partner -- has landed a part in a romantic comedy film and invites Holly along to the set, where she ends up working as an animal trainer. When the film's leading man takes interest in Holly and money begins to roll in, she starts to wonder if she belongs in Hollywood instead of New York.

What did you like most about the book? I love, love, love the characters. They're unique and quirky. Brenda Scott Royce has a terrific sense of humor and endows all of her characters with unusual, hilarious traits that are (for the most part) believable, if sometimes a little over the top. Maybe it's even the over-the-top aspect that makes them so realistic.

What did you think of the characters? Wait! Didn't I just . . . okay, yeah. I love them. There's an echo in this room. Well, let me just say this . . . I adore Holly's goofy, extended family. The only thing I hate about them is that I want to adopt them all and I can't have them. They're fictional, for one thing (always problematic).

Share a favorite scene from the book: I loved the part in which Holly was stuck in her milk door, particularly when help arrived and she was being tugged at one end and and pushed on the other. Plus, if you like reading about a few good heart-throb male characters (and I do), it's doubly joyful.

In general: Loads of fun. The New York City setting is so wonderful that I was kind of disappointed when Holly flew out to California and stayed there, although it really didn't detract from the story, apart from stretching the suspension of disbelief a bit (the movie star bit). I'm so fond of the characters that I'd probably even enjoy a Holly Heckerling story set in . . . say, Arkansas . . . if it involved Holly, her crazy relatives and her friends. And, any author would be pushing it to set a book in Arkansas.

4/5 - Slightly slow development at times, but overall an excellent contemporary read, definitely above average for the uniqueness of its characters. I would highly recommend this book for people who enjoy light, contemporary fiction that will occasionally embarrass you if you read it in public (you know, the snort thing . . . like when you read a Janet Evanovich or a really good Bill Bryson in a waiting room without a TV--although, I'm pretty sure there is no such thing, anymore, as a quiet waiting room).

Added to the reading list, today: Cotillion by Georgette Heyer

Why do I torment myself by balancing so many books? I'm fickle. And, maybe just a little on the ADD side. But, you knew that, right?

Weather report: Save us!! The weather in Vicksburg has been utterly, completely hideous. Kiddo had a day off from school, yesterday, thanks to a power outage caused by Tuesday's storms. Today, he returned to school but deputies were directing traffic because much of the power was still out, including the traffic lights . . . and it stormed, again. One of Will's classes had to be moved to a room with working lights and then a tornado watch meant they had to duck out of another. On the plus side, his day off gave us a little extra time to fetch things from Hobby Lobby (in Jackson) for a project we'd done a bad job of helping him toss together. There, I'm ending on a positive note. Go, me.

Where the heck have the wahoos gone? Oh, sorry. a) I'm forgetful and b) the weather has been so awful for so long that I haven't taken more than a dozen photographs in the past two weeks -- and they were all photos of book covers and the new car. I just feel silly wahooing without any photographs. Pray the weather changes, soon, if you're craving a wahoo post.

This photo makes me happy:

And, this man obviously played chess before, um, "The Incident". His relatives still talk in hushed tones and scorn boards with squares upon them:

Umm, okay.

Bookfool, whose head periodically feels explosive for reasons other than deep thinking


  1. We just got the most horrendous weather in the world! I thought Katrina came back for a second...but it only lasted about 15 minutes. Now the heavy stuff is gone and we just have that annoying rain.

    Monkey Star sounds really good, but a little too on the chic-lit side for me ;)

  2. Chris,

    We had some fierce weather, too -- lots of limbs crashing against the roof. And, now it's just cold, wet and dreary. I actually hydroplaned a little, on the way home from picking Will up from school. Even when it stops, the puddly spots are dangerous. Wish I could just stay in (have to fetch kiddo from swimming, in a bit).

    I don't think Monkey Star is your thing. I loved it, but . . . nope. Have you read Neuromancer? It's completely dreary but it's interesting. I stopped reading it because I wanted sweetness and light, but I'll get back to it.

  3. Well, the book sounds wonderful, the weather horrible, and I miss your wa-hooing.

    And that bit about the exploding head has to be a joke, right?


  4. Monkey Star looks like such fun! I don't think I'd heard about this one until you started talking about it. Enabler! Thank you! lol

  5. Oh, yeah, the exploding head stuff. I clicked the link, came up positive on 4 or 5 of the 7 symptoms, and posted my take on the whole thing. (CJ, maybe you shouldn't read what I wrote.) Here 'tis:

  6. For some reason when you posted about getting Monkey Star, I thought it was children's picture book! lol

    I'll be looking forward to your thoughts on that Georgette Heyer-I've only read Beauvallet, and I'm trying to decide which of hers I should read next!

  7. Awwww, c'mon.

    It was in the Weekly World News. That's the paper that talks about aliens visiting the president.

    I'm naturally a doubting person so I check things six ways to Sunday. Snopes has an article on the exploding heads thing:


    if spontaneous human combustion is possible...


  8. The weather here in Italy has gone back to bleak. It's so foggy today I could hardly see the car in front of me driving to work this morning.

    Looks like a cute book. I need to start with Monkey Love I think.

  9. Bonnie,

    CJ corrected me. I'm not allowed to have fun posting ridiculous links, so I'm going to change the post. Oh, well. Guess your head isn't going to blow up. It wouldn't have been fun, though.


    I would never have thought of that, just because I've read the book. But, it does have a rather child-like cover, doesn't it?

    So far, so good on Cotillion. I had to read the first two pages twice, in order to figure out who was whom, but I've enjoyed it since I realized George is also the baron and Hugh is the minister and blah, blah.


    I've never heard of the Weekly World News. I was actually looking for an image of an exploding head because my own noggin felt like it was going to burst, at the time. However, I do believe in aliens (presidential visitors or not). And, I'm not a deep thinker, anyway . . . so there was never a need to wrap my head in a cloth and meditate for preventive purposes.

    I love snopes. And, I try to give people who spontaneously combust a wide berth because I'm not into hotness. It's why I dislike living in the South. Nope, give me cold and people who have icy digits.


    Oh, let us commiserate. We need coffee and some kind of chocolaty, muffiny thing to properly moan about weather. "Oh, the fog!" you'll say. I'll nod and take a bite. "Mrrhpfrin," I'll add. And, you'll look at me with that piercing, "What the hell?" gaze and then I'll swallow and say, "Rain! Stupid rain!" and you'll nod vigorously and mentally list alternative friends you could have had a muffin with, instead.

    Monkey Love was even better. I couldn't put Monkey Star down, but Monkey Love . . . I wanted her life, snake and all. Okay, no, forget the snake.

  10. Revised version of earlier reply:


    The book is terrific, the weather sucks and thank you.

    Of course it's a joke. But, Bonnie is definitely on the verge. I suggest we send her one of those terry-cloth stretchy things that tennis players wear. And, duck.


    I live to enable.

  11. Nancy, you mean thinking too hard won't cause a cranial explosion? Aww, shucks! And I had this whole thing figured out, when I would die (based on an online questionnaire) and how (based on my gigantic mental abilities causing such a series of cerebral electricity to swirl around that my head would explode). Darn! You (er, I mean, CJ) has ruined my day. I guess that means I'll have to find some other way to die?

  12. Now see what you've gone and done, Nancy! I went back to check that Death Clock again, and now it says I'm gonna die on Monday, July 8, 2019. Hey! That's a full 15 years earlier than it told me in August! I must be going downhill fast.

    If you want to check out that Death Clock, you'll find a link on my blog:

  13. Bonnie,

    I know, such a let-down.

    I'm not interested in something as morbid as a "death clock". I'm into upbeat. I'm into "never say die". I'm into pretending you'll live forever or planning to go to Oregon to create your own freaking ending if some nasty disease thwarts your efforts.


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