A Total Waste of Makeup by Kim Gruenenfelder
St. Martin's Griffin (December 27th, 2005)
Charlize "Charlie" Edwards certainly knows, in theory, what it takes to lead a successful and happy life. She owns a nice house in Silverlake, LA's trendiest neighborhood. She has glamorous and loyal friends who accompany her to the hottest clubs in town. And she works as the personal assistant to Drew Stanton, Hollywood's sexiest movie star. But she's also turning 30, chronically single, and faced with serving as maid of honor at her younger sister's wedding. Charlie finds herself struggling to juggle the chaos of wedding planning (while wondering if she'll ever wear the white dress herself), her all-consuming job for lunatic boss Stanton, and a serious crush on Jordan, a photographer on the set of Drew's latest feature--a man who might actually return her feelings.
I can't rave enough about this novel! Yes, it falls into the chick-lit genre, but it's completely devoid of the vapid, two-dimensional characters and highly unlikely escapades that are all too common in women's fiction. And, If that wasn't enough of a reason to pick it up, it's hilarious too.
Charlie is a perfect heroine - smart, funny and flawed, she will remind you of, well, you. What pushes this novel to the top are the great secondary characters. Her friends and family were all pretty realistic and well drawn out. Each brought their own brand of humor to the story as well as added to it's depth. Not only was I able to see bits of my family and friends amongst them, but I also found myself identifying with Charlie's utter embarassment at their hands.
Gruenenfelder is going right up there next to Sophie Kinsella for me (which is saying a lot).