For some reason we (as an entire society…don’t go lying to yourself) are obsessed with actors/actresses. There is just something about them that draws us to their preverbal flame, (like moths hopped up on methamphetamines.) We watch their movies hundreds of times, buy clothing with their name splashed across the front of it, even spend hundreds of dollars a year on magazines full of half-truths, and artfully photo-shopped cellulite riddled thighs. Some of us even spend obscene amounts of time fawning over who is dating who and why, while others of us (myself included) are instinctually programmed to understand that these “people” are untouchable. You watch them, you appreciate them, but then you move on; pay rent, go to work, and embrace reality.
In “FanFare” (by Renee Ahdieh,) Cris Pereira, (a lover of philosophy and devout realist) is about to discover what happens when the lines between reality and fairytale become just a tad bit blurry.
Cris is damaged goods. She knows it, her friends know it, but there is no way she is going to let the rest of the world know it. After being gruesomely dumped by the man she was engaged to be married to, Cris does something she wouldn’t normally do, (if for no other reason than to take her mind off of things,) she agrees to take her cousins to a celebrity guest appearance. But not just ANY guest appearance. Tom Abramson’s guest appearance. The newly famed (and hot to trot) British actor that is currently taking Hollywood by storm. Cris however, is not impressed. She is tired, and instead of smiling and enjoying the view in front of her, she accuses Tom of being racist, slings more than one overly sarcastic zinger at him, and then walks off, leaving Tom in a state of awe. Floored by her unusual behavior Tom tracks her down, demanding attention from the only person who tells him how it is. Unfortunately Cris, (relying on the only thing she knows for reference – aka: her douche of an ex) has a hard time seeing what’s right in front of her. Will Tom be able to break down the wall of insecurity Cris has so skillfully constructed around herself? Will Cris ever realize that she is worth more than a night out at Wendy’s for some chicken nuggets and a Coke, and if she does, will it be to late to find some much needed happiness?
I have to admit… I was pretty damned excited when Jennifer from Revolution Publishing contacted me about this book. Having just come off of such a difficult read (The Book Thief) I was craving something light and indulgent, little did I know…”FanFare” was neither. Yes, this book had it’s airy moments, but overall it was the lessons in forgiveness and the pressures to succeed (in both life and love) that stood out. Ahdieh didn’t go for the easy kill, (i.e.: perfect characters.) Instead, she chose to give credence to “hers” them by making them real. They had flaws, deep ones, that hindered their ability to easily see what was in front of them. They embodied anxiety in regards to their families, and deflected intense moments with wit and sarcasm. Ultimately… something that could have (very easily) morphed into a cheeky love story, turned into something much much more; an enjoyable read with just enough angst to pull at your heart strings.
Now, I’m not entirely certain whether or not Ahdieh has anything else out there in the “book world” to offer (I’m thinking this might be her debut) but I will say that she is an author to keep an eye on, because this little ditty was well written, wonderfully plotted…worth the dough.
Happy Reading my fellow Kindle-ites and remember: You can be surrounded by hoards of people, and still be lonely.
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