Saturday, June 13, 2009

Book Review ~ Ms. Taken Identity

Team a frustrated male writer with a hairdresser and her dancing friends and you will be left with a witty, and fun summer read worth donning your sunglasses for! June 22nd be prepared for a twist on chick-lit which may turn the genre on its head! Chick-lit is not just by chicks for chicks any longer and Dan Begley has proven that delving into the seemingly exclusive club of the female world can be accomplished even when peering at it through the frosted glass of the male perspective. Begley has entered the world of feminine pop-culture and survived but can his protagonist Mitch Samuels, crack the chick-lit code with as much skill as his creator?
Mitch Samuels is a university instructor and a writer whose dreams of publication are being dashed by constant manuscript rejections. Even his most precocious student appears to be overcoming him in a race to success. But when Mitch stumbles into one of those hideous bookstore chains he would normally never step foot in and inadvertently meets famous chick-lit writer, Katherine Longwell, Mitch's dream takes a bit of a detour. How hard could it be to write some frivolous, nonsensical, lightweight chick-lit novel? All it takes is a little research into the female psyche.
Mitch embarks on a little research buoyed by his best friend's suggestion to visit his hairstylist sister's dance classes. Mitch hates dancing and obsessions with hair and fashion. To avoid self-consciousness and embarrassment Mitch takes on a new identity--Jason pharmaceutical rep. Little does Mitch know the people he once scoffed at and made the butt of jokes are not as superficial as he might have imagined! It's a case of "Ms. Taken Identity": Mitch "Ms. Taken" for Jason, Mitch "Ms. Taken" for his nom du plume Bradley, females "Ms. Taken" as frivolous, and a book written by a man "Ms. Taken" as chick-lit! Many of the people Mitch thought he knew--his father, his student nemesis, his best friend--have personalities and identities far different from those he had endowed them with.

As I've written before I am a closet chick-lit fan so when I saw a man's name attached to a book emanating the chick-lit vibe I was a little doubtful! With a male protagonist it may not be chick-lit at all--"dude-lit" perhaps?! Begley did a wonderful job however of maintaining that lighthearted, "what-goes-through-your-mind" flow that is quintessential chick-lit style while adding the frivolity which can also be part of the male psyche--sex, sex, sex! Begley's creation is a great mix of pop-culture and literary references, humour, romance, and that touch of introspective sadness...oh, and perhaps a happy ending?!

Ms. Taken Identity by Dan Begley is set for publication June 22nd by 5 Spot {Grand Central Publishing}! Disguised as chick-lit or not Ms. Taken Identity is a clever novel ideal for summer vacation reading. Hit the book store this month and pack this beach bag essential for your summer excursions!

1 comment:

  1. This sounds really funny! I think I will add it to my summer reads!