Monday, March 28, 2016
Playing the Part
I've just discovered a new favorite author.
I got to review Playing the Part, by Jen Turano, and it's just the cutest book. It takes your typical boy rescues girl love story and turns it on it's side by having the girl very much not want to be rescued.
Lucetta is an interesting heroine. She's an independent woman of means, who chooses to be an actress because she's good at it, and she enjoys it. When she finds herself in trouble, a friend takes her to a relative's house to hide. Only... the "house" is a castle, and the relative is a man with an over-active hero gene. He rescues animals. He rescues people. And now, he appears to want to rescue her.
Several parts in the story made me giggle, such as when she "faints" to distract everyone, and he carries her to her room. In the tower. Up rather a lot of stairs. From page 64: "47, 48, 49...You're really quite sturdy, aren't you, Miss Plum? 50..." In his defense, he thinks she's passed out, but of course she's just acting.
Playing the Part pokes fun at our preconceived ideas of what others will be like when we don't know them. I could so relate to that from our adoption of Hannah. I thought we were adopting a poor little waif who needed coddling, and I got a bright, funny, spunky, amazing little girl, with the best eyebrow expressions ever. In the book, Bram thinks he knows Lucetta because he's seen her act, but she's nothing at all like the characters she plays on stage. He's disappointed to discover that she's practical and smart and not in need of rescue.
Page 123 has Lucetta confessing, "Apparently, I'm difficult." This made me laugh out loud, because Paul and I have often said to each other, "I'm sorry I'm cranky," and had the other reply, "I'm sorry you're cranky, too!" I know I'm difficult, and I appreciate him putting up with me anyway.
I really enjoyed this book, and I'm delighted to discover the author has written several others, including at least one with some of the same characters. I'm going to have to keep an eye out at the library.
Speaking of characters, she does a good job making them distinct. Even those who come late to the tale are fascinating. Bram meets Lucetta's good friend Millie and says, "She's a little frightening, isn't she?" Lucetta doesn't miss a beat when she replies, "This coming from a man who owns his own dungeon."
I'm leaving out a good bit, but you'll want to get to the meat of the story on your own. I don't want to spoil it for you! Give Playing the Part an audition. I'm sure you'll be nominating it for Adorable Story, as well.
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