Reviewed by L.D.Y.
Trade, 355 pages, 2007
Reason for Reading: I hadn’t yet read Crane’s first novel, Stupid and Contagious, but that’s no reason to delay reading her second book, right?
Synopsis: Jordan Landau is a pushover, and her life seems to be full of people willing to take advantage of that fact: the boyfriend that cheats, the boss that steals her marketing ideas, even her own mother can’t believe she’d do anything worthwhile without her pushy ideas. So when Jordan is hit by a car when riding her bicycle, she does the only reasonable-seeming thing: she decides to fake amnesia. A do-over. Life on her terms, with a whole new attitude. But as Jordan will start to see, ‘fake it till you make it’ isn’t so simple, and despite her dedication to keeping up the act, she may hurt a lot of people while selling herself short…
Why you should read this book: Jordan is the sort of character that almost any twenty-something woman will see herself in – and be glad for it, because despite the flaws there’s a lot of humour and a strong streak of independence, even though it may get covered up at times. We’ve all felt that desperate need for change in our lives, but thankfully for the reader, faked amnesia provides a lot more humour (and opportunities for revenge) than the more typical (and admittedly more reasonable) action of moving to a new city for a fresh start. Crane also presents Jordan’s love interests as near-equals so you actually get to keep guessing about what will happen instead of having the typical ‘of course she’d wind up with him reaction. Wonderfully written, Forget About It will give you a mix of the coziness of chick lit served up with a little extra spice..
Why you should avoid this book: The idea of a young woman moving from being a pushover to a more assertive, in-control type is hardly earth-shattering in the chick-lit genre (more like the definition), but at least Crane does the ‘down-trodden 20-something’ part of the novel with a lot of humour and faked-amnesia idea gives it a lot of originality.
I got married when I was seven years old. I remember it like it was yesterday. I married my next-door neighbor Todd Beckett. Typically male (though atypically unaware of the delights of conjugal benefits, as that wasn’t in our second grade curriculum), Todd was against the whole affair – totally commitmentphobic – but he went along with it since we had nothing better to do that day. My best friend, Catherine Parker, presided over the ceremony.
I couldn’t take the hair in my face any longer. ‘Do you think you guys can maybe roll up your windows please?’
‘It’s a beautiful day, honey, enjoy it. You’re always holed up in that city apartment. The fresh air will do you good.’
If it wasn’t already unbearable enough, as my mother was uttering the last word of her sentence and I was opening my mouth to object – a bug flew in the back window and straight into my mouth. I started freaking out, making faces, flailing around, spitting…all of which my mom caught in her rearview mirror.
‘Jordan! What’s the matter with you?’
‘Remember this?’ he said as he leaned in and started tonguing my ear. No warning. No warm-up. Not even a kiss or a touch. Just all of a sudden Dirk’s tongue was thrashing around in my ear. It was revolting. I jerked away from him and his tongue, and looked around desperately for a Kleenex, which was obviously not going to materialize.
‘What is that? What was that?’ I practically shrieked.
‘You loved it – used to at least. It was the patented Michael Dirkson Ear Extravaganza.’
Also recommended: Miss Understanding by Stephanie Lessing; The Continuity Girl by Leah McLaren; Everyone Else’s Girl by Megan Crane.
Also by this author: Stupid and Contagious.
Author’s website: capricecrane.com
Fun tidbit: Crane’s mother is Tina Louise, best known for her role as Ginger on Gilligan’s Island.
Would I read more by this author? I went back and read Stupid and Contagious after I finished this and I’ll be reading all future books from Crane as well.
© Lisa Yanaky 2003-2008