REVIEW: True Lies of a Drama Queen by Lee Nichols
Dear Ms. Nichols:
What can I say? You did warn me in your title that your heroine is a drama queen. Perhaps I should give you an A+ on fulfilling your promise. Because the book about Elle Medina and her life, loves, and pursuit of happiness was marred constantly by your grating heroine. I am sure you know the sobriquet “drama queen” is not a compliment. It is the defintion of a myopic heroine who cannot see beyond the tips of her tits to see the world beyond.
Elle Medina is a fake psychic who struggles to make ends meet. She has a great boyfriend, Merrick, who she refuses to call by his first name (Louis) because that is the name of her former fiance who dumped her for an Iowan. Merrick wants her to move in and grow up. He encourages her to attend college to get her masters degree so that she can be a real counselor instead of giving advice over her 900 Pyschic Connexion hotline. Elle’s life is further complicated by the fact that she was surreptiously videotaped while prancing around a local dressing room and this tape is put on the internet.
Perhaps I am too much of an adult for this story. Elle is so irresponsible that she views an $18,000 school loan as a way to fund her clothing purchases, who continues to spend money that she does not have, and accepts a suit (and a bustier) in exchange for being publicly violated and humiliated. And she wasn’t a very good friend. Her best friend Maya is getting married and Elle is constantly critisizing Maya’s wedding choices: location, food, invitations, dress, etc. And when Maya does go along with Elle’s choice on a dress, Elle determines that her bridesmaid’s dress will totally outshine Maya and then goes to unreasonable lengths to make herself ugly so that Maya will be more beautiful. Ego much, Elle? I was uncertain why Maya, Merrick or anyone liked Elle.
The sad thing is that you have the ability to write funny scenes. And the idea of Elle wanting two gay men to be her best friends and that said couple constantly dismissing her was a hilarious underplot. It’s that thread and a few other funny scenes that save the book from being a total loss. Elle does manage to grow up in the last two chapters of the book but it wasn’t sufficient to ameliorate the dislike that was built up in the previous chapters. I know I’ve said it a million times before, but in a chick lit book the entire success rests upon the shoulders of the unbalanced heroine. This book fell off. C- for you.