By Its Cover is my completely independent 2-part book review column. Selections are made based entirely on the book's cover. I'm testing the old saying in my quest to find new authors.
Title: Stupid and Contagious
Author: Caprice Crane
I finished this blindingly fast, as is often the case with chick lit books. They're heavy on conversation- short, quippy/quirky dialogue that's a breeze to read. At points it was laugh-out-loud funny.
There were two main characters, a guy and a girl. Yeah, you can see where this is going. It's told in a kinda past/present first-person narrative, usually in alternating chapters. I think this was a risk because first person is such an intimate way of telling a story. The cover says the girl, named Heaven, is the 'sexy heroine'. But I think the guy, a late-twenty-something aspiring inventor/record producer named Brady, completely upstages her. He's a more full-drawn character, for as deep as chick-lit gets. Or perhaps it was my budding entrepreneur-ness that connected, in the reader-ly way, with his trying, failing and flailing.
There is a good deal of language in this. Call me a prude, (and a frequent reader of old British classics) but I felt I should let you know. Some of the plot points felt contrived or forced page-eaters that could have been left out- the original firing of Heaven, the Kurt Cobain gun incident. And the ending could have been a little less fairy-tale if only one of the two things happening. Rarely in life do you get it all. But I guess we read books, fiction books, to escape life.