Saturday, July 7, 2007

The Starter Wife by Gigi Levangie Grazer

The Starter Wife is the rare book that is actually better onscreen than in print. I enjoyed the book, but not nearly as much as I enjoyed the mini-series.

The Starter Wife tells the story of Gracie, a hollywood wife that is dumped weeks before her 10th anniversary (when her pre-nup would have expired) by her husband, Kenny Pollack. Suddenly finding herself single and without means in Hollywood, Gracie is able to "house-sit" for her friend Joan at her million dollar house in the Malibu Colony. Gracie searches for love and tries to find herself. After changing everything about herself to fit in with the Hollywood crowd, she is able to take a step back and think about what she really wants out of life.

The book was not nearly as riviting as the mini series. I found myself not as intrigued as I wanted to be, and frankly annoyed by some of the attempts to make the novel cool by dropping actors names. It just dates the novel. The mini series fleshed out the side characters a LOT better. I really liked Cricket, Joan, Lou, etc. a lot better on the show. They had more of a back story, more conflict, and were much more three dimensional. I really liked Lou on the show and couldn't believe what happened to him in the novel. The mini-series was much funnier and I actually wanted her to end up with Lou!

I also liked the name changes on the mini-series. Having Debra Messing play a woman named Gracie with a gay friend named Will would not have worked. Kudos on the renamed "Molly" and "Rodney." I don't really like how it is Will and Gracie in the novel. It sounds too much like the TV show. I also liked how Britney Spears (Kenny's new girlfriend) is renamed Shoshanna on the mini-series. I don't think a real person's name should have been used in the novel.

One thing I did like better about the book was the ending. Much more fairy tale and much more of an ending I was expecting on the mini-series. I didn't really like the end that much on the mini-series. Sure it's more realistic, but I like the fairy tale darn it! :-)

So overall, I say watch the mini-series over reading the book. If you are interested in the mini-series, the book isn't bad, but it's not the world's best chick lit either!

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