Hissy Fit

( 263 )

Overview

Keeley Murdock's wedding to A.J. Jernigan should have been the social event of the season. But all bets are off when she catches her fiancé doing the deed with her maid of honor at the country club rehearsal dinner. The wedding's off, too, as Keeley pitches the hissy fit of the century, earning herself instant notoriety in the small town of Madison, Georgia.

Now A.J.'s unscrupulous banking family is bringing financial pressure to bear on Keeley's interior design business. But a ...

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Overview

Keeley Murdock's wedding to A.J. Jernigan should have been the social event of the season. But all bets are off when she catches her fiancé doing the deed with her maid of honor at the country club rehearsal dinner. The wedding's off, too, as Keeley pitches the hissy fit of the century, earning herself instant notoriety in the small town of Madison, Georgia.

Now A.J.'s unscrupulous banking family is bringing financial pressure to bear on Keeley's interior design business. But a redheaded stranger in a vintage yellow Cadillac is riding to her rescue. Will Mahoney, the new owner of a failing local bra plant, is about to offer the designing woman just what she needs: a plum decorating assignment, a chance to clear her name, and a golden opportunity to give her cheating varmint of an ex-fiancé the comeuppance he so richly deserves.

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Editorial Reviews

Nashville Tennessean
“A good old-fashioned romp with a modern Southern belle taking no prisioners...entertains on many levels.
Entertainment Weekly
“Southern-fried romp...the furnishing descriptions are scrumptious and the love story’s sweet.”
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“Laced with humor and a sense of place that oozes the aroma of magnolia blossoms.”
Memphis Commercial Appeal
“Aimed at the shopaholics among us.”
Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press
“There’s plenty of substance here for fans of dark comedy and high-end interior design.”
St. Petersburg Times
“Sweet and light and fun.”
Star News (Wilmington
“When Andrews throws a fun ‘Hissy Fit,’ just give up, give in...entertaining.”
Star News (Wilmington))
"When Andrews throws a fun ‘Hissy Fit,’ just give up, give in...entertaining."
Star News (Wilmington)
"When Andrews throws a fun ‘Hissy Fit,’ just give up, give in...entertaining."
Publishers Weekly
Interior decorator Keeley Rae Murdock has designed her whole life, right down to the antique Oriental rug planned for the foot of her bed. What she never counted on was discovering her fiance, A.J. Jernigan, cavorting with her maid of honor in the middle of her rehearsal dinner. She pitches a hissy fit that reverberates through her tiny hometown of Madison, Ga., and captures the attention of Will Mahoney, a newcomer who recently purchased an antebellum plantation house. Headstrong, freckled Will pressures Keeley to restore the rundown mansion within six months. His plan: to woo a woman whom he has seen only on television by designing the house of her dreams by Christmas. Keeley knows it's an insane plan, but the Jernigans are now trying to put her out of business, so she begrudgingly accepts. As the house comes together, Keeley discovers links between the Jernigan legacy of infidelity and her mother's disappearance many years ago. Darker than the book's fluffy title suggests, this black comedy is riven with shocking secrets. And Keeley's vast knowledge of all things antique offers a fascinating peek into the luscious world of designer home furnishing, sure to make readers drool with envy over sideboards and sofas. Agent, Stuart Krichevsky. (Aug. 22) Forecast: Andrews's Little Bitty Lies built on the success of Savannah Blues, and this sharp Southern treat should bump Andrews up another notch. 12-city author tour. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
When 28-year-old interior designer Keeley Murdock catches her fianc with her maid of honor at her wedding rehearsal dinner, she pitches a hissy fit worthy of the Guinness Book of World Records. Then she meets Will Mahoney, the cute new owner of the town's local bra plant, who offers her a ride home. The next day, he gives her something else-a contract to decorate the historic home he's just purchased. Money is no object, but Keeley has to figure out how to make the d cor reflect the lofty visions of Will's prospective bride (the hitch: he's never met her). Readers who enjoy books set in the South that deal with love, friendship, and getting even (e.g., Anne Klein's The Ride to Dinah's Wedding) will find themselves laughing out loud at this latest novel by Andrews (Little Bitty Lies). For fiction collections of all sizes. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 5/15/04.]-Shelley Mosley, Glendale Community Coll. Lib. Media Ctr., AZ Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Southern belle raises a ruckus. Keeley Murdock always had the best of everything-and her upcoming wedding to A.J. Jernigan is just going to be peachy. Why, each guest will receive a precious little Limoges box with the names of the bride and groom hand-lettered in genuine 14-karat gold, just for starters. They've got to do things right, since it seems like everybody spent a small fortune on her and A.J.-and when the guests get done pawing through the heap of expensive wedding gifts at the Sip 'N See tea, maybe Keeley will calm down a little. Or maybe not. Just what is her best friend and bridesmaid Paige doing with A.J. on the boardroom table at the Oconee Hills Country Club? Why is A.J. hiccupping the way he always does when he has an orgasm? It's time to burst through that door and have a good old-fashioned-you guessed it-hissy fit. The wedding is off! A.J. decamps, using their honeymoon tickets not long after. Keeley will survive, though this is a mess that even her doting daddy can't fix. He's been trying to make her life perfect ever since her mother disappeared 25 years ago. And so has Keeley, an upscale interior decorator who's awfully particular about details. But her heart's in the right place. She complains that her latest and richest client, Will Mahoney, owner of the Loving Cup bra company, is trying to export local jobs overseas (she takes his money anyway). By the way, what the hell ever happened to her mama? Did that no-account relative of slutty Paige kill her and put the body down a well? Time to dig a little deeper-in this uneasy mix of chick lit, melodrama, and little-bitty mystery from the author of Savannah Blues (2002). Competently written, but not at all sure whatit wants to be. Author tour. Agent: Stuart Krichevsky
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060564650
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/3/2005
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 93,037
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Kay Andrews

Mary Kay Andrews is the author of eleven bestselling novels and ten critically acclaimed mysteries. A former reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, she lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Biography

In In 2003, a writer named Mary Kay Andrews burst on the book scene with an entertaining, lighthearted confection entitled Savannah Blues. Hailed as a promising debut, the book received positive reviews; but not everyone realized it was actually the work of journalist-turned-novelist Kathy Hogan Trocheck, author of a bestselling mystery series begun in 1990 and featuring ex-cop-turned P.I. Callahan Garrity.

Trocheck explained in an interview with Reading Group Guides.com the reason for adopting a pseudonym (derived, by the way, from combining the names of her two children): "Because Blues is so different from my Callahan books, I wanted a chance to try for a whole new group of readers, people who like women's fiction, Southern fiction, and still, mysteries. That Mary Kay is a pseudonym for Kathy Hogan Trocheck is not a secret from my fans."

Savannah Blues introduced readers to Eloise "Weezie" Foley, whose marriage to the wealthy Talmadge Evans III suffers a fatal blow when he announces he is in love with someone else. When Talmadge's mistress moves into his Savannah mansion, it's the backyard carriage house for Weezie, who soon begins to devise a plan to get revenge on her cheating hubby. Blues may have been a marked departure from Trocheck's grittier early work, but it was a rousing success on all fronts. Publishers Weekly hailed it as "delightfully breezy, richly atmospheric" and Kirkus reviews called it "pure fun."

Soon, Mary Kay Andrews had assumed a life of her own. A year later, she published Little Bitty Lies, followed in 2005 by the joyfully wacky New York Times bestseller Hissy Fit. Having revisited the world of her irresistible protagonist Weezie Foley twice more in Savannah Breeze and Blue Christmas, Andrews continues to craft her winning brand of witty, Southern-fried fiction -- much to the delight of her many fans.

Good To Know

When Andrews was a journalist at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, she covered the famous "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" murder case.

As Kathy Hogan Trocheck, Andrews's mysteries have been nominated for the Edgar, Anthony, Agatha, and Macavity Awards.

When she isn't writing, Mary Kay Andrews lectures and teaches at writing workshops.

A few fun outtakes from our interview with Andrews:

"When I finish writing a book, I always celebrate with my favorite junk foods: Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and Wink grapefruit soda."

"I have no sense of direction and am incapable of reading a map."

"I'm a charter member of the Salty Dog chapter of the Andy Griffith Show Re-run Watchers club."

"I love afternoon naps, junking, reading, cooking with my husband, anything with avocados, English Setters, old movies, anything blue and white. I hate shopping for clothes, cigarette smoke, math, magic, mimes, scary movies, and Star Trek re-runs."

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    1. Also Known As:
      Kathy Hogan Trocheck (real name)
    2. Hometown:
      Atlanta, Georgia
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 27, 1954
    2. Place of Birth:
      Tampa, Florida
    1. Education:
      B.A. in newspaper journalism, University of Georgia, 1976
    2. Website:

First Chapter

Hissy Fit
A Novel

Chapter One

If it had not been for my fiance's alcoholic cousin Mookie I feel quite sure that my daddy would still be a member in good standing at the Oconee Hills Country Club. But Mookie can't drink hard liquor. She can drink beer and wine all day and all night and not bat an eyelash, but give her a mai-tai or, God forbid, a margarita, and you are asking for trouble.

It was my rehearsal dinner, which the Jernigans were hosting, and I was the bride-to-be, so I don't believe I should have been the one responsible for keeping a grown woman and mother of two away from the margarita machine, even if she was one of the bridesmaids.

Nonetheless, I was the one standing there when Mookie went spinning out of control across the dance floor, and I was the one who got sprayed with a good six ounces of strawberry margarita. And across the front of my blue raw silk Tahari dress too.

"For God's sake," snapped GiGi, my mother-in-law-to-be. She of course had neatly sidestepped Mookie, leaving her own pale pink beaded gown spotless. "I told you not to have her in the wedding. You know how she gets."

"Keeley," Mookie yelped, lunging at me with her half-empty glass. "I am sooooo sorry. Let me help you get cleaned up."

She proceeded to dump the rest of her drink down my back.

"It's fine," I said, gritting my teeth. "Just a little spot."

Mookie's mother, who is used to this kind of behavior, snatched her up by the arm and started dragging her toward the door so she wouldn't cause any more of a scene, and all the women closed ranks around me, dabbing and fussing until I wanted to scream.

Actually, I'd been wanting to scream for several weeks now.

Enough! Enough parties. Enough presents. Enough luncheons and teas, enough sappy wedding showers, enough family and friends oohing and aahing over the perfect couple.

A.J. had had enough too. "Can't we just go somewhere and screw our brains out for a couple weeks, then come back and be normal?" he'd asked the night before the rehearsal dinner.

It had been a busy week. I'd already endured the "Sip 'n See Tea," where everybody in the county came by my daddy's house to paw over my wedding loot, and the bridesmaids' luncheon where GiGi let it be known that she thought it was awful my mama hadn't been invited to the wedding. As if I even knew where Mama had been living for the past twenty-some years.

And that was just the solo stuff. That very night A.J. and I had suffered through the "His 'n Her Barbecue Shower" given by one of his former fraternity brothers.

At the time he asked this question, A.J. was modeling the Hot Stuff! barbecue apron and padded oven mitt, which had been a shower gift from his Aunt Norma. To be perfectly honest, A.J. was naked under the apron. And he wasn't wearing the mitt where his Aunt Norma had intended.

I had A.J. backed into the corner with the barbecue tongs, and then one thing led to another, and pretty soon we were rolling around on the floor of his apartment, and my chef's hat came off along with the rest of my clothes, and the next thing you know, A.J. was having one of his attacks.

"Hee-upp! Hee-upp." His whole body arched backward. I pushed him away, not startled really. A.J. gets like that sometimes when he's, uh, in the throes.

"Breathe, baby, breathe," I instructed, slithering out from under him.

"No," he managed, between hiccups. "Don't stop, Keeley." He tried to pull me back down. "Come on. I'll be all right."

"Hee-upp! Hee-upp! Hee-upp." His body jerked violently with each hiccup. I was afraid he'd hurt himself. Hell, I was afraid he'd hurt me. Not to mention that I don't find fits of uncontrollable hiccups much of a turn-on. Not even when the hiccupper is the love of my life.

I scrambled to my feet, ran to the sink, and filled a cup with water. "Come on, A.J.," I said, helping him to his feet. "It's better if you stand up. Come on, sugar, drink some water for Keeley."

"I (hee) don't (up) want any damn hee-uppp! water," A.J. stuttered. But he took a sip anyway.

"Another one," I urged, rubbing his bare back. He caught my free hand and slid it down his belly. The man never stops trying.

"No, now," I said, giggling and moving away. He pulled me back toward him. I held out the cup. "Not until you drink all this water."

He frowned but started sipping.

"Go slower," I said. "You know it's the only thing that works."

"I know what works," he said, getting that look in his eye again. "Come back over here and rub on me again."

But I'd picked up my clothes and was already hurrying into the bedroom to get dressed.

"Hey!" he called after me. "That wasn't the deal."

I pushed the button on the doorknob. "I know," I called through the locked door. "I tricked you."

By the time he found the key to the bedroom door I was just zipping my skirt.

"Aw, Keeley," he said, his lip thrust out in that adorable pout of his. "I wanted us to do it one more time tonight."

I tried to kiss the pout away, but he wasn't having it.

"A.J.," I said, pushing his hands away from the button he was unfastening.

"Now, really. The wedding's just a few days away. I have an early morning meeting and a ton of stuff to do. I can't be staying over here fooling around with you all night."

"Come on, baby," he whispered, sliding the zipper on my skirt down while pushing my skirt up toward my waist. "Once we're married, it won't be as much fun as this. We'll be all legal and stuff."

Hissy Fit
A Novel
. Copyright © by Mary Kay Andrews. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Reading Group Guide

Introduction

The night before her wedding, in the middle of an oh-so-smart rehearsal dinner, interior decorator Keeley Murdock chances upon her fiance and maid of honor in flaming flagrante delicto. Keeley throws the hissy fit to end all hissy fits and storms out.

The next day, though, she has to deal not only personally with a broken engagement but also with her business being shut out by folks in a town financially obligated to her ex. Rescue comes in the form of the new owner of the local bra plant. He hires Keeley to redo the broken-down antebellum mansion he's bought for the woman of his dreams. So Keeley dives in, scouring for antiques and searching for clues to her mother's puzzling disappearance. Keeley finds out that things can work out even for those who throw humdinger hissy fits.

Discussion Questions

  1. What do you think of Keeley's reaction to her fiance's behavior at their engagement party? Does she do the right thing? How would you react in a similar situation?

  2. Do you find it surprising that Will Mahoney is so determined to impress a woman he's never met? Why?

  3. Is the picture that Mary Kay Andrews paints of life and business in a small town a realistic one?

  4. When Keeley gets underneath the facades of some people she's known all her life, what does she discover? What does this novel say about how well we ever really know each other?

  5. What part do antiques play in this story? Are Keeley's questions about her own past reflected in her search for enduring old furnishings and her wish to create beautiful homes for her clients?

  6. Do you feel any sympathy for A.J.? Does he get the comeuppance he deserves? Does Stephanie?

  7. What secrets does Keeley unearth in her search to find out about her mother's disappearance?

  8. The novel, which begins with a broken engagement, ends with a wedding. Is the identity of the happy couple a surprise?

About the author

Mary Kay Andrews is a native Floridian who learned to love junking and antiquing at an early age in St. Petersburg, Fla. She has a journalism degree from The University of Georgia. She worked as a newspaper reporter for 14 years, the last ten years of which she worked at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Her first Callahan Garrity mystery, Every Crooked Nanny, written under her real name, Kathy Hogan Trocheck, was published by HarperCollins in 1992. A veteran of countless estate sales, flea markets and junk shops, Kathy turned to antique picking when her "finds" threatened to take over her house . The mother of Andrew, 18, and Katie, 22, Kathy and her family now make their home in a vintage 1925 cottage in Raleigh, N.C.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 263 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(117)

4 Star

(86)

3 Star

(38)

2 Star

(15)

1 Star

(7)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 265 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2012

    Amazing

    I was recamended this book when i was in kind of a reading funk. This book is laugh out loud funny. Very easy read and perfect for a raining day or when you just need something to make u laugh.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2011

    Best Mary Kay Andrews Book so far!

    Hilarious! I found myself laughing out loud! Not to mention, the characters were so vivid and endearing. The plot was by far, her best and most in depth thus far. I loved this bok and would reccommend it t anyone who loves a little Southern sass. Truly one of my favorites.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2012

    Very cute read

    Great lite summer book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 14, 2011

    Amazing.

    Great fun. A must read summer novel..

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 6, 2011

    O M G .... Good read

    I loved this book. One to read without putting it down. No sex, not gorey. Fabulous.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 30, 2011

    A relaxing cozy

    A southern mansion to restore and decorate, a trashed wedding, an old mystery 25 years in the making and a father who has a more active social life that his daughter. Fun book.
    I would read more of this author. A good book for a snowed in kind of day.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 16, 2011

    Loved it!

    I am so happy that I purchased this book! I am a big fan of the chick lit genre in general, but Mary Kay Andrews attention to detail and full character development make this a must read. I thoroughly enjoyed it!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 5, 2011

    Easy read and entertaining

    This is the second book I have read by this author and I will continue to read more books by her. It was easy reading and also entertaining.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 3, 2011

    Fabulous Fun

    This was the first of Mary Kay Andrews' novels that I read. It was not the last. I have now read all of her novels and anxiously await the next. They are just plain fun to read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 2, 2011

    Good read but ho-hum.

    I enjoyed the book, but i didnt care for all the decorating details. I skipped over most of it. It would have been a quick read but for me I didnt care about decorating, just the plot and characters. Sometimes after reading a book I walk away with a little extra knowledge from certain details in a book, I cant say that about this book, I skipped over so much because the details about furniture and such made parts seem to drag on forever. Thats why I gave it 3 stars.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 20, 2011

    Great Read!

    I have read all 3 of this author's books and loved them all. They are all modern funny southern tales that will keep you entertained. Being a southern girl myself I could really relate. Wish she would write more! Oh and the price is great, much less than I paid for the books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    well

    ok so i got tjis book because it sounded good from the back but there was more about antique furnishings then nething else which should be put on the back to warn you

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2009

    Eh!

    This is my first Mary Kay Andrews book and I was disappointed. I found it very hard to like the male lead. The "girlfriend" character was way over-the-top and unbelievable. She also stayed around way too long for me. I ended up not wanting the lead male and female characters to end up together, even though you knew it was going to happen. The ending was disappointing and anti-climatic also. I got to the last page and moaned in disgust. It felt like she decided the book should end in 20 pages or less so she wrapped everything up without it fitting together or making sense. All that being said, the lead character was a great character and the book was very well written. The interwoven plot lines were beautifully coordinated and all the minor characters were a great addition to the book. I will read other M.K. Andrews but this one is on the "Do not read again" list.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2009

    Cute

    This book was very cute,perfect for the beach! The story line is very entertaining. Some parts were hard to read as they dragged on. but i would recommend as a summer read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2009

    hilarious...fun...little romance

    I think this book is a great book to read, it's fast reading, and disapointing when it comes to an end. Great humor with a little romance.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    dark comedy

    In Madison, Georgia, interior decorator Keeley Rae Murdock lives her life in accordance with her profession down to the tiniest iota. The twenty-eight year old feels everything is perfect until she finds her fiancé Andrew Jackson ¿A.J.¿ Jernigan and her maid of honor Paige Plummer having a go hiccups and all during the wedding rehearsal dinner. Keeley has a HISSY FIT that every local resident heard about, but especially comes to the attention of wealthy newcomer Will Mahoney.--- Will decides that Keeley is perfect for restoring the dilapidated mansion he purchased that he plans to use to court the woman he desires that he has never met in person only on TV. Keeley prefers to reject Will as a client as it seems impossible to decorate a home with no idea of the benefactor of her work, but her ex and his banking family are trying to destroy her business so she accepts the assignment.--- This dark comedy will keep readers¿ attention as southern small town secrets begin to surface including one involving Keeley¿s vanished mom. The story line offers an intriguing look at home furnishing mostly through the discerning eye of the heroine. Though much of the support cast is one dimensional especially A.J. while Will¿s woman is kept somewhat shadowy on purpose, fans will appreciate Keeley¿s HISSY FIT that hooks the audience expecting more outbursts from this steel magnolia.--- Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2004

    Quick enjoyable summer read

    If I could do 3 1/2 stars, I would. This book is predictable, but enjoyable. I would have preferred more development of the main characters romance - you'll know when you read it, but I laughed out loud on occasion and it left a good feeling when I finished it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2014

    Typically Southern

    I thoroughly enjoyed every word.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2014

    Hilarious!

    From page one to the end, this book entertains. I have recommended this novel to my daughter, my friends, and everyone else. This is a must read. You will not be disappointed.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 25, 2013

    Loved, It is the 2nd book I've read by her. Sooo Funny and very

    Loved, It is the 2nd book I've read by her. Sooo Funny and very entertaining.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 265 Customer Reviews

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