- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Riverhead Trade (May 6, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1594482926
- ASIN: B001P3OLD8
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1 x 7.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 23 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,484,080 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Ms. Belle, if you're reading this, please don't wait another 6 years to publish another novel. I read this one as slowly as I could to make it last but only made it 4 days.
Stupid apartment? Stealing money? In love with strange old lady?
This book is filled with ridiculous premises that are meaningless.
I waited for my arc. Nothing.
And that's because "Little Stalker," Jennifer Belle's third novel, is a polished, intricate affair that tackles the concepts of celebrity, fannishness, and how to make your life go back on the rails. No way is this chick-lit -- it's femmelit, with detailed writing, real-life crises, and tongue distinctly in cheek.
Rebekah Kettle was thirteen, and recovering from a bad abortion, when she first saw an Arthur Weeman film. As her family, friends and past pregnancy fell apart around her, she clung to Weeman films as her lifeline.
Twenty years later, Rebekah is single, unhappy, living in an unfurnished apartment, and unable to come up with a second bestseller. And she's still obsessed with Arthur Weeman. When she assists a mildly senile old lady in a swanky apartment, she finds herself hanging out literally across the street from Weeman -- and starts writing him letters. Turns out he has a penchant for Lolitas.
But after an annoying gossip columnist introduces her to a cute -- if overtolerant -- photographer, Rebekah begins to slowly bring her life together, dealing with her parents, her tumor, her bad teen years, and the secret stepfamily she has never known. But will she finally break off her starry-eyed crush on Weeman, and reveal his secret to the world?
Early in "Little Stalker," Belle takes a moment to lambast the whole concept of chick-lit. Which is okay -- "Little Stalker" doesn't qualify, because Rebekah is concerned not with designer shoes, but with a brain tumor, her sad past and a "friend" who doesn't know when to get a "go away" clue. In other words, "Little Stalker" is far more like real life.
But despite the heavy topics, Belle doesn't let the storyline get bogged down. Half of it is funny, quirky and even frothy, but the other half is concerned primarily with the half dozen plot threads that slowly wind together. At times, it feels a bit like a female version of "High Fidelity," only with more life crises, and an ending that manages to be satisfactory, witty and slightly surreal.
And Belle threads a sly commentary through the book, focusing on the folly of celebrity (Rebekah collecting Weeman's movie props), and the irrational crushes that result from it ("I had Arthur Weeman's cold, and that was something").
Rebekah is a thoroughly likable heroine, although at times she seems to be stuck back at age thirteen (seen in her "Dear Awful Writer" letters). She's neurotic, sensitive, strange, awkward and kind of confused, yet she's also endearingly aware of her issues. She's surrounded by an even odder array of characters: her emotionally chilly parents, the quirky Isaac, the deeply annoying Ivy, and an old lady who gives Rebekah an odd, wordless friendship.
Jennifer Belle's femmelit reaches a new high with the charming, quirky tale of a young woman's crush, and how she manages to get her life going forward again. "Little Stalker" is worth tracking down and observing.
Rebekah Kettle is a writer living in New York. She is obsessed with Arthur Weeman, who bears a strong resemblance to Woody Allen. She sees every movie of his, the first day it comes out, constantly tracks him in the tabloids, and even buys furniture and props from his films to furnish her near empty apartment. She is beyond a typical fan.
What a lucky break it is for Rebekah, to meet Isaac, a younger Arthur Weeman lookalike, who happens to be a papparazzo! She also begins caring for an older woman with dementia, who lives across the way from Arthur, himself!
Aside from stalking Arthur, she finds time to date a little, work for her dad in a doctor's office, and watch too many episodes of Little House on the Prairie. It's safe to say that there is not a lot going on in Rebekah's life. But, this doesn't matter. The creativity of this author fills in the missing pieces.
Though I would have to say that Going Down is my favorite book to date, Jennifer Belle keeps readers entertained with her strange sense of humor, and caused me to laugh out loud several times. Also, I made a habit of calling friends just to quote from the book. The first 150 pages were a bit better than the rest of the book, but the author is so imaginative, that I had to keep reading just to see what was going to happen.