ISBN-13: 9780425227671
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Published: June 2009
419 pgs

Have you ever wonder what it is like to be an author? What does it takes to be on the bestselling list? You may find some of these answers in Wendy Wax's latest release, The Accidental Bestseller as she wrote about four author friends and how a bestseller has changed their life overnight.

There was a time when these four aspiring authors: Kendall Aims, Mallory St. James, Faye Truett and Tanya Mason met one another at a writers' conference and ten years later, they are still friends and still very much survivors in the competitive New York publishing world.

Mallory St. James is a bestselling author and it is not surprising that she is a workaholic and she tries very hard to be at the top of her place although she has to sacrifice her time with her family. For Kendall Aims, her once-promising career is going on a downhill and when her hopes for the famed Zelda Award for authors fizzled and failed, her editor felt her sales would do not much for the publisher so she decided to end her contract, but not before she is contractually obligated to write another book for them before she go. Just when she thought things have not gone further awry, she found out her husband is cheating on her. Faye Truett, on the other hand, is the wife of a famous televangelist and she writes inspirational romances. As for Tanya Mason, she is a single mother with two kids and besides being an author, she also juggles two jobs at a diner and a laundromat.

So when Kendall has difficulties, the other three women decided to come up with a plan of helping Kendall meet her final deadline, and that is to collaborate on a novel using their own lives as fodder, assuming no one will ever discover the truth behind their words. Because of the anonymity, each of them has wrote something which is very much close to their life, but none of the friends will ever question the characters they set given it is fiction. But when Sticks and Stones, the book they have co-written becomes a success and a runaway bestseller, it suddenly becomes a nightmare for each of them as the readers and the media start questioning about the characters in Sticks and Stones and if Kendall has plagiarized others' works. However, if Kendall defends herself, would she risk exposing the collaboration? But then, nothing hurts more than realizing that how little the four of them have truly known each other.

Besides about authors and an insight of the publishing world today, The Accidental Bestseller is a wonderful story about friendship, loyalty and courage. Wendy Wax created four well engaging characters and through their experiences in life, these give us something to ponder about what if life does not turn out as planned, and/or are we willing to give life (or anything) a second chance? What about finding balance in your work and life and also, not being afraid of who you really are?

Secondary characters such as Jane Jensen and Lacy Samuels, an editor and editorial assistant respectively, created mixed emotions in me. Jane is not a likeable character as she is often cruel and harsh to the authors; Lacy, on the other hand, is Jane's timid "office slave" but after the discovery of Kendall's work, she try every means to push the book up and her positive attitude put a smile onto my face. It would be nice to have a Lacy Samuels in every office.

Oh, another thing I liked about this book is the little quotes from various authors on the beginning of each chapter. Most of them are facts and are so meaningful, and not to mention some of them are funny and made me laugh out loud. Here are just a few:
A person who publishes a book willfully appears before the populace with his pants down.... If it is a good book nothing can hurt him. If it is a bad book nothing can help him. ~ Edna St. Vincent Millay

If my doctor told me I had six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster. ~ Isaac Asimov

The cat sat on the mat is not a story. The cat sat on the other cat's mat is a story. ~ John Le Carre

Writing is like getting married. One should never commit oneself until one is amazed at one's luck. ~ Iris Murdoch
Last but not least, I want to thank Joan Schulhafer of Joan Schulhafer Publishing & Media Consulting for sending this book to me for review.
17 Responses
  1. Julia Says:

    This sound interesting! And it look like you enjoy it too :)

  2. This does sound like a good one, Melody. I love the excerpts you shared with us! Great review!

  3. Sounds like a good book, thanks for the review! :)

  4. Ana S. Says:

    I really like those quotes! Especially the one by Edna St Vincent Millay, lol.

  5. Beth F Says:

    NIce review. I'll have to look for it.

  6. The Bookworm Says:

    this does sound very good, great review.
    I like the quotes.

  7. Darlene Says:

    This sounds like an interesting read. Thanks for the review Melody.

  8. Sandy Nawrot Says:

    This is the second or third review I've read about this book, and is already on my list. I think it sounds like a hoot!

  9. Becca Says:

    I just saw this on J.Kaye's book blog and couldn't wait to hear about it, and here you have reviewed it! It sounds terrific! I love the quotes, especially the John LeCarre quote. So true!

    I'm definitely putting this one on my tbr list and in my Friday Finds post! :-D

  10. Melody Says:

    Julia - It is! I'm glad I read it. :)

    Wendy - Thanks! I love reading those quotes! It's great knowing what these authors think about writing, isn't it? :)

    Ladybug - Yes, and I enjoyed it! :)

    Nymeth - That's the funniest quote I read among all! :P

    Beth - That's great! Can't wait to hear your thoughts on it if you get to it.

    Naida - Thanks! I've to check out Wendy Wax's books after reading this one!

    Dar - I love reading anything about books, and I'm not surprised I loved this book so much!

    Sandy - I think you might love this one, Sandy!

    Rebecca - I hope you'd read this book soon! :)

  11. S. Krishna Says:

    This sounds like an interesting concept for a book. Thanks for the review!

  12. Anonymous Says:

    Some great quotes here. I'm glad you like it, i am hoping to read it soon.

  13. Melody Says:

    Swapna - It is, isn't it?

    Violet - I hope you'll enjoy it if you get to it.

  14. Jess Says:

    This sounds like a great read -- thanks for the review.

  15. Shonda Says:

    Thanks for the review. Sounds like it will be a good summer read for me.

  16. Melody Says:

    Jess & Shon - I hope you'll enjoy this book as much as I did if you get to it. :)

  17. Anonymous Says:

    This sounds like fun - I'll keep an eye out. Thanks for the review!

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