Review by Mbrooks2518 -- MY FRIEND Marilyn

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Mbrooks2518
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Review by Mbrooks2518 -- MY FRIEND Marilyn

Post by Mbrooks2518 » 14 Feb 2019, 18:32

[Following is a volunteer review of "MY FRIEND Marilyn" by Christopher Lentz.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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To be honest, I don’t usually go for historical fiction, but MY FRIEND Marilyn by Christopher Lentz caught my eye, so I decided to give it a shot. I am glad I did, because I loved it! It is the first book in the Great American Destination Series, and I will be keeping an eye out for the next one.

In 1958, Penny Parker is an overweight dime store cashier. She wins a contest to be Marilyn Monroe’s go-to girl during the eight day location shoot for Some Like it Hot at the Hotel Del Coronado, called The Del. Penny quickly becomes friends with Marilyn. She also meets a charming, handsome man, who is not what he appears to be, and his young son, who is also keeping secrets. Marilyn also begins receiving gifts from an obsessed fan. Needless to say, the eight days Penny spends with Marilyn change her life forever.

The themes in this story are friendship, body image and self-acceptance. Penny and Marilyn become close friends with Marilyn becoming Penny’s ‘fairy godmother’ and even giving her a makeover. In the end, Penny comes to regard Marilyn as the “best, best, best girlfriend” that she had always wanted, and Marilyn finds in Penny someone who sees beyond her Marilyn Monroe persona. Penny is insecure because of her weight and the way she knows that other people see her. Marilyn is also insecure due to her status as a sex symbol and as an aging star in Hollywood. They bond over their insecurities, and their friendship helps them both to realize that what they look like on the outside doesn’t matter nearly as much as what is on the inside.

The story is told in the first-person from Penny’s perspective. Penny is a fun character. She’s relatable and very funny. As I said before, she is insecure about her weight but refuses to let her weight define her. Instead, she wears mismatched earrings, colorful clothes and has a big personality. She says at one point that she chose to stand out for those reasons instead of her weight. One of the author’s notes at the beginning of the book says that he based her character on Melissa McCarthy, and I could easily imagine her as Penny. In general, Lentz did a great job of making his fictional characters feel as real as the historical ones.

The plot also had a mystery and thriller aspect to it with Marilyn’s obsessed fan and the charming man Penny meets, which added some excitement to the story. I would have liked it if this part of the plot was given a little more attention. The resolution of both plot points felt a bit sudden. However, that may have more to do with my personal taste, because I love mysteries.

There was also a supernatural twist to the story that I didn’t expect but liked. Ghosts were often mentioned. In particular, the ghost of Kate Morgan, who haunts The Del, was mentioned by many characters throughout the story. Ouija boards were also mentioned and used multiple times.

Unfortunately, I found many editing mistakes. Most of the mistakes were missing commas, which did not affect my enjoyment of the story. However, there were a couple of bigger mistakes; an out of order sentence, and a character was called the wrong name. There were also a couple of times where I could not tell who was speaking during the dialogue, which did interrupt the flow of the story as I reread it to try and figure out who was speaking.

I give this book 3 out of 4 stars, but I would have happily given it 4 stars if there hadn’t been so many editing mistakes. There is quite a bit of sexual humor, so it is only appropriate for an adult audience. I recommend it to fans of Marilyn Monroe and anyone who enjoys stories about friendship and self-acceptance with some romance.

******
MY FRIEND Marilyn
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Post by Zimall » 16 Feb 2019, 03:58

I read that book and i think the characterization wasn't that good. It seemed the author had paid attention only on few characters and rest of the characters were neglected and the story lost much of it's charm.
Thanks a lot for the review Mbrooks☺
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Post by BelleReadsNietzsche » 16 Feb 2019, 04:09

Oh, interesting that there is a supernatural element! I hadn’t read that before. I am glad you enjoyed the book. I like books with female leads of shapes and sizes that don’t necessarily match society’s ideals, and I like stories that give Marilyn more of her due. However, other readers’ feelings that the characterization wasn’t strong probably means I’ll skip this one.

Thanks for the review!
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Post by Mbrooks2518 » 16 Feb 2019, 18:44

Zimall wrote:
16 Feb 2019, 03:58
I read that book and i think the characterization wasn't that good. It seemed the author had paid attention only on few characters and rest of the characters were neglected and the story lost much of it's charm.
Thanks a lot for the review Mbrooks☺
I can see how you would feel that way, although it didn't bother me. Thanks for commenting.

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Post by Mbrooks2518 » 16 Feb 2019, 18:47

BelleReadsNietzsche wrote:
16 Feb 2019, 04:09
Oh, interesting that there is a supernatural element! I hadn’t read that before. I am glad you enjoyed the book. I like books with female leads of shapes and sizes that don’t necessarily match society’s ideals, and I like stories that give Marilyn more of her due. However, other readers’ feelings that the characterization wasn’t strong probably means I’ll skip this one.

Thanks for the review!
Understandable. Thanks for commenting!

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Post by Miriam Molina » 16 Feb 2019, 20:19

I have only one thing in common with Marilyn Monroe: our initials. Even while regarded as the greatest sex symbol, Marilyn is depicted here as a woman with insecurities. That gives us women food for thought. Let's beautify the inside; it's what really counts in the end.

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Post by Mbrooks2518 » 16 Feb 2019, 20:54

Miriam Molina wrote:
16 Feb 2019, 20:19
I have only one thing in common with Marilyn Monroe: our initials. Even while regarded as the greatest sex symbol, Marilyn is depicted here as a woman with insecurities. That gives us women food for thought. Let's beautify the inside; it's what really counts in the end.
Definitely. Thanks for commenting!

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Post by briellejee » 17 Feb 2019, 08:42

Wow, didn't know there's a ghost in this book. I am not a fan of Marilyn so I'll be skipping this. However, glad to know that you enjoyed it despite the mistakes. Thanks for this review! :tiphat:
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Post by Mbrooks2518 » 17 Feb 2019, 21:13

briellejee wrote:
17 Feb 2019, 08:42
Wow, didn't know there's a ghost in this book. I am not a fan of Marilyn so I'll be skipping this. However, glad to know that you enjoyed it despite the mistakes. Thanks for this review! :tiphat:
Thanks for commenting!

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Post by kaymontacell » 19 Feb 2019, 20:50

Thanks for the review! This sounds like such a wholesome book in a way with its positive messages. Maybe I'll pick it up soon.
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Post by Mbrooks2518 » 19 Feb 2019, 22:41

kaymontacell wrote:
19 Feb 2019, 20:50
Thanks for the review! This sounds like such a wholesome book in a way with its positive messages. Maybe I'll pick it up soon.
Thanks for commenting!

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Post by Firefawkes » 22 Feb 2019, 16:24

This isn't a book I had initially planned on reading, but you make it sound so intriguing! As unfortunate as the mistakes are, I still hope to read this book in the future! Thanks for your review:)

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Post by Mbrooks2518 » 23 Feb 2019, 01:07

I hope you get the chance to read it. Thanks for commenting!

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Post by Sarah Tariq » 23 Feb 2019, 02:01

Though I am not big fan of supernatural element. But the book offers a good theme. Thanks for this great review.
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Post by Sushan » 23 Feb 2019, 03:49

Seemingly the book is not of my type. Thanks for the nice review 👍👍
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