Thursday, June 10, 2010

Review: "The Accidental Bestseller" by Wendy Wax

Kendall Aims's life is falling apart around her. She's an author whose books are stuck in mid-list purgatory, and her only chance of moving up in the world of publishing is if she wins the coveted Zelda award. She doesn't, and returns home to discover that her husband has been cheating on her with a younger, blonde real-estate agent. To make matters worse, her editor can barely fake an interest in her work, and has informed her agent that her next novel with her publisher, Scarsdale, will be her last. Kendall is given no choice but to write the last novel that she's been contracted for, even though the last thing in the world that she wants to do is write.

Kendall holes up in the home in the mountains that her grandparent's left her in their will, but can't summon the enthusiasm to actually write anything. Luckily, Kendall has a fantastic group of writer friends who are willing to come to the rescue. Mallory St. James is an author who hits the bestseller lists with almost every book that she writes. Faye Truett is the wife of a preacher and writes inspirational fiction. Tanya Mason is the single mother of two little girls who works two jobs in addition to writing her escapist romances. These three women come to Kendall's aid when they hear of her problems and decide to help write Kendall's book, which will be written from four different points of view- theirs. The four women figure that the book will be buried by the publisher and nobody will be the wiser.

When the book that they write, Sticks and Stones, becomes a huge success the real problems begin. It turns out that each woman's portion of the book were more autobiographical than anyone thought, and that two of the women are hiding huge secrets, secrets that could damage both their careers and their personal lives. Suddenly the friends feel that they knew nothing about one another, and it could be their friendships that are at risk.

I loved The Accidental Bestseller! I loved the fact that it gives us (the readers) an inside view of how the publishing industry works. It turns out that writing a book is simply half of the battle, and that the success of a book can hinge on more than the words written. I also loved that Wendy Wax made the careers of Kendall, Mallory, Faye, and Tanya very different. They didn't all write the same kind of book, but managed to remain friends and inspiration for one another despite how different their chosen genres were. It also managed to bring forth the point that it doesn't matter which genre an author writes, because they are all important to the people that read them. There's no shame in writing romance, or inspirational fiction, or chick lit- they are all valid genres in their own right. Too often people dismiss certain kinds of books, simply because it is not what they enjoy reading.

I especially loved the story of the friendship between the four women. Despite their differences and the secrets that they hid from one another, you could tell that these women did not know what they would do without the others. It is so rare in life to form friendships such as these, so if you do, they should be nutured at any cost.

The Accidental Bestseller was a highly enjoyable read- fast-paced, interesting, with a strong ending that made me smile. This one would be great for the beach! If you haven't entered Wendy Wax's contest yet, you still have until August 1st! The basics of the contest are: take a picture of yourself reading The Accidental Bestseller on the beach (any beach!), and send the picture to Wendy. This will enter you into her drawing to win a beach bag filled with her favourite beach reads! I plan on entering myself, as soon as it stops raining!

Thank-you to Joy at Joan Schulhafer Publishing & Media Consulting for this review copy!

Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Recommended to: Those looking for a beach read or an insider's look at the publishing world
Challenges: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge, New Author Challenge 2010, 2010 Chick Lit Challenge


  1. Just knowing it "has a strong ending" makes me want to read it! I read her latest book Magnolia Wednesdays several weeks ago and enjoyed it so I'm adding this to my tbr list. Nice review.

  2. I remember reading about this one a few months back and thought it sounded great -- especially for the summer! The changing of seasons makes me want to totally revise my reading choices, haha. Great review!

  3. I'm going to be reading this one! Not only does it sound great, I think the author is a friend of a friend. Great review!

  4. I'm so glad you loved this! I got to meet Wendy Wax briefly a little while ago and I'm going to a lunch event for her in July.