Stupid and Contagious Review
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Heaven Albright and Brady Gilbert are both starting over. Brady, a 29-year-old record producer, has just escaped from a relationship that was bad enough to make him willingly give up his rent-controlled apartment to get away. He moves into a new apartment, where his neighbor is a crazy chick who reads his mail and steals his catalogs. That’s Heaven, a 25-year-old PR guru, who’s just lost her prestigious PR job—and has taken a job as a [really bad] waitress at a trendy New York restaurant in an attempt to pay the bills. When she’s not annoying restaurant patrons or reading Brady’s mail, she’s worrying about her own death. You see, Heaven is convinced that if she’s not married by the time she turns 27, she’ll die (just like Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, and Kurt Cobain). And she’s only got 18 more months…

As Heaven tries to keep from getting fired from her waitressing job, Brady tries to sign a new band to his record label—which doesn’t, technically, have any bands. When he plans a trip to Los Angeles to check out a new band, Heaven decides to tag along. And while Heaven reconnects with an ex-boyfriend in LA, Brady plans a side-trip to Seattle, where he intends to find Howard Schultz, the founder of Starbucks, and sell him on Cinnamilk (the stuff left in the bowl after you eat cinnamon breakfast cereal), Brady’s latest brilliant invention.

Romantic comedies rarely have an original plot—and Stupid and Contagious is really no different. After all, it doesn’t take a genius to correctly guess what will happen to two characters who spend the greater part of the book getting on each other’s nerves.

But I’ve often said that the trick to chick lit (or chick flicks, too, for that matter) isn’t in writing an original story—it’s in taking the usual story and making it fun again. And Caprice Crane does that with flair—such flair, in fact, that you don’t even have to be a chick to enjoy it. Crane, a former head writer for MTV, creates two eccentric characters that, despite their bizarre (and sometimes annoying) tendencies, you can’t help but love. And their story, which switches from his point-of-view to hers with every new chapter, is hip and laugh-out-loud funny. Peppered with pop-culture references, Stupid and Contagious is a fun story about two clueless characters who somehow manage to find each other—and themselves. It’s guaranteed have you pulling out your worn-out Chuck Taylors and your favorite old mix tapes.

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