cover image Funny You Should Ask

Funny You Should Ask

Elissa Sussman. Dell, $17 trade paper ISBN 978-0-593-35732-3

Sussman’s thoughtful adult debut (after the YA novel Drawn That Way) explores the connection forged between an insecure Los Angeles writer and a charming movie star. A decade after Chani Horowitz’s profile of Gabe Parker went viral, the two are reunited for another interview. Ten years earlier, Gabe had surprised her by talking about his appreciation of her blog. As Gabe opened up about his insecurities and drinking problem, Chani felt a spark between them, though she wondered if a handsome actor would want to be with her. And, indeed, he then eloped with his model costar, leaving Chani feeling foolish and her fellow MFA grads deriding her “puff piece.” The story flits between past and present, as Chani, now a divorcée, worries her recent success with literary essays is due to attention from that old piece on Gabe and other celebrity profiles rather than the quality of her writing. When she meets a post-rehab, post-scandal Gabe for the interview, they try to sort out their history of mixed messages and complicated feelings. Sussman’s musings about fame, success, and the bonds between people elevate this fun and charming narrative. This has all the makings of a hit. Agent: Elizabeth Bewley, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Apr.)