It turns out only 3 of my 5 Chicago book reviews could be published due to space issues, so I’ll have to save those for next week.

Instead, here’s what I wrote about Jessica Brody’s sensational (in the truest sense of the word) debut novel The Fidelity Files for Lei Chic (Hawai`i’s version of Daily Candy, for which I write about three pieces a week). The novel is narrated by a fictional fidelity inspector (Apparently there are real-life fidelity inspectors, which one would think would be in the news more often) and details her work and personal challenges.

I generally agreed with the AP reviewer’s (Read the AP review here) assessment that Brody is prone to overwriting, describing at length how a Treo works (who doesn’t know about phones that are organizers and emailers?) and her history with pens and pencils. Brody really deserved better editing assistance, but her swift plot and seductive premise overcame these longueurs, and I’m sure the film version will edit these out.

That’s why I recommend the book in my article, below.

My Hero
June 10, 2008
Published in Lei Chic

In this episode of Kikaida, (cue soundtrack: Jiro…changeee…Kikaida) the human-like Jiro transforms into his powerful alter ego Kikaida to fight for justice and battle another of evil Professor Gil’s surprisingly similar-looking minions.

Fast-forward from the ‘70s though, and 2008 needs a new idol. Like beautiful but chronically single Jennifer Hunter who secretly becomes Ashlyn, a fidelity inspector battling cheating men who all look alike on the inside—unfaithful. In Jessica Brody’s debut novel “The Fidelity Files” Ashlyn morphs into each man’s fantasy—whether football-mad flight attendant, savvy poker player, or naïve business traveler. Then she tests them for the intention to cheat, ensuring that her client’s mate does all the propositioning until it’s clear he would’ve had sex with her, but escapes before things go all the way.

The plot remains irresistible as a succession of men fail (frighteningly common) or pass (dumbfoundingly rare), and the titillating tension only increases as Jennifer struggles to keep her identity a secret from friends and the world, and somehow finds time to fall in love.

That is, until one last assignment (Jennifer…changeee…Go, go go go!) alters her position on love and relationships for good.

It’s one superpower every girl wants.
And the superhero every modern girl needs.

Available at amazon.com or your local bookseller.

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