Divas Don't Fake It
Alexandra (Xandra to her friends) is a diva “from a long line of passionate Russians.” She does everything in a big way, is extremely high maintenance and has already been married twice – not to even mention two broken engagements. As Divas Don’t Fake It opens, Xandra sits in a bar with Scott, her gay best friend, trying to talk him into setting her up with David White, his mild-mannered professor neighbor.
Though the beginning of Divas Don’t Fake It revolves around Xandra’s budding relationship with David, about halfway through the focus shifts to Xandra’s attempts to fix three people in her life and find love for them: Scott; her shy and undiva-like employee Libby; and her father, who’s already been married multiple times. Toward the end of the book there is a tiny bit of conflict, but it’s mostly generated by Xandra, a character who can’t just have a discussion or even an argument – everything is a drama.
Xandra is funny as she engages in diva behavior. When she argues with David, his books are tossed over the balcony into the ocean. She manages to single-handedly destroy her father’s sixth marriage just by a few well-chosen words (she refers to her stepmother as “Silicone Slut,” which should give you an idea of Xandra’s lack of tact). She isn’t an airhead, though and she’s proud of having the “fastest, foulest mouth in Miami.” A high-powered lawyer who’s also on the verge of getting her black belt in tae kwon do is an interesting character, but there’s simply not enough story here to do her justice.
There is very little plot in this book and even less conflict. There’s also not enough room for a lot of characterization, so that Scott and others who who have the potential to be quite interesting, really aren’t fleshed out. Most of the book is dedicated to vignettes illustrating such pronouncements as “Divas Dish But They Never Gossip” and “A Diva Knows How to Make an Exit”.
Divas Don’t Fake It is an amusing little novella that is all style and no substance. Despite the lack of any real plot, though, it is a fairly entertaining story, and it kept me reading and smiling. Xandra is over-the-top enough that she’s not really believable, but her cheerful, breezy self-confidence (“Frankly, I look damn hot”) is winning, and her sincere concern for her friends is appealing.
In short, Divas Don’t Fake It is fun enough, but it could have been much better with a story strong enough to support its interesting heroine.