by Suzanne Macpherson

September 2006
ISBN: 0-06-077500-9
Reviewer Graphic Button Avon Books
Mass Market Paperback

Hysterical Blondeness is a book I really wanted to like. It had a lot of potential, but in the end, an already seemingly implausible situation was muddled even more by characters consumed with appearances.

Brunette Patricia Stillwell is an employee in the catalogue department at Nordquist, an upscale store. It’s not her dream job, but she gets to work with her two best friends and roommates, Paul Costello and Pinky McGee. Plus, she can lust from afar after Brett Nordquist, the hunky store manager, and son of the store’s owner. She knows he’ll never give her a second glance because she’s certainly not stick thin, nor is she blonde.

But when Patricia signs up to take part in an experimental weight-loss program, the results are astounding! Not only does she lose weight, but…the pill turns her hair blonde. Talk about a favorable side-effect. Now Patricia’s dreams are coming true. Brett is noticing her, she’s getting a promotion at work, and, well, she’s blonde. That’s benefit enough. Patricia is determined to find out if in fact, blondes do have more fun.

Brett isn’t the only man noticing Patricia however. Paul can’t keep his eyes off her. He’s always appreciated her wacky sense of humor, her love of classic movies, and her pleasing personality, but suddenly, as a blonde, Patricia is everything he is looking for in a woman. But with Brett busy escorting Patricia around town, will Paul have a chance to prove his love to her? And what happens when Patricia’s brunette locks start reappearing?

Hysterical Blondeness does have a far-fetched, but fun, situation as its center plot. However, any enjoyment I could have had with this story was ruined by Patricia. As a brunette, Patricia is quirky, sarcastic, friendly, but above all, she was genuine. As a blonde, I felt like a totally new character entered the story. Suddenly, Patricia started living up to every blonde stereotype out there. She was flighty, hurtful, and a bit ditzy. She left her friends in the dust to pursue a relationship with Brett. A relationship that just happened to be a disaster in the making but she plowed ahead regardless. It seemed like the Patricia I was started to get to know as a reader disappeared and in her place was a beautiful blonde but a much less interesting and sincere character.

Paul’s sudden attraction to Patricia seemed shallow, and the “wacky” hijinks of the various characters just seemed to show yet again how annoying Patricia became as a blonde. The one highlight of this book was Patricia’s friend Pinky, the one voice of wisdom in this story.

All in all, I find it hard to recommend Hysterical Blondeness to any reader. Ms. Macpherson had a genuinely intriguing plot device, but it seemed to crash and burn in between the pages of this self-absorbed book.

Reviewed in August 2006 by Sarah.

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