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The Actor and the Housewife

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3.13  ·  Rating Details  ·  8,209 Ratings  ·  2,838 Reviews
From "New York Times "bestselling author Shannon Hale comes an utterly satisfying novel that asks the question: Can a seemingly normal, happily married Mormon mother of four be best friends with Hollywood's hottest (happily married) heartthrob?
Paperback, 352 pages
Published June 8th 2010 by Bloomsbury USA (first published January 1st 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Angie
Jul 22, 2009 Angie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm going to warn you upfront that I had an extreme reaction to this book. An extreme and unexpected reaction. Just ask DH. He had to listen to me rant ad nauseam until I'd exorcised the demons enough to move on. The thing is I haven't reacted so strongly to a book for quite some time and it took me a bit by surprise. Oh, well, who are we kidding? It threw me for one hell of a loop and I had an extremely hard time shaking it off. Despite all this I'm going to try to continue my tradition of spoi ...more
Kristin
Sep 28, 2009 Kristin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Oh Shannon Hale...I try to like you...I really do. I give you chance after chance and guess what? I just don't. I know I am in the minority especially in my little subculture of the world but you're just not my...as you would annoyingly say..."cup of herbal tea". I found this book to be so "gosh darn" full of sugary cliched Happy Valley Mormonism that my teeth hurt and I wanted to vomit.

I thought this book would be the "delightful romp" that it claimed to be but it wasn't. The main character, Be
...more
Angela
SECOND READ: March 26, 2010
Listened to the audio book edition.

The reader isn't the best, but dang it all if I forgot just how funny the banter is in this book! It makes me forget that I don't care for the reader because I am so busy smirking and laughing out loud so often.

I still love this book! I tried to distract myself at the sad part by (1) knowing it was coming, (2) only half-listening to the audio book, and (3) cleaning the bathrooms. But dang that Shannon Hale for still making me cry desp
...more
Tanja
Jun 14, 2009 Tanja rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My dear Shannon, what have you done. I will be honest and say I am surprised a book like this came from her. I enjoy her writing style and her quick wit in all her books, but in the A&H I found myself laughing out loud. Is it a romance you might ask, no. Not in the traditional sense. It is a story of friendship. How do friends fit into our lives and how do we survive without the friend we need the most? Have you ever met that person who just knew you? You could stay up and laugh with them ov ...more
Alyssa
Aug 07, 2009 Alyssa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa
Jul 23, 2009 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: modern-fiction
*I keep going back and forth as to what I should rate this book, because although the premise of the book still makes me uncomfortable, the parts about her husband are so powerful and hit me so hard that I felt it deserved more than a 4.*

I began this book with hesitancy, angry at myself for reading the jacket, knowing that a married woman would somehow get involved with an actor - also married. As I read more, I was sceptical, as they became best friends, worried as to where this may lead. (Any
...more
Melissa
I really liked this one. Sure, it's implausible, and it's not *really* chick lit, but it hit home with me. It is the story of a woman who happens to have an unconventional friendship, and how that effects her life. I laughed, I cringed, I cried, I rooted, I wondered. Good times.
Annalisa
1.5 stars. I didn't quite hate it, but it made me uncomfortable.

Let me start with this disclaimer: I have an aversion to romantic comedies. You know that moment in a movie where it's so awkward and contrived you're embarrassed someone wrote it and you're embarrassed for the actors that have to say the lines and you're embarrassed to be sitting there watching it? That's what this book was like. I'm not sure if Hale was trying to make an authentic Mormon housewife endearing to the masses, but she
...more
Amy
Feb 09, 2013 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! It’s a fun story with magnetic characters I wish were in my real world! I laughed out loud many times at vivacious, out-spoken Becky and cried along with her more than once. Though the story requires a smidgen of a suspension of disbelief from the reader, this is not your usual formula chick-lit, as expectations end up twisting on you a number of times.

I admit that I came to this book with a bit of a chip on my shoulder. The premise of a married woman striking up a friendship
...more
Jen Russell
Oct 19, 2009 Jen Russell rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I did like the way she talked about how intensely she loved her husband and kids; the way she thought about her kids and how important her role as a mother was.

That's all I liked.

1/2 of the book was a sob fest. Which is not why I didn't like it.


I didn't like it because I am not a girl who swoons over movie stars or talks about how attractive someone in a movie is. And, just the whole her hanging out with another man, alone and intimately made me uncomfortable. Maybe I am a prude, but it just did
...more
Jenlbot
Mar 08, 2009 Jenlbot rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Completed Review- So now I am done with the book and I raised it to two stars. All the things I said below I still feel, but actually the last 1/3 of the book was better. This book was a span of 11 years and it read very disconnected to me. Am I glad I finished it? yes. Would I recommend it to a friend? Hmmm, only to see if they agree or disagree.
In the middle Review-I JUST have to get this off my chest!
I HATE this book! Now, I am still reading it and I am on page 143. I am really wanting to s
...more
Beth A.
Sep 13, 2009 Beth A. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lds-fiction
I love Shannon Hale’s fairy tale retellings and fantasy. I also enjoyed Austenland. However, I had two major problems with this story.

1. I’m pretty oblivious to celebrities (I am, ask my husband), so I didn’t identify with all the “I’m so star-struck” or “I’m amazed that I’m not star-struck and he’s just a real person” business.

2. Although well justified in the story, I couldn’t get past the “I love my husband but this guy is my other best friend”. I know it’s possible, but it’s so not something
...more
Heather
Mar 03, 2012 Heather rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Heather by: Bethany Cathemer
Shelves: lds, chick-lit
Disclaimer: I'm a Shannon Hale fan. I follow her blog, and I have been to one of her appearances at a local bookstore. In that brief, extremely public encounter, I was pleased to find that she is as delightfully witty, personable, and humble as I had imagined her to be. Maybe she's not like that at home, but she still charmed me. I think she is a stellar writer, and I adore her books. So yes, I am hopelessly biased. I haven't read Austenland, so this is the first S.H. "adult" book that I've read ...more
Jackie
Jun 18, 2009 Jackie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Let me first state that I've loved Mrs. Hale's young adult books. I think she really excels at that kind of fantasy.

I felt like I was the only person ever who didn't love Austenland - I guess I just see things a little differently.

So....I really wanted to just love this book. I tried really hard. But I just couldn't. I just could not like Becky, the main character. And I've discovered if I can't like, or sympathize, or relate to or whatever - to the characters, I will ultimately not care for th
...more
Jamie
Jul 12, 2009 Jamie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kristy
Jul 02, 2009 Kristy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is not going to be a nice review, the book was just too irritating for me to be nice.

Basically I can sum up the book with three words: ridiculous, pretentious, and contrived...oh so obviously contrived! It is easy to think of having a platonic friendship with an actor because it will never happen and it is safe. Why not be honest and write it about being best friends with another man in the character's neighborhood? I know why not! Because it is flat out wrong and would end up destroying t
...more
Susan
Dec 24, 2009 Susan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was disappointed in this book. It would have been more accurate if it was described as "a modern fairy-tale". Her other books are a re-telling of fairy tales (my favorite is "Goose Girl"). In this book, the main characters were not believable, the banter was contrived and not very funny, the husband was too saintly, the children were too good to be true (not even any teenaged attitude, all sweetness and light!). I did not believe that Becky would be as accomodating as her husband if he had a b ...more
Alice
Oct 21, 2009 Alice rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was really looking forward to reading this book and loving it. I enjoy Shannon Hale's books, so I'm disappointed to give this book only 3 stars. Actually, I was only going to give it 2 stars, but I guess I'm feeling generous.

I hate to totally beat up the book, but I actually enjoyed reading it for the most part. It was funny and witty, touching and sad, and entertaining. But at the same time it just really rubbed me the wrong way.

Here is what bugged me about the book:

1) The main character is
...more
Trin
Dec 18, 2009 Trin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, american-lit
I put off writing this review for a really long time because I knew that no matter what I did, it was going to turn into My Thoughts On Mormonism, and nobody really cares about My Thoughts On Mormonism, nor is a book review really the place to discuss them. However, the Mormon faith has such a large role in this book that I can’t not address it, as it seriously influenced my enjoyment of the novel. So, inescapably: My Thoughts on Mormonism.

I have some problems with Mormonism. I don’t pretend to
...more
Nikki
This is where having book connections comes in handy: being able to borrow an Advance Reading Copy!

Becky Jack is exactly the sort of character you'd want to be best friends with, even if just so you could tease her about her triple weekly pies and hear her witty retort. She has strong convictions, but within those she's game to see where the combo of fate and choice takes her--through fun, doubts, laughs, romance, tough decisions, beauty, anguish, great twists, gorgeous hope, and humorous dialog
...more
Heather
Mar 11, 2009 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was delighted to get an advance reader's copy from Bookmooch.com. What an unexpected treat! Like the back cover declares, it is a different kind of fantasy: what it would be like to become friends with a famous person. The book is full of fun times and witty banter. I even laughed out loud a few times!

The nitty-gritty part is whether a person can have a best-friend relationship with someone of the opposite sex (who is not her spouse) while maintaining a strong, healthy marriage. Hale explored
...more
Tara
Aug 04, 2009 Tara rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Huh. Well, I wanted to like this, but found that I kind of had to force myself to finish it.

Pros: Cute banter, funny at times.

Cons: It just went on and on and on with no climax or good conclusion. At the end of the book I was like, "That's it? That's what I've been hanging on for?" Seriously, you could have read the first few chapters and then tacked on a "The End" and you would have had the whole book in a nutshell.

I won't say it didn't have it's moments, but there was absolutely no satisfactio
...more
Kylara Jensen
This is the most ridiculous book I have ever read. I knew within 50 pages I wasn't going to enjoy it and so I skipped to the end third and skimmed and IT ONLY GOT MORE RIDICULOUS. I seriously don't recommend this book for anyone.

Let me just say I enjoy Shannon Hale for the most part, but this book. Just I hope I have the words to accurately describer why this particular book doesn't work for me.

Reasons To Not Read This Book:
1. I don't know if this book was specifically marketed as LDS Literatur
...more
Cheryl-Lynn
Sep 19, 2009 Cheryl-Lynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This sort of contains spoilers. Nothing too specific but just be warned if you want to know NOTHING when you read this book don't read my review until after.

I don't even know how to write a review on this book. I would give this book 5 stars for the actual writing. AMAZING. I think I felt the emotions exactly as Shannon Hale wanted me to feel them. 100+ pages into the book I really did not like it, I wanted to stop reading except I wanted to know what happened and I knew people had liked the bo
...more
Megan
Jul 28, 2009 Megan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
In choosing to post this, I had to weigh my potential embarrassment at admitting to have read this book with my desire to help others avoid making the same mistake. The latter won out, so here's my review: This was a book group pick. I was skeptical about it (and mostly uninterested) from the start. I read it quickly because I respect the person who chose it and wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt. Also, I must say I have a hard time NOT finishing books I begin--it bothers me to stop in ...more
Jessica
Aug 09, 2009 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chicklit
A surprising book. Shannon takes us on a tour through ten years in the life of a Morman housewife, who also happens to be good friends with a famous movie star. They have their ups and downs, their relationship is questioned by themselves and others, their lives take surprising turns. It starts out with lots of snappy, almost too fluffy, dialogue, but as the years pass it becomes a tender look at friendship and love and family.
Erin
Jul 12, 2009 Erin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This would really make a good book club book because it really gives you a lot to talk about and it would be interesting to see what other people thought of it.

I honestly didn't love it. I was really disappointed and uncomfortable reading it for about the first half of the book, but I wanted to see how it would end. The ending was ok, but getting there was just uncomfortable (it's just the right word to use) and then sad and then really sad and . . . hmmm, I don't know exactly what to say about
...more
Laura
Oct 01, 2009 Laura rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
Shannon Hale wrote another fantasy – oh wait, there was neither magic dust nor super human powers. Oh dear. Shannon Hale has written a fantasy masked as reality creating ABSURDITY!

Absurdity #1: A mother of four and happily married Mormon housewife, Becky Jack, from Layton, Utah becomes best bosom friends with a celebrity heartthrob, Felix Callahan. They consummate their relationship through a pinky pledge made outside the Utah state capitol building.

Absurdity #2: Becky’s husband, who happens t
...more
Liz B
Jul 17, 2009 Liz B rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
Shannon Hale is a fantastic writer, but I'm still abandoning this book.

It boils down to this: I don't like the plot or the characters enough to sit through 350 pages of charming scenes.

Becky Jack is perfecty perfect. Not in a movie star kind of way, in a nice girl next door kind of way. She is Betty from the Archie comics, only married with kids.

She is--

*pretty but not too pretty
*not skinny but not fat; just concerned enough about her weight to be believable
*funny! oh so funny!
*smart
*honest
*nic
...more
Cheryl
Mar 23, 2009 Cheryl rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
I enjoyed Austenland so when this book was given me to read, I was looking forward to a lovely read. I was very disappointed. Read about 1/3 of it, skipped to end and then moved it to the return-for-other-advance-readers pile.

In my opinion based on the parts I read, the author did a good job of capturing the self-delusional "what I'm doing is perfectly innocent and more than ok" attitude I have seen over and over. Becky struck me as self-centered, full of false humility. Reminds me of people I
...more
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The end 2 42 Sep 01, 2011 12:02PM  
Is this some sort of sequel? 5 116 Feb 27, 2009 09:10PM  
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Shannon Hale is the New York Times best-selling author of six young adult novels: the Newbery Honor book Princess Academy, multiple award winner Book of a Thousand Days, and the highly acclaimed Books of Bayern series. She has written three books for adults, including the upcoming Midnight in Austenland (Jan. 2012), companion book to Austenland. She co-wrote the hit graphic novel Rapunzel's Reveng ...more
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