THE BACHELORETTE PARTY by Karen McCullah Lutz is one of the
funniest books this reviewer has read in quite a while. It centers
on Zadie Roberts, a teacher at an exclusive high school in Southern
California who has had her share of bad luck with men.
The novel opens with Zadie sitting at the local Jiffy Lube, and the
TV set in the lobby is tuned to the latest episode of "Days of Our
Lives," the show that features her ex-fiancé, Jack Cavanaugh.
Jack had the audacity to leave her standing at the altar six months
ago while he was living it up in Vegas with his groomsmen. He
didn't even have the decency to call her, and she hasn't heard from
him since. She had met Jack when he was still a starving actor,
waiting on tables at Chin Chin. She thought they were soulmates,
but then fame and success went to his head. The idea of marriage
wasn't sitting right with him, and the only way he knew how to get
out of the wedding was not to show up.
Since that awful day Zadie hasn't had much luck with men, though
she hasn't really been looking. Her best friend, however, is a man.
Grey is a lawyer who also happens to work in "the industry," as
they call it in Southern California. Although he works long hours,
he always has time for Zadie. So when she finds out that he has
become engaged to her cousin Helen, who she has hated for most of
her life (most likely out of envy or irritation, or both), she
doesn't know what to say. Grey knows how she feels about Helen, but
Zadie wants him to be happy and so she goes along with it. It
doesn't help, however, that Helen has chosen her as one of her
bridesmaids, and Zadie has to attend a day-long bachelorette party
with Helen and her boring friends. Grey asks Zadie to help liven up
the party, knowing how uptight Helen can be about everything. This
is where he makes his fatal mistake.
The zany antics of the women on Helen's bachelorette day are enough
to keep one in stitches. The visit to Larry Flynt's store The
Hustler had enough gags to last the entire book. Sex videos, lewd
outfits, and strap-ons have the girls going nuts, and Helen, the
uptight cousin who Zadie thought she knew, has become one loose
"ho." It did help that Helen was drunk at the time.
It is one crazy scene after another on this special day of Helen's.
When Zadie learns of Helen's dark secrets, and witnesses something
that shocks even her, she wonders if she owes it to Grey to tell
him everything, or if she should let him find out after he marries
A bawdy running commentary from Zadie and many crazy scenes such as
the shopping spree at The Hustler make this book a must-read. Maybe
it's not for the most prudish of readers, but in this day and age,
a little dirty humor actually enhances the laughs and makes for a
fun read. While this is certainly not a literary book by any means,
it is well-written, fast-paced, and well-focused on its main
themes. Zadie's obsession over one of her students, Trevor, adds to
the raunchiness and will have readers guessing, "Will she, or won't
While the storyline is for the most part lighthearted and filled
with a lot of sexual innuendo, Lutz's characters do grow and
develop. This reader feels that Lutz has done a service to this
genre by writing about people who may sound like they belong in a
stereotypical Chick Lit novel but under the surface are real
people. Co-writer of the movie Legally Blonde, Karen
McCullah Lutz shows a lot of promise for future books that may
follow. This reviewer calls THE BACHELORETTE PARTY a Four-Star
Reviewed by Marie Hashima Lofton (Ratmammy@lofton.org) on December 22, 2010