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The Joke's on Me
Laurie Boris, author
Stand-up comic Frankie Goldberg’s Hollywood dreams fall apart with an exclamation mark when a mudslide destroys her hopes, her home, and her entire collection of impractical footwear. Needing comfort, she returns to her mother's B&B in Woodstock, New York, where she spent her teen years doing chores and chasing after the handyman's hot, high-school-jock son. But the joke's on her. Now she has to deal with the mess she left behind, including her non-relationship with her bossy older sister and their mother's illness. And the handyman's son, now a minor-league baseball coach, is back in town.

Quarter Finalist

Plot/Idea: 10 out of 10
Originality: 10 out of 10
Prose: 10 out of 10
Character/Execution: 10 out of 10
Overall: 10.00 out of 10


Plot: Humorous, witty, and lighthearted, the plot dives right in, reeling in readers with a vibrant setup and panache that continues to echo throughout. These pages provide a satisfying blend of comedy, drama, and romance that keeps readers engaged.

Prose/Style: The writing is economical and curt where it needs to be and, at the same time, doesn't shy away from a more expository style strategically peppered throughout. The author showcases excellent situational awareness and delivers a satisfying course of literature to the readers.

Originality: The book is original and effective in its delivery, avoiding clichés and formulaic outcomes. The plot, the setting, and the characters feel unique and vibrant.

Character Development: The characters are marvelously flawed and complex. They carry the story, pulling the readers in with interactions that feel earnest, raw, and realistic, making for an excellent and memorable read.

Date Submitted: July 20, 2020