Verdict: LANA FRAY AND THE GRAND PLAN is offbeat and addictive romantic chick-lit, with fun and funny internal dialogue moving the story along at a quick pace.
LANA FRAY AND THE GRAND PLAN follows a month in the life of a headstrong and witty reality TV producer in Los Angeles as she carries forward an eccentric plan to find the man of her dreams.
A month away from Lana Fray’s thirtieth birthday, she brainstorms up the scheme of emailing 100 of her closest friends and offering $5,000 to the one who can help set her up with her future husband, promising payment on the wedding day. The no-holds-barred first-person perspective of Lana’s topsy-turvy world reads like one fun, month-long journal entry and her journey to find love takes a number of compelling, humorous, and unexpected—albeit sometimes farfetched—twists.
Higbee structures the novel within a 31-day/four-week timeframe. Throughout the month leading up to her thirtieth birthday, Lana goes on a rollercoaster ride at work, within her circle of friends, and, most prominently, during her search for Mr. Right. Higbee balances all three of these conflicts very neatly, giving time to allow each of the different situations to develop, all the while introducing a unique assortment of characters with distinct personalities, interesting quirks, and a variety of traits. This colorful cast of characters ensures that Girls Night is never dull for her.
There are moments, though, where the story veers off into farfetched territory, sounding too extreme for reality. For example, there’s a point where Lana’s dates get progressively worse and the different guys she meets all start to resemble caricatures instead of believable characters. Then, for the show that she’s developing at work, things fall into place a bit too seamlessly and the characters that she meets are almost too perfect. She’s trying to pitch a show on cement workers called Meet the Muckers and she just so happens to meet her fairy godfather of sorts in the Italian proprietor of the business. He doles out a nearly unending stream of insightful advice that seemingly comes from left field. Additionally, there are a couple of grammatical errors and misspellings. But, for the most part, the story’s creative beats and bent keep it quite entertaining.
LANA FRAY AND THE GRAND PLAN is offbeat and addictive romantic chick-lit, with fun and funny internal dialogue moving the story along at a quick pace.