Let me start with a little caveat: I seldom read humor novels and I never read over the top humor. I took a chance on Shizzle, Inc after I became familiar with Ana Spoke‘s writing solely because she is such an engaging writer. I won bank on that bet. Yay, instincts!
Shizzle, Inc. follows the trials and tribulations of its heroine Isabella Maxwell. We follow her calamitous and improbable adventures from getting dumped by her beau through successive upward failures that bring her to the brink of destroying an international mega corporation.
Isa is almost terminally ditzy but has a strong undercurrent of compassion that makes her quite endearing. You want to slap some sense into her while simultaneously giving her a hug and telling her it will all be okay. Her biggest failing, and Spoke plays this to great humorous effect, is that she sees the world primarily as it relates to her. One example: she collects a bevvy of imaginary suitors because she interprets almost any interaction as interest in her.
The first half of the book builds continuous tension as Isa digs a hole for herself with successively larger shovels. It culminates in possibly the funniest extended chase scene I’ve ever read. She catches a clue in the latter portion of the book as she realizes how she has misinterpreted things and misjudged others and herself. Spoke somehow resolves all of the threads that Isa’s misadventures started while setting up a third act. Well, all except for Isa’s love life but I imagine that’s going to be calamitous for the run of her novels.
This is definitely an Isa Maxwell story and the other characters are there to help her tell it. Some other reviews have pointed to flat secondary characters but I think this is just failure to catch Isa’s almost crippling self-focus. The story from her POV paints the other personalities in caricature, the way Isa sees them through her Isa colored glasses. I found myself intrigued, trying to figure out what a scene might have been like from another POV, without Isa’s unreliable narrative and “me” focus.
This was a very fun read and I happily recommend it to anybody who enjoys irreverent humor and over the top antics. You will have a great time with this story.
Review based on Amazon Kindle version purchased at retail pricing.