Odd Guy, Even Girl - A Novel
Reviewed By: Editorial Board
The Editorial Board of The Columbia Review accepts submissions from authors, publishers, directors, agents, producers and fans. www.TheColumbiaReview.com
Linda P. Cavaney has stormed on to the humorous fiction publishing scene with the imaginative and delightful “Odd Guy, Even Girl” – a novel full of engaging and creative stories about eccentric and entertaining characters that will keep the reader amused from start to end.
The book centers on a handful of quirky, immature characters in their early thirties. The story’s protagonist – Ellie Pages – may be the quirkiest of them all. What Ellie desires most in life is stability and consistency. She has a particular fondness for even numbers, but doesn’t care much for things like traveling, rewarding relationships with friends and family, or having an exciting career. What some might call an underachiever, Ellie just wants everything to feel under control. And, of course, this is exactly the opposite of what she gets.
As the story progresses, things in Ellie’s world start unraveling and falling way out of her control. Ellie explains: “My humble abode was beginning to feel more like the stage of a play—no walls, just people coming and going, blurting out their lines. I decided to keep telling myself it was just a rehearsal. So where was the director, anyway? Somebody around here needed to take control and say stuff like, That’s enough for today. Go home, rest up. We’ll try again tomorrow.” The story takes Ellie and her friends on a series of adventures starting from a small town in the state of New Jersey to the bustling city of Austin, Texas, with a great deal of twists and turns along the way: “Somehow, along Route 81, we’d ended up in Tennessee—a good thing, since it was on the way to Texas…And besides, it was too late to change course now. We’d already accidentally decided on the scenic route. And “scenic,” I’ve come to find out, means mountains; who cares? They’re just some really big rocks sticking out of the ground that Type A people would rather climb up with their fingernails than go around. Type Zs live longer.”
The author skillfully and humorously weaves together the relationships and experiences of the story’s characters through a four-legged, three-toed Portuguese water dog named Lucy. Lucy unexpectedly brings the friends together and highlights the importance of connection. The characters’ back-and-forth banter is natural and realistic, and the book’s format is unique and intriguing: it is divided into two parts, each containing several short chapters (each, a “scene”). The many pop culture references from past and present will be recognizable and interesting for readers of a wide range of ages.
In summary, Linda P. Cavaney has produced a sweet, charming, and endearing story of friendship and adventure along the unexpected paths on which life often takes us. The novel feels exceptionally real and is delightfully funny. A book that the reader will have a hard time putting down, “Odd Guy, Even Girl” is not to be missed!