There’s something bitter and luxurious about Funny You Should Ask by Elissa Sussman. As though it were a literary lemon tart. Each bite scrapes acid along your tongue, leaving cynicism to prod around your mouth with each page. Just as your lips are beginning to pucker from the taste, the dry wit of the text offers a soft haven for your taste buds. Round and round as your fork goes, so to do your eyes to the pages of the book. Funny You Should Ask is more than a guilty pleasure, it’s devouring.
While, from a literary perspective, I can’t argue or discuss the arch of the story too much, since, in it’s barest bones, is nothing new. But since every story in the world has already been told in one way or another, this review is going to focus more on the telling of the story. To continue the food metaphor from before, Funny You Should Ask was plated brilliantly. Woven into the pages of the story were breathy moments that cleansed the palette, so to speak. Utilizing book reviews, readers reviews, news articles, gossip articles, they enticed a breath and a sprint from the reader. Rathe than languidly fighting page after page of long chapters or flashbacks, Sussman added a layer to the story which also added a layer to the reading experience. What’s another page when it is just another page?
Sussman allows a break from plot for a break for readers to perceive the situation. Which is something most readers have to do on their own or separate from the text, having woven in that concept, readers are able to read in a more luxurious way. The work is done for them as the story unfolds. They just need to eat up the charming yet disastrously, real characters of Chani Horowitz and Gabe Parker. A reporter, a heartthrob, and the baggage of real life come together in this lemon tart of a text.