Okay -- wow, this was good! I have never read Crusie before, so I was expecting just another semi-generic chick lit novel. I've never been so glad to be disappointed!
I think this is the most perfect chick lit book I have ever read. It was hilarious, for one -- the one-liners just kept coming the whole novel through. And they were *good* one-liners, funny, smart, sexy, and witty. The characters were fabulous -- well-drawn, quirky, likeable (the good guys), deliciously unlikeable (the bad guys), intelligent, and fully fleshed-out. These were people I wanted to get to know and hang out with, the kind of people I could see myself being friends with. And the plot was utterly absorbing. Once I started, I couldn't put the book down. Literally. I stayed up until 9:00 in the morning finishing this thing; by the end, I was so tired I could barely keep my eyes open, but I kept on reading instead of doing the sensible thing and, y'know, sleeping, because I just *had* to know what happened next. It's been a while since I've been that caught up in a book. I'm going to have to check out Jennifer Crusie's other novels, because that was really a lot of fun!
Oh! I forgot to mention the best part! The overweight heroine doesn't lose weight to win the heart of the hero! Not only is she as fat for the happily-ever-after ending as she was for the beginning, but the hero kept feeding her all the way through the novel because he liked the look on her face when she ate something yummy. I was starving when I finished _Bet Me_ -- people kept eating pasta, chicken marsala, and Krispy Kreme donuts! I've been waiting a long time for a book that said you don't have to be thin to be happy, and actually *meant* it. Thanks, Ms. Crusie!