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Harper Perennial
ISBN: 978-00063324152
December 5, 2023
Contemporary Fiction

Los Angeles, California – Present Day

The Benedetto family was once part of the A list in Hollywood due to their wildly popular reality TV show. But the show was canceled, and the Benedettos found their fortune dwindling. Their once magnificent McMansion is now crumbling and needing repair, with boxes of decaying food scattered around after the mother of the family, Cinta, ordered them and didn’t use them after discovering they required cooking. So now, food is ordered in every night and the five sisters, June, Lilly, Olivia, Kit, and Mari, continue to party hard and get their names in the tabloids. Of course, now it is reported with a little snicker by the press since they are no longer considered stars.

As MEET THE BENEDETTOS opens, Lilly is rescued by June after her car breaks down. Arriving home, they learn that the mansion next door has been rented by Charlie Bingley, the dashing star of Captain Fantastic, along with his friend, Will Darcy, also an actor but of lesser stardom. The family plots on how to worm their way into Charlie’s orbit, so end up inviting themselves into his home. Charlie immediately forms an attraction to June, while Lilly discovers that she kind of likes Will. Of course, everyone knows that the Benedettos pretend to be bigger than they are, but that doesn’t stop the family from pretending otherwise. 

Lilly is the main protagonist of MEET THE BENEDETTOS, as is Will. The two form a tentative friendship that soon devolves into something more. Yet, because the Benedetto family name is synonymous with trouble, Will tries to keep Lilly at arm’s length. He doesn’t need a scandal to blow his chances at getting bigger roles. Meanwhile, June and Charlie continue to like each other, but is there a chance that a romance will develop? June is sensitive and has trouble with anorexia. Charlie just never seems to take life seriously. Will it all blow up in their faces if things don’t work out between them?

MEET THE BENEDETTOS does seem to go all over the place. While we mostly get Lilly and Will’s point of view, we do see some of the others. The five sisters come across as somewhat vapid, though Lilly does worry about their reputations. In the background is the fact that they are on the verge of losing their home. Their father once owned a burger franchise with lots of stores, but he is down to one. The family has very little idea of how to plan for the future, though Lilly is writing and hopes to one day to publish her book. But will anyone take her seriously as an author? The ending of MEET THE BENEDETTOS was somewhat abrupt, though I must admit that I wasn’t expecting how one of their problems would be solved. By the end, did Lilly and Will, as well as June and Charlie, get together?

There is a lot going on in MEET THE BENEDETTOS, so readers might need a scorecard to keep track of who is who. This reads similar to what the Kardashian family would look like if they had faded to obscurity instead of growing their brand. An interesting tale for sure, don’t miss MEET THE BENEDETTOS.

Patti Fischer

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