Frey is the controversial author of A Million Little Pieces and comes back for his third novel, and first try at fiction. This book has Los Angeles as a character as much as the novel is set in LA. In the beginning, we get many stories of people living in LA. Artists, immigrants, homeless, movie stars, runaways, bloggers, gang members, any typical story to LA is mentioned in this book.
Frey focuses on four separate story lines: a closet homosexual who happens to be one of the biggest movie stars in the world, a young couple who run away from their home and come to LA to try and turn a new leaf without any abuse from their parents, a young woman born in America to Mexican who has abnormally large thighs, and a homeless man who lives in a washroom on Venice Beach.
Some of the main characters are pretty easy to relate to, others aren't, but I think that's the point. The characters all have their flaws though, but you don't necessarily want them to get away with everything they try.
The rest is just background noise, like commercials in between your favourite soap opera. Sure the facts about LA and the side stories are interesting, but you get wrapped up in the main stories and you just want to find out what happens next. It was a bit hard to remember who was who at the beginning, but you eventually remember and the pages start turning until you're done!
First Line: "On September 4, 1781, a group of forty-four men, women and children who called themselves the Pobladores establish a settlement on land that is near the centre of contemporary Los Angeles."