Tuesday, January 12, 2016

WATERFALLS: Anything Can be Pickled if You Just Believe


What even happens in this book?

Waterfalls begins with an unusual meet cute. Meredith, children’s publisher, white sweateshirt purchaser, and sister of Clouds flight attendant, Shelly, is staying at rich Jessica’s Victorian Inn when Jake, an incognito actor and Shelly and Alissa's former condo neighbor, accidentally crashes on her bed. Unfortunately, Meredith discovers hot Jake when her face is slathered in an avocado mask, making this an ugly meet cute. Somehow, celeb-addict Meredith does not recognize Jake the actor but hikes with him to a waterfall (that he is secretly scouting for what appears to be a truly craptastic rip-off of Narnia) and flirts with him by shoving a muffin in his face (literal muffin, not innuendo). Eventually, Meredith places Jake as the hot famous piece he is and embarrasses him by making a big scene in front of a crowd. They awkwardly go their seperate ways until Jake apparently decides it's time to use his connection to Meredith to get his book series published in a rush to coincide with his terrible Narnia knockoff. (I cannot emphasis enough how much this fake video/book series sucks). 

Evangelical Star Wars

Meredith puts her business bitch hat on and signs Jake but lets him know his story is subpar right now. He initially throws a hissy fit at Meredith’s note that maybe there have been enough fantasy series with white, male protagonists, but he comes around. They eventually bond over two week editing period where they make his script/book series slightly less awfulby adding a female sidekick (aka the Hermoine factor) , but Meredith finds out that Jake is anti-love. Jake believes that marriage is essentially a contract that two people agree to honor even after the honeymoon period is over, and he conveys this in the most dead-eyed, serial killer way possible. Remember, Jake is the sensitive guy who tells Alissa during Sunsets that her dead parents are roasting in hell, so he knows a lot about maintaining positive relationships with people. Meredith is obviously grossed out by Jake's life philosophy and also by her attraction to this unfeeling, marginally-talented monster. Her lady boner for him leads her to make a series of thirsty decisions, including: rewriting his shitty book, agreeing to star in his shitty movie, agreeing to pretend to date him to keep away his non-existent admiring fans, and jumping into a lake with her clothes on (which all ladies know is the classic “I’m a sexy free spirit with boobs” move). Fortunately, Meredith's perky muffin-smushing antics eventually win Jake the handsome sociopath over and they decide to give this crazy love game a shot, evangelical-style (chaste, closed-mouth kiss).

Wait, Whaaaaa????

There’s a lot of questionable behavior in Glenbrook. This is where we judge it all.

How, how in God’s name could Shelly the flight attendance conveniently forget to tell her sister that her former neighbor is now an action film star? Hard-to-believe sister fail. Sandra Oh from Grey’s Anatomy, once walked past me on a sidewalk in LA, and I’m pretty sure I texted Elise about while she was still in my eyesight (I was also screaming, "Grey's Anatomy! Grey's Anatomy lady!" and pointing because I'm from Indiana, obvs.). . 
Pass. Hard Pass.

Meredith finally realizes that “Jay, bed sleeping bandit” is actually “Jacob Wilde, brand new movie star” by seeing the name Jacob Wilde embossed in gold on his LEATHER CELL PHONE POUCH.

While Jake’s anti-love affect gives him a Ted Bundy flair, Meredith is also someone to keep a close eye on if neighborhood pets begin disappearing. After playing the classic, “let’s throw grapes at each other and try to catch them in our mouths” game, Jake leaves a single grape on Meredith’s pillow at rich Jessica’s Inn…which she proceeds to pickle and keep in a jar in her fridge, presumably waiting for a convenient time to make a bone broth out of Jake’s femurs and garnish with said grape.

Precious Moments:

Our favorite quotes.

Meredith joins the rest of the Glenbrook ladies in throwing shade when describing Jessica: “She was a tender-hearted woman with fair skin, a regal look about her, and a half-moon-shaped scar on her upper lip. She hadn’t yet lost the weight after her son[‘s birth].

Jake about to take Meredith out to a fancy Hollywood dessert: “The only place I know…is the Cheesecake Factory in Hollywood. I hope you don’t mind that’ it’s a bit of a drive.”

Conspiracy Theory:
We tell you what’s really going down in Glenbrook.

A night out on the town with Fred.
Angie: Meredith and Jake are both sociopaths who form a strong bond over their ability to mask their true selves to others and reject all manner of normal human emotions. This is evidenced by Jake’s commitment to the idea that all marriages are loveless, and Meredith’s only companions are a goldfish named Elvis and a blowup man-doll named Fred. She can only forge relationships with inanimate objects, of which Jake is one. 

Elise: Robin Jones Gunn has infiltrated my life. Her description of Meredith's birthday dinner she cooked for herself (fettuccine alfredo with fresh pasta, roasted broccoli and raspberry cheesecake) inspired me to completely recreate it despite having “high cholesterol” and “a need to reduce fat intake” according to THE GOVERNMENT OR SOMETHING. I have bought frozen tamales, Dove bars, fresh German pears and choked down Irish breakfast tea during this project. I want to go to Germany, Hawaii and stay in a cute cabin on an island in the Pacific Northwest. I want to crash an elderly couple’s wedding in southern California and dodge used condoms on the sidewalk while commuting 30 minutes to go to the Cheesecake Factory, I WANT WICKER. RJG, you have weaseled your way into being my lifestyle inspo, and I, for one, am loving it.
Just because you ain't blood, don't make it right, y'all.

Final Judgment:

Is it worth the $0.01 on Amazon?

Did you enjoy watching deeply troubled Deb fall madly in love with her serial killer adopted brother, Dexter? Then Waterfalls is the book for you. A lot of this book is entertaining. You’ve got the Hollywood factor, Meredith actually liking her job and excelling at it, two weirdos bonding over their fake Narnia project. The part that was a little “meh” was Jake’s anti-love diatribes. He seems like a normal, fun-loving guy, so those parts felt like forced conflict.


  1. Wait, she seriously pickles the grape? This isn't, like, editorial license on your part? *shakes head frightenedly*

    1. "Moving the mayonnaise jar aside, Meredith pulled out a tiny glass jar from the back of the refrigerator and held it up to the light. It had been a maraschino cherry jar, but now it held only one pale green orb floating in a sea of white vinegar. The lone sailor was not a maraschino cherry but the grape Jake had left on her pillow." pg 86-87. Soooo, I take it pickling grapes is not going to appear on your food blog any time soon? All of the Glenbrook books DO have a recipe in the back in case you ever wanted to put an evangelical spin on The Optional Kitchen. Tempting, I know.