Today's featured book is Demetri and the Banana Flavored Rocketship by Bryan Pedas:
Demetri Gainer is
suffering from a terminal case of frugality. He has more than most—a
million dollars, a house in a beautiful community, and a loving sister.
Unfortunately, his money is in wads of cash left behind by his dead
family, his house is a rusted metal trailer dumped off in the corner of a
very unhappy yuppie housing development, and his sister is severely
disabled and unable to do much more than eat her weight in food and
watch cartoons. Because taking care of her is its own full time job, he
has to make that million dollars last for the rest of his life, even if
it means not having one of his own.
But it’s not just money
hindering Demetri’s life. The community’s Home Owner’s Association is
making every attempt to rid him from his eyesore of a home, citing an
outdated, archaic law stating that only wholesome, married families are
able to care for a disabled child. In order to keep his sister and his
home, Demetri needs a wife, fast.
The obvious choice is the
pretty neighbor girl that adores Demetri and his frugal ways, but to
Demetri, the obvious answer is the Internet, where he stumbles upon a
poorly written website advertising the perfect mail-order-bride: one who
will ask of nothing, keep to herself, and cost nothing to keep happy,
identified as Mai Keungern by the website. Thinking Mai is his only
option, he sends away for her, and when she comes, via a shipping crate
sent halfway around the world, he finds out that she’s just a blowup
doll. Mai Keungern simply means ‘no refunds’ in Thai.
HOA Nazis sniffing out answers, Demetri has no choice but to breathe
some life (and some air) into Mai and pass her off as his wife, even
giving her a personality—one he can’t stand. And so with a little help
from the girl down the street and a lot of therapy from an angry blowup
doll, Demetri will face everything he hates about his frugality—in the
form of inflatable plastic—as he attempts to balance the
responsibilities of caring for his sister and relearn the simple, once
forgotten joys of life.
Comments: The writing is incredible. The only drawback is
that the premise of the story may be a barrier to some readers. It's
like the movie Lars and the Real Girl, beautiful and completely under
appreciated. I understand the under appreciation, because I can
understand that people see what it's about and respond with "that's
dumb" without ever giving it a chance, and Demetri is like that in some
ways, but it's also a beautiful story, and people who dismiss it because
of its premise will be missing out.
You can buy it on Kindle from Amazon for $2.99 and in paperback for $10.34