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Jen Spyra Books In Order

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Publication Order of Collections

Jen Spyra is a general fiction author of short stories, and her debut novel is titled Big Time. She is also a performer and worked at the Late Show with Stephen Colbert as a staff writer for four seasons. She was a senior writer for The Onion, where she headed the editorial video department as a producer, director, and writer. Spyra is a graduate of Barnard College and owns an MFA in playwriting and screenwriting from Northwestern University.

Big Time
The Book’s first collection is the Bridal Body, where the bride-to-be aspires to look good on the day of her wedding just like everyone would want. She goes to a personal trainer named Diego, but he can’t reshape her body, and fortunately, a mysterious spiky-haired lady comes to rescue her.

The bride-to-be then joins a covert, costly fitness program designed to reduce her BMI by 40 %, then add eleven pounds of muscle and six pounds of breast fat. The program promises her much but costs more than she imagined, and it turns out to be more addictive that she doesn’t want to leave. She is obsessed with the program, but it recommends at least seven years to complete. This means that she’ll finish her program long after her wedding has already taken place.
Jen Spyra talks about the obsessiveness of body perfection, especially for future brides, and the much they’re willing to sacrifice to be perfect on their wedding day. The First Influencer story says that a cavewoman known as Oola sells flat-belly tea to cavewomen.

Oola paints on cave walls as she advertises her products while mimicking a style used by social media influencers and their good praise of the product they’re promoting. Due to Oola’s success, the ladies try the products themselves, hoping they will work.

The other story is of the Snowman who brings fun on holiday by behaving like a horny, drunkard vaping bad boy to entertain the children. He pairs a young, wide-eyed lad named Elijah Honeycutt with a magical but foul-mouthed snowman on an adventure that can make even a bad Santa blush off.

Dinner at Eight re-imagines a clue by playing telephone with the narrators, which are more offensive than their predecessor. It’s a murder mystery dinner party with a series of guests, including an anti-Semitic playboy; awoke young lady, a colonel who uses women like objects, the host, and the victim. This story feels more like a play than a short story.

Other stories include The Adventure of the Mistaken Right Swipe, which features Sherlock Holmes as an online dater. The other one is ‘The Boyfriend Identity,’ which consists of the Plus One Project, a special-operation organization that trains men to become perfect boyfriends.

There is also a titular story that almost covers one-third of the whole Big Time’s length. It introduces Ruby, a lady trying to find a name for herself in 1940’s Hollywood. In the story, the author shows how Ruby was meant for the big things from a young age, even when she grew up in difficult times. She was brought up in an orphanage, and she almost makes it, but that is just before a plane crash takes her into the distant future of 2021.

The Birthday Girl story is about a woman who makes enormous sacrifices and spends much to attend to her narcissistic friend Molly’s birthday party, where things take a different turn from what they expected. The other stories include Monster Goo, My Dearest Caroline, and The Secret Meeting of the Women’s Club.
The author incorporates twists that you will not see coming, but it sets to give the reader a roller coaster ride full of laugh-out scenes. Jen Spyra uses almost a hundred pages of the Big Time to develop Ruby’s unforgettable character as she takes her ludicrous plot to the point of no return.

The story is proof of the author’s writing talent; apart from her comedic side, she adds depth to her fantastic character even when most of them are meant to be caricatures. In this debut, Jen Spyra takes the culture that appears to be beyond parody and holds it up as she drives the reader right into a world creatures plagued by mental illness and prehistoric influencers.

She also talks about a birthday bash that is said to be the most lavish party of all the time. All the stories are whimsical and fantastical until they take dark turns. Each of the stories is rooted in an authentic experience that can generate emotions like jealousy, anxiety, and anger but as crazy as they get, they all start from places of empathy.

The author also uses dark and dry humor that will leave you laughing aloud.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Jen Spyra

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