Clubbing--Andi Watson & Josh Howard: And Minx Books is now 1::2 in the decent to crap ratio. Somebody have a word with the editor of that line, please. This book starts out with the interesting premise of Goth club girl Charlotte "Lottie" Brook getting caught with a fake id and being sent to spend 3 months with her grandparents working at their golf club in the Lake District, where she finds a little romance and a murder mystery to investigate. And then it suddenly turns into a ripoff of a Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode. Yes, really. I'm done with this line.
However, note to Genevieve--there is one very funny bit, a "country Goth" vs "city Goth" pissing match.
Girl Most Likely To--Poonam Sharma: This is a book that sent me on a weeklong rampage of asking the question "Do you think I'm retarded?" Because this book insults the reader by feeding her a drippy heroine, a plot that rampages through everything but the kitchen sink with the search for true love, gay friends finding love, straight friends getting a clue, thinking your one night stand taped your sex to sell on the internet, insider trading, a yoga retreat, meddling Indian parents, and a deus ex machina arrival of a career change from banking to writing. Hi, I'm the author and I'm going to distract you from the lameness and unrealistic plot of my tale and paper thin characters you care nothing about by throwing EVERYTHING at you. Then I can cross "wrote a novel" off my life to do list.
Honey, it's okay to be an underachiever if you do it well.
How Nancy Drew Saved My Life--Lauren Baratz-Logsted: Another book that insults the reader's intelligence, this time by giving us paper thin characters and a plot stolen directly from Jane Eyre. And no wink-nudge-nudge to let us know the author is doing something deft with that stolen plot. Nope, it's a lame naive heroine with a habit of sleeping with her employer, which is tragically trite when you're the nanny and a former child actress with AWOL parents and minimal education. Well, that explains her stupidity at least. And why she doesn't realize she's playing Jane Eyre.
And that title? Total bait and switch. Nancy Drew, her awesomeness and the real life lessons you can pick up from her books barely figure into the story. It's a case of a catchy title duping you into picking up the book, only to find there are barely words to describe its awfulness. Non-scatalogical words at least.
I realize not everything can be great, but there's no shame in being just good. This is just crap. I got the feeling Baratz-Logsted owed the publisher a book and just churned this puppy out to meet the deadline. If I had paid money for it, I do not know what I would have done. Thank you, CPL!