Saturday, June 18, 2011

Did Not Finish - 3 Books

Since I am 14 books behind in reviews, thought I'd do mini reviews for the 3 books I abandoned in May and June (so far...). The 3 books were:
  • So Much Pretty by Cara Hoffman
  • The Good Patient by Kristin Waterfield Duisberg
  • Heads You Lose by Lisa Lutz and David Hayward

Title: So Much Pretty
Author: Cara Hoffman
Year: 2011
Page: 304
Genre: Fiction - Murder / Mystery / Thriller / Suspense

FTC Disclosure: Borrowed from the library

Summary (from see here.

  • First Sentence: 
  • They are looking for someone with blond or dark brown or black hair.

My Thoughts:

  • I chose this book because I liked reading psychological thrillers, and I read some great reviews of this one!
  • I liked the cover too - set the atmosphere of the book
  • I was so looking forward to reading this one since the premise sounded so promising - in particular, stories with a big a-ha ending like The Six Sense or Shutter Island. If I had to describe this book, I would say this book had ADD! Why? It was all over the place! (See next bullet)
  • Now, I actually do quite look books told from different perspectives. I also didn't mind if the book jumped between past and present, if it was made clear. This book were told from multiple perspectives and from multiple years and from multiple formats... it was just too much for my brain. For example (this is just made up, since I don't have the book with me anymore as I borrowed it from the library): 
    • Chapter 1, Perspective A in 2001, in 3rd person
    • Chapter 2, Perspective B in 1987, in 1st person
    • Chapter 3, Perspective C in 1991, in "evidence" / document format
    • Chapter 4, Perspective A, in 1986, in 3rd person
    • Chapter 5, Perspective D, in 2002, etc etc
  • See what I meant? I couldn't keep track of the different perspectives, and the different timelines... I felt like tearing the book apart, and put it in chronological order or something! So I gave up at p137 (of 304 pages).
  • I googled to see what the big secret was, and from the little that I read, I wasn't wow-ed. I guess I had to read the book to get wow-ed.

... the responsibility of every intelligent person is to pay attention to the obvious. (p4)

Title: The Good Patient
Author: Kristin Waterfield Duisberg
Year: 2004
Page: 336
Genre: Fiction

FTC Disclosure: Borrowed from the library

Summary (from See here.

First Sentence: 
From the inside out, these are my layers: bad, good, bad, good, and now - new - again bad.

My Thoughts:

  •  I didn't know anything about this book beforehand, I just saw it at the library and the premise  sounded very promising - I am a sucker for books that promise big secrets!
  • I gave up after 47 pages... I just couldn't get into it. I didn't like the protagonist - she annoyed me. You heard people saying "I don't need negative or toxic people around me?" This is how I felt when I read this book.

Title: Heads You Lose
Author: Lisa Lutz and David Hayward
Year: 2011
Page: 302
Genre: Fiction - Murder / Mystery / Thriller / Suspense

FTC Disclosure: Borrowed from the library

Summary (from See here.

First Sentence:
Paul flipped the coin and Lacey called tails.

My Thoughts:

  • I have read Lutz's The Spellman Files (The Spellmans, #1) before. I only read Book 1 - I liked it okay but didn't like it enough to read the rest of the series. It was a bit too chick-lit-ish for my liking and I didn't find it as funny as others. When I heard about this one, I was very intrigued with the idea of 2 authors collaborating on a novel - Lutz and her ex-boyfriend no less, and it didn't sound like they departed on good terms! So I wondered how the story would turn out, and why on earth would she want to do this project?
  • Lutz wrote all the odd number chapters, and Hayward wrote the even number chapters. After each chapter, it included their emails to each other about what they thought of the chapter and what the other should do in the next chapter. Before the story even started, there was an Editor note to explain about this, and the original email Lutz sent to Hayward about why she wanted to do this project. It was kinda fun to read this, until...
  • Until the email exchange between the 2 authors got kinda annoying and distract from the story, and the footnote seemed kinda petty. It was an interesting concept, but it wasn't execute well. A lot of times Lutz was telling Hayward what to write in the next chapter, and kept reminding him that she was the "name" of the pair... (I cheated, and skipped to read just the email exchange, and not the actual story.) It made me wonder if she should have just written the book herself. This might have worked better as a series of blog posts, rather than a book. It was almost like reading a draft of the book instead.
  • The actual story was kinda weak too. I stopped around 46 pages, and didn't really care to find out who the killer was. The characters weren't very likeable either, they sounded like airheads. I guess when the authors wrote this book, they had no idea where the plot was going (since it was dependent on what the other author wrote in the previous chapter), and the characters weren't well defined.
  • I was surprised that Jeffery Deaver, one of my favorite author of this genre (he wrote The Bone Collector), was quoted at the back of the book.
  • If this book was written by two unknown authors, I doubt it would have been published.

0 Stars for all 3 books - Did Not Finish.

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