Monday, April 2, 2007

High Maintenance

Okay, so I don't read that much anymore. I used to read constantly as a kid- every time the Ohio Valley Mall Santa Claus asked me what I would like for Christmas I asked for books. In middle school I made it my goal to read every work of fiction in the school library alphabetically by author. (In three years I only got through L or something.) But when I tried to write a nice list of my favourite books for my blog profile I realised that I haven't read any fiction worth mentioning in a long, long time. I felt a pang of regret at the degeneration of my reading habits. Immediately I went over to my bookshelf and selected something I had picked up at Goodwill for 99 cents. It was High Maintenance by Jennifer Belle. I decided to write about it here because I'd like to keep a log of the books I read and this seems a good place to start. So, let me begin by saying that 99 cents might have been too high a price to pay for this book. Look how the cover has words like "hilarious," "exceptionally funny," and "bestseller!" LIES, I tell you! (Okay, the bestseller part is probably true, but it only goes to show that Americans will buy just about anything.) This book was basically 350 pages of lackluster writing with perhaps the sum total of one page worth of funny and/or interesting lines thrown in sporadically. The plot: a rich woman divorces her cheating husband and has to move out of the apartment over which she obsesses for the rest of the book. She becomes a real estate agent and spends a lot of time showing apartments- comparing them to her old one and passing judgment on just about every client. Basically, the protagonist is unlikeable, her thoughts inane, and her actions contrived. Her love interest is clearly insane, married, and lies constantly. He is vile and offensive to both the character herself and to the reader, and there's actually a scene were he bites part of her ear off and she has to get it sewn back on by a veterinarian. Ew. I am glad to have finished the book- I would've quit reading but I genuinely wanted to see what would happen in the end. Not a whole lot- things did get wrapped up tidily as they tend to do in these kinds of books, but I never really liked any of the characters anyway, so I just didn't care. To add insult to mediocre writing, she dishonors my brethren, the nerds. The main character doesn't care for her best friend's beau. Allow me to quote: "Her new boyfriend played Dungeons & Dragons with two other guys every Sunday night. I'd rather date a married psychopath than a man who did that." Preposterous. All I'm saying- don't read this book. As for me, I'm on the road to bigger and better works. Up next is "Gone With the Wind." If I can't bring myself to enjoy that one, perhaps I should just stop reading altogether! :o


Barbara said...

Okay, I'll cross that one off my list! You might want to try The Other Side of Midnight - Sidney Sheldon (the best ending of any book I've read) then Memories of Midnight actually ANYTHING by Sidney Sheldon; Pillars of the Earth - Ken Follett (it took U John 2 years to read this one because he got hung-up on the lost pig, but couldn't put it down once he got past those 4 or 5 pages...hehehe), or Kane and Abel - Jeffery Archer.. I could go on for days. Oh! It looks like I have! :) We'll go to BookNook while you're here.

Sarah said...

I know! You have always told me to read Sydney Sheldon! Maybe after Margaret Mitchell. =) I have to say, though, that it's not looking to good for "Pillars." After hearing U. John complain about that pig year after year I'm feeling pretty discouraged!