Monday, December 12, 2005

Too Much Of Everything

So I'm reading a debut novel right now, Good Girls Don't by Kelley St. John. As a general rule, I like reading debuts. I've had a lot of success with them, as I've read very few outright duds. I think because most authors spend a lot of time on the debut. Reworking it, rewriting it, and fine tuning it for submission. So by the time it gets published it's fairly well polished.

I'm trying to jog my memory here, but I don't think I've ever read a debut that would rate below an average grade on my scale.

So far, Good Girls Don't is hanging out in Average Land. I'm about halfway through it, and I'm trying to clarify my thoughts on why I'm not enamored with it thus far. Here it goes:

The heroine lies for a living. She works for a company called My Alibi, which helps it's clients (many of them cheaters) keep up the lie they told to whomever. As a favor to her sister, the heroine takes on a new client who wants to hide the fact that she's away for a romantic weekend with a guy who might be The One. She doesn't want her overprotective uncle/guardian to find out.

Turns out the uncle/guardian is an old friend of the heroine's. An old friend who has had the major hots for her for years. And now, she's reconnected with him by lying. Uh oh.

I have this issue with lying characters. They bother me. Possibly because it reflects badly on their moral fiber and I just don't "like" them very much. Or maybe because half the time they have no good reason for lying in the first place. That's just me though.

But the heroine seems torn and conflicted, so the lying isn't even that big an issue. No, it's the suspension of disbelief the reader must buy into for this plot to make any sort of sense. Here's a running list of the kitschy-cutesy-over-the-top stuff that's going on:

  • Heroine lies for a living
  • Heroine's sister designs sex toys for a living
  • Heroine's biggest problem at start of novel is a boyfriend who can't find her G spot
  • Hero's niece thinks "The One" is a biker dude named Butch
  • Lots and lots of sex talk. Not a whole lot of meaningful conversation going on
  • Hero giving heroine orgasm while driving 80mph down an Atlanta freeway

Add it all together in the same plot and my head begins to swim. One of these things is fine - I can go with it. Even 2 or 3. But all of them? Isn't it just a bit much? And I'm only about halfway through, so I'm sure there will be more.

In the meantime, I'll keep on reading. It's a review book folks....

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