Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Don't Look Down by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer

For those of you looking for a 'typical' Crusie, this is NOT it and I have no idea what a typical Mayer is since I have never read him. There has been lots of buzz on message boards and blogs about this book both positive and negative. Most of the negative stuff seemed to come from people not getting that this is a collaboration and Crusie's voice has been muted somewhat.

I had a difficult time getting into this book since I continually picked it up and put it down over the course of 4 or 5 days. That's unusual for me to be so patient but I confess that I probably stuck with it because I didn't want to be left out on all the discussions. The problem was that the beginning 50-100 pages was a bit confusing, the pacing was uneven and there were too many characters introduced all at once but after that I sped through it. Crusie's voice is evident (but not prominent) and the humor worked. The voice for the hero, J.T. Wilder, was pure male and I could see Mayer's influence there. I like when a male character actually thinks and speaks like "real" men do. Too many times it's obvious that the male voice is "feminized." Is that a word?

I liked the heroine and her niece, Pepper, was adorable, but not too cutesy, and J.T was yummy. And I loved the Wonder Woman party! The love scenes were hot too. I posted about the fact that J.T sort of 'cheats' on Lucy because after meeting her he has sex with an actress when finding her naked in his bed. This made me uncomfortable at first. But eventually I changed my mind because it caused some great conflict between H/H. Lucy finds out and she gives him crap about it. He has the good sense to look and feel ashamed of himself.

I have been reading all the comments on the AAR RtR MB and one particular comment was a bit disturbing to me:

It didn't feel like a collaboration to me either. It read to me as if one of my most beloved authors stepped back and allowed her voice to be overpowered and all but drowned out by a stonger, louder, more male voice. My inner feminist is sad and sorely disillusioned.

Excuse me? That's hitting below the belt ;) I consider myself a feminist from WAY back, even when the ultra-right and most many men had turned the word into a derogatory term and my women friends all started saying things like "I'm not a feminist, but..." Hey, I am a feminist, dammit! I enjoyed this book and don't believe Crusie "allowed her voice to be overpowered". What's wrong with women thinking and talking like women and men thinking and talking like men? My 'inner feminist' rejoices in the differences. Okay, I'll get off my soapbox. I lost control for a second.

I would agree with Nicole and call this one a romantic action/adventure. There is a romance (a good one) with lots of action and reminded me of a Brockmann but with more humor (and without a bunch of SEALs who are all going to get their own book!)

My grade: B-


Karen Scott said...

Seeing as most people are rhapsodizing over this book, I think I'll steer clear.

I've had JC Bet Me in my TBR for over a year now, and I still haven't read it, I think mostly because of the hype. I'll wait till the next time I need to go to the doctor's. They're great places to read books that you've been putting off for a while.

ReneeW said...

Yes, Karen, ignore those people who are rhapsodizing. It's a worthy effort by Crusie/Mayer, but getting past the first pages takes patience.

I have to tell you Bet Me was pretty good and most people loved it but I had a small problem with it. IIRC the love scene doesn't take place until almost the end of the book. By that time I was thoroughly running out of patience and kept thing "do it, already!" Okay, I know I sound like a sex fiend. The humor was great but not enough sex. :)

CindyS said...

I was one of those who loved Bet Me but I do remember thinking it was stingy in the sex area and I wasn't sure I cared by the end of the book. It definitely had a fairytale quality about it.

I read her interview after Bet Me at AAR and she basically said she was done with romance so I'm in no hurry to pick up this book. And I'm still pouting over Brockmann. Yes, I know, very unbecoming.

Thanks for the review though! What was said about feminism though is straight up false. I mean, I don't think Mayer sat beside her and held a gun to her head. Just by reading her blog (which I have because she can bring the funny) she was thrilled to be working with Mayer and vice versa.


ReneeW said...

If Crusie says she is done with romance then I'm probably done with her :) I wasn't going to read DLD until I found out that there was a romance in it. I think I may pass up their next one (if there is one). Thanks for agreeing with me about the feminist stuff. I think the person who said that was just feeling bitter about the loss of a beloved author. Which I can understand but I don't agree with her.

Reese said...

Yo Renee!

I think I must be the only person on the planet who's never read a Jenny Cruise book. I'm eager to check this one out, though, cause it seems like the two collaborators are trying to do something new with the genre.

Yeah, the business about he "feminized" male voices - I get a kick out of that, too.

Later girl

ReneeW said...

Yo yourself! You must try a Crusie. I recommend Welcome to Temptation. Come on, try it, I think you'd like it.

Wow, I haven't touched my blog in over 6 years and I'm still logged in!  Good thing because I have no idea what my password is.  In ...