Friday, September 22, 2006

Two wallbangers (maybe)

Today is our wedding anniversary. Just thinking about how many years we have been married makes me feel ancient. Don't know where Bob is taking me to dinner. I told him to surprise me.

I'm not having much luck finishing a book lately. Two books have hit the wall (figuratively speaking because they were library books). Are my expectations too high after reading two keepers?

Problem book #1

Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot

This one was written in first person and usually that's not a problem for me but for some reason the heroine's inner voice just grated on me. Reminded me of the time my fifteen year old daughter had a slumber party with 10 of her closest friends. Aaaaaccccccckkkkkkkk. Lizzie Nichols's biggest problem is her mouth. She babbles, which has gotten her into trouble many times (foot-in-mouth disease). Lizzie is a recent college graduate who flies off to London to spend the summer with her British boyfriend. She hardly knows him (having only spent 24 hours with him) so when she arrives at the airport she doesn't recognize him. I'm still in chapter one and I am ready to strangle her. Maybe the problem is that the heroine is too young. Or maybe ChickLit is just not my thing. Whatever. AAR gave this book an A- so I had high hopes.

Has anyone else read this?

Problem book #2

Whispers of the Night by Lydia Joyce

I love LJ's voice and have enjoyed all her previous books. In this one the heroine, Alcyone Carter, has agreed to marry a nobleman in Hungary sight unseen. Her father is an extremely wealthy industrialist who wants his daughter to marry a titled peer. Since he is unable to find an English title, he settles on a foreign one, Baron Benedak. Alcy travels across Europe on horseback for days to her fiance's remote castle. No sooner does she set foot in the castle, then she is rushed to the chapel where the wedding ceremony is performed in a language she doesn't understand. We are told that Alcy is very strong willed and highly intelligent but I'm just shaking my head here. What woman (other than a doormat) would allow being rushed into a wedding ceremony in travel stained clothes smelling of horse? OK, it gets worse.

At their wedding dinner Alcy finally figures out that the "Baron" does not look like the miniature picture that was sent to her. The "hero" is actually Dumitru Constaninescu, a Rumanian count, a rival neighbor of the Baron. He has tricked Alcy and stolen (or kidnapped) her away from the Baron to wed her because he needs her huge dowry to restore his crumbling estate. At this point Dumitru's goal is to consummate the marriage, otherwise it can be annulled. Alcy feels betrayed and hurt, and tells him that if he forces her she will kill him, if it takes a month or twenty years. Dumitru is left in no doubt that she means it. More argument ensues. Eventually she says "You arrogant ass", then grabs him and kisses him! Then they have wild hot sex. Does that make sense to you? OK, it gets worse(r).

Dumitru later figures out that part of her dowry from the marriage is tied up in her bridal portion which is hers alone. If he wants to use it he must ask for permission and that doesn't sit right with the M.C.Pig in him. Alcy overhears him plotting with his steward to steal the money thereby making her completely dependent upon him. The bastard. This is about where I wanted to strangle him.

Joyce's last book, The Music of the Night, also had an jerk of a hero, but he redeemed himself somewhat (although some of you disagreed). But I don't know if I can continue reading this crap. Kidnapping, lying, and now stealing from the heroine are not attractive personality traits. I love an anti-hero as much as the next person, but I have serious doubts that he can be redeemed enough for me. I'm on page 137 and I'm putting this one aside for now. Anyone else read this? Does he redeem himself?

So I have two DNF books which I will probably take back to the library. Or I might try again later.


Devonna said...

Oh that's so frustrating! I haven't been happy with the last few books I've finished, but at least I've finished them. But that's the worst feeling when you really want to read something that grabs hold of you and sucks you into the story and you get stuck with stuff like that.

Kristie (J) said...

I can't help you. While a few of Meg Cabot's books I've read and enjoyed - those historicals written under Patricia Cabot, I've never had any desire at all to read a "Meg Cabot". And I really liked Lydia Joyce's other books but after reading about this one, it just didn't appeal to me so I never tried.

Kristie (J) said...

D'oh - And Happy Anniversary to you too!! I'm thinking what 32, 33 years now?

Megan Frampton said...

Happy Anniversary! Mine is today--Saturday--so where did you go?

CindyS said...

Happy Belated Anniversary!! Hope your Bob took you somewhere special for dinner. Hey, McDs is always good for me ;) Bob's been trying to get me to go to the Keg for ages but they don't have a patio - I need to eat outside or I feel hemmed in.

I haven't read Joyce yet and I'm not sure why. I think someone has used the word 'lush prose' and I fled the area.

I have seen Queen of Babble and the damn cover has been trying to suck me in but like any genre, when it's bad, it's really bad!! Course, I've never read a keeper in Chick-lit - at least not traditional chick-lit.


Suisan said...

Happy Anniversary!

The first one sounds really awful. I'm not a huge Patricia or Meg Cabot fan. I read the original Princess Diary, but then her voice started to get on my nerves.

Good luck on finding somethng better to read. :)

Nikki said...

Happy Anniversary!

I couldn't finish that Lydia Joyce book either. 1/2 way through I just said to myself "Why am I reading this?" I have little patience for stupid heroines.

ames said...

Happy belated Anniversary!!

And I haven't read either of those books. :P

ReneeW said...

Dev: Yeah, two crappy books in a row puts me in a bad mood.

Kristie: The good review at AAR convinced me that I might like this but I've decided chick lit is not for me. After this, Joyce is no longer an auto-read for me. I'm going to be very cautious of the next one. Errr, yeah, it is 33 years. I was a child bride (actually I really was pretty damn young as you know).

Megan: We went to this little Italian restaurant in Seattle that we ate at several months ago and loved. Again the food was fabulous and too much of it. We split a piece of red velvet cake for dessert. Yum.

Cindy: I love The Keg and the one here in Kirkland has an outdoor patio. I didn't notice anything 'lush' about WOTN, I was too busy hating the h/h. The cover for QoB sucked me in too. It may be a really good book if you like chicklit but I guess it's just not for me.

Suisan: I have read a couple of chicklit that were OK but I think I better give it up. Just too grating on my nerves.

Nikki: Well, I'm glad it just wasn't me. Heroine was supposed to be highly intelligent but her actions didn't make sense.

Ames: Thanks. You're no help :)

Devonna said...

And I completely forgot to say:

Happy Anniversary (a little belated ~ sorry for my bad manners).

Dylan said...

I haven't read the Meg Cabot book but I wanted to as I liked her this one grated on your nerves? That's not a good thing....I'll bump that one down on my list, thanks for the heads up sweetie!

Happy Belated Anniversary Sweetie! =)

Tara Marie said...

Hapy belated anniversary, I'm running a few days behind here.

I passed on the Cabot, which is unusual for me, because normally I like her books, but something said don't buy in tradepaperback.

As to the Lydia Joyce, I actually liked the hero, it was the heroine who becomes completely TSTL when she takes off in the middle of the night because he's been plotting to steal her money, hello, he's been plotting to steal your money since the first page of the book, why does this shock her.

nath said...

Happy belated anniversary Renee :)

I've been avoiding Meg Cabot for awhile, because of Princess Diary and another of her book. I haven't actually read Princess Diary, but the other book i've read was really bad and my conclusion was that she should stick to teenager books ^^; as for Lydia Joyce, I do agree that the feel you get from the books is "lush prose." She's been trying out "new" plot, but really, doesn't do it for me. Hope you'll have more luck with your next books...

Anonymous said...

Happy belated Anniversary ;)

Never read Cabot other than her historicals. And loved Joyce's first book. I have this one but can't see that I will read it.

So did you ever get LA?

CindyS said...

Uh, Renee? You're my reading twin! If you no like Queen of Babble then trust me, I ain't buying it!! Stricken from any list of mine baby!!

How are you doing otherwise? Work still pushing you too hard?


Kyahgirl said...

I am sorry, but I had to laugh at your reviews of these two books. I saw the high rating on the first one at AAR and thought I might try it since I don't normally read chicklit and have never read Cabot. Thanks to you, I won't bother. I real life, people who talk too much really irritate me so I'd probably have the same reaction.

The second book just sounds plain bad!

Happily, I just got A Rose at Midnight (been looking for it forever) so am ready to find out why everyone loves this book so much.

speaking of babbling....ooops!

ReneeW said...

Dev: Thanks! No bad manners, really. My bad for not answering my comments.

Dylan: This was my first try at Cabot but back to the library it went. Just didn't work for me.

Tara: Yeah, right where she takes off when she finds out about his betrayal is where I threw it against the wall.

Nath: I think Cabot's voice works better in YA. I plan on reading Joyce's next book but keeping my fingers crossed for something better.

Sybil: Cabot wrote historicals? I loved Joyce's first book too but this one was disappointing. Yeah, I got LA!!! Yay!!! but I'm saving it for a rainy day.

Cindy: Hehehe, yeah, twin of mine, I can see your point. I know that if you don't like something I wouldn't try it either. Work last week was stressful with the boss gone and me in charge. He came back yesterday (Tuesday) and my stomach is already feeling better. And things are quiet for a while (till the middle of December).

Kyahgirl: Judging from what you said, I doubt you would like it either. Oooo, I loved ARAM. I hope you like it. Please let us know what you think.

Anonymous said...

yep... like uh, three or four under something else Cabot.

LOL I will look it up later.. I thought they were eh and don't think I still have them but shall look.

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