Monday, May 24, 2010

the pressure

So, I started my little 101 books in 1001 days challenge back in 2008 or so and for some reason far beyond me, I decided to put a bunch of classic, literature books on there. These books, you know - the acclaimed ones like Lolita and War and Peace - are good books... so I've been told. A definite must for a book whore like me.

But as you also know, I dislike reading hard, heavy, dramatic, stiff books. I have enough stress in reality and when I read, I enjoy reading light-hearted, easy books - hence the love of the romance genre.

This was a dilemma; how was I going to read all of the books on my "books to read before I die" list if I don't want to... well... read it?

Ooh yes! Put a whole bunch of those books on my list for a book challenge (where I'd be forced to read it in order to complete the challenge). Yes! I would have to read these delightful books.

Bad, bad idea!

I just realized I now have months - eight? - to read, like, sixty, hard, heavy, dramatic, stiff books.

Like The Iliad and The Great Gatsby (nooooo!) and Crime and Punishment and War and Peace and Lolita...and ... and... curses!!

Not enough time! Not enough time! Getting through one of those honkers will undoubtedly depress, bore, or stress me. I'm hoping only for one of those options per book.

Oh dear.
Wish me luck.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Susan Mallery: Sweet Trouble

Sweet Trouble: D-
Jesse Keyes & Matthew Fenner

Jesse Keyes has done some serious growing up. With a steady job and a vibrant four-year-old son, Gabe, she's in a far better place than when she left Seattle five years ago…pregnant and misunderstood by almost everyone in her life.

Now it's time to go home and face her demons. But her sisters, Claire and Nicole, aren't exactly impressed with the new and improved Jesse. And then there's Matt, Gabe's father, who makes it clear that he never wants to see her again despite the lust that still smolders between them.

Jesse doesn't know if she can make up for all the mistakes of her past. But the promise of sweet nights with Matt might just give her the extra incentive she needs to make it worth the trouble.… (amazon)

I shall try to make this review sweet and simple. It's not so much a consideration for you, bloggers, but because of my own shortcomings: I read this book a couple weeks ago and I cannot really... recall... what happened. Why I'm writing a review in this state, I'm not so sure myself. But I cannot blame myself entirely for neither remembering the characters nor the plot.

This book was insignificant.

It is like my favorite romance, Paradise, but, like, fifty times worse.

There are some similarities between Paradise and Sweet Trouble:

1. Both books have heroes whose name is "Matthew."
2. Both books are about lovers who reunite after years of separation.

And that is where the similarities end.

Unlike Paradise, Sweet Trouble has a lackluster and unexciting plot(s). Not only is our heroine, Jesse, trying to win back the favors of her older sisters, she is also trying to win back the love of her life.

Matt has come a far way from being the geek he was when he first met and fell in love with Jesse. Then something about a (really dumb and lame) misunderstanding that tore them apart which caused Jesse to run away and give birth to her son in secret.

And then she comes back in town after having matured.
And then copious amounts of drama ensues because her sisters are dumb and Matt is even dumber: he loves her but cannot get over the past because... of his fear, I think. Though this sort of fear is not the sort to be laughed at, Ms. Mallery does not do her characters justice by writing about him/ them in a way that makes me... care.

Oh, wait. I do believe Matt's anger stems from the fact that Jesse kept from him the fact that he fathered a son. His anger is hard to sympathize with, as I felt she had valid reason to genuinely believe that Matt would have no interest in his son. Since I couldn't sympathize with Matt and the foundation of the central conflict, I just wanted to tell Matt to "get over it and move on."

Bottom line: reading about Jesse's secret brownie recipe made me want to have a brownie by the end of the book. Mmm... brownies.....