Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tasty Tome Two-fer

The Shack
William P. Young

0 out of 5 Bacon Strips

So, I finished it. It was awful. Along with the problems outlined in my previous post, we can add racism (God is a magical Negro!), New Ageism (which is fine by itself, but is antithetical to Christian Truth), and just basic ridiculousness, as embodied by Jesus' constant! use! of! exclamation! points! eleventy!!!!!one!!!!!!

The climax of the book involves a bunch of people standing on a hill, reading each others' auras. I guess God just wants to buy the world a Coke.

Bittersweet Betrayal
Suzanne Ashley

3.5 out of 5 Bacon Strips

Ah, the thrilling world of cutting-edge computer technology - in 1989. So unwieldy! So non-internet-y! So full of orange cursors!

Tannis Robbins - and no, for the record, I could not get over that stupid name - is a rising star in computer R&D. Unfortunately, she's also indebted to her unscrupulous boss for her education and several personal loans to fund the upkeep of her comatose identical twin sister, Meredith. Her boss, Conway, gives her a choice: corporate espionage and all her debts cleared, or industry blackballing. She picks the espionage, not surprisingly.

Tannis gets a job at rival Wizac, run by "The Wizard", Zachary Spencer. He's handsome, kind, wonderful, rich, smart, blah blah blah, and Tannis immediately has the hotpants for him. But oh noez! She must has betrayal! What will happen?!

Bittersweet Betrayal was a satisfying romance, and it fulfilled all the necessary genre elements. Ashley's writing is crisp and competent, and her characterizations - at least of Tannis and Zachary - had a fair amount of depth, which is surprising in a category romance. (This is a Silhouette Special Edition.) Reading about cutting-edge computer technology from 20 years ago added a special layer of humour to the novel that was surely missing when it was written, but is perfectly evocative of the story's setting.

My only quibble with the book is the fact that Zachary's main selling point for Tannis is that he keeps doling out money to his gambling-addict brother, despite said brother's complete lack of anything even remotely resembling self-control or a desire to change. For some reason, Tannis thinks this is a duty to family, and equates it to her taking care of her comatose twin - comatose because of a tropical disease she caught setting up computer networks in the third world. Somehow, I just don't think those two are the same, do you?

And a special Bacon Bit review:

The Perfect Wife
Judy Duarte

0 out of 5 Bacon Strips

I read the first 7 pages of this book. There were at least ten different ridiculous assertions about and/or references to weight and happiness. In seven pages. The main character used to be fat (and therefore ugly). She eats her feelings (which is how you get fat). Her mother is fat (and therefore unhealthy. Obesity! Crisis! Heart! Disease! Teh! Diabeetus!). Her husband just left her - for a fatty. She's eating motherfucking DONUTS to ease her pain.

Did I mention this all happens IN SEVEN PAGES?!

I won't even pass this one on in a trade or give it to a thrift store, which is what I usually do with old books I won't keep. I love books. I revere books. I believe the written word can be sacred.

I'm throwing this one in the trash. It's not worth even the words it takes to malign it.

I'll have a new review up next week: I sorted all my books out, and found a full box I hadn't yet read, plus I traded some for two bags of mysteries! Tasty Tome Tuesday is on!

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