Sunday, October 3, 2010

Well, I Didn't Stop In the Middle

Chic lit these days... I don't know why I even bother.  Next on the list Nancy's Theory of Style, by Grace Coopersmith, which is some random chic lit I found in the new section of the library.  Now, I'm not sure how much I'm allowed to expect from chic lit anyway - I mean I know the writing isn't going to be stellar, so it comes down more to plot, characters, and of course romance.  And some writing is better than others.  This particular story... well let's start with the plot - I suppose the plot was fine, actually better than fine.  Spoiled little rich girl tries to make it on her own with her event planning business, all with the help of her efficient and eminently eligible assistant, who is secretly in the employ of her estranged hubby (lots of es there :)) So that's got plenty of potential.  Unfortunately, the book fails utterly in the character department.  Nancy herself comes across as frankly fairly nasty - her only real friends are her non-silver spoon ones but she completely looks down on them.  She's supposed to be cute in her insistence on "perfection" but she's more silly than anything else.  Derek/Rick (main guy) is okay I suppose... but so many of the other characters are wring-your-neck annoying.  And who wants read a book where you don't like anyone? And then there's the romance... like I said, there's potential... but it is, how shall I say it... unrealized. 

More than anything else, the failures of this book come back to none other than the writing.  Characters that are supposed to be likeable are not, the plot is twisted with tension... and there's a whole lot of maudlin moments which I could do without quite easily involving Nancy's niece Eugenia (yes, Eugenia).  And besides that, the author is always using these annoying similes/metaphors/references to obscure art or random phenomena - which possibly are supposed to reflect Nancy's innate appreciate of true "style" but come off as guess what? pretentious. 

So no matter what I'd like to think, writing just matters even in chic lit.  It doesn't have to be great, but it can't get in the way.  On the other hand, I didn't stop reading this book in the middle.   And I did kind of - and I mean kind of - enjoy parts of it... so I guess it doesn't matter that much after all :)

Verdict: 2.5/5
Food: Disappointing... has potential but disappointing... one time I bought a sugar free vanilla latte from Pete's - appropriate for a San Francisco settting :) - it was NOT Starbucks

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