I thought it would be fun to share another book review today. I wrote this review in September of 2014. The book being reviewed is Metro Girl by Janet Evanovich.
[amazon template=image&asin=0060584025]Why did I waste my time reading this book?
I picked it up from a free shelf in a laundromat, thinking I would give it away on BookMooch. Then I gave it to a friend I thought would enjoy reading it (she did), but she gave it back to me when she was done. So I started reading it, and even though I didn’t really like it, I had a really difficult time putting it down. There was no way I wasn’t going to find out what happened in the end. I guess in that sense, Janet Evanovich did her job well. An author must be a success if readers can’t put her book down.
The protagonist is a woman, which is cool, but she goes by a traditionally male name. (Why do female characters named Jennifer or Heather or Amy so rarely kick ass?) She also has the traditionally male skill of being mechanically inclined. On the one hand, it’s cool that Evanovich recognizes that it is possible for women to be mechanically inclined too, but in this book it feels like a gimmick, a plot device, as if she’s shoving down the reader’s throat the fact that the main character is pretty, blond, feminine, and WOW, can repair an engine.
The reader gets a lot of information about what the protagonist looks like. Evanovich goes so far as to describe the character’s hairstyle. I didn’t find that information advanced the plot in any way. Nor did I need to know what the character was wearing or the length of her legs. I only needed to read one description to understand that the character is pretty and feminine and men want to fuck her.
And oh, how so very much does her romantic foil want to fuck her! He tells her over and over again, by innuendo and straight up proclamation. He kisses her uninvited and can’t keep his hands off her. She’s desirable. I get it! Of course, the protagonist doesn’t like this guy at first, but by the end of the book, after he saves her ass more than a couple of times, she is gaga over him and is ready and willing to put out. However, for all the flirting and innuendo and sexy talk, there’s no sex scene payoff. In the epilogue, it’s strongly hinted at (wink! wink!) that the deed has been done, but the reader doesn’t get the satisfaction of witnessing the event.
In reality, this book is as much a romance novel as a mystery. The reader is supposed to identify with the protagonist. I was supposed to want to be her. (Well, I would like to be more mechanically inclined, but as for everything else about this woman…give me a break!) As for how she looks, that’s so much fluff, filler to add some pages, to flesh out what in reality could be told in a couple hundred pages, instead of 374.
And I won’t even get started on the coincidences involved that make the plot possible. On more than one occasion, all I could think was, Really?
So I couldn’t stop reading this book, but when I finished it, I kind of felt dirty for having wasted my time and brain cells on this cotton candy of the mind.
And now the cover has separated from the book’s spine, so I can’t even give it away on BookMooch. I guess it will have to go back on the laundromat shelf.
On occasion, I like to engage in what I call “brain-dead entertainment,” whether it’s a movie that has no visible redeeming value, or a book full of “fluff,” or some other form of entertainment that requires no brain output from me. I believe it gives my gray matter a sometimes-well-deserved rest; I’ve also engaged in such activities when I’ve needed to heal my physical body. Don’t beat yourself up too hard over reading a book that you now know you’d never read again if given the choice. Maybe you just needed a break from all the “activities” of your summer job in that campground – I know *I* would!
Thanks for sharing.
Oh, yeah, I read mindless entertainment all the time. Sometimes at the end of the day all my brain can handle is some non-challenging, light reading. I’m not beating myself up for reading fluff. I enjoy fluff. I’m just sad that this book was so awful, yet I still felt as if I couldn’t pull myself away. This book was so bad…