Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Chic-Lit: The Bad

I think I once said that it's unfair not to take Female Writers (i.e. What is popularly known as Chic-Lit) seriously, because they can and do touch on themes very well. Well.... Aunty Florence lent me 7 books, and well, they've let me seriously doubt what I said. Oh, on a side note, sorry for the slow updates. I've been feeling ennui lately, and well, all I ever want to do is sleep. I seem to have lost my energy.

Back to topic, I have to say that since almost all the books were romances.... well, they probably diminishes how serious the case. Ok, before I start: I understand very well, that some literary books are more than explicit, such as Lady Chatterly's Lover. But I really don't appreaciate having to read it unless for some reason, it's intergral to the plot (but it almost never is). Let's take the "bad" into consideration first:

Two books were by Christine Anderson: Keegan's Lady and Annie's Song. Well, the plot was original, but the story was marred by all those explicit scenes. Really, I get that they are finally having a loving husband-wife relationship, I don't need to know details. As my teachers say: Selective writing. Don't write everything.

Well, come to think of it, those two books were the worst. The other books: Once in Every Life by Kristin Hannah, wasn't as good as her other books, but was pretty decent. I liked the change of heart story, although the premise was a little strange. But with the willing suspension of disbelief (as with all fiction), it was truly enjoyable.

The Horse Dancer isn't a love story, at least, not as a main plot. It's about a girl and her horse (ok, I've degenerated into stating the obvious. It was really fascinating learning about how the horse can perform (I'm really hoping that what was written was based on research). Although, I did feel very very annoyed at the girl. I understand that as the protagonist, I'm supposed to like her (an unlikeable protagonist is very rare, so far, maybe The Clockwork Orange and Lolita are the only ones I can think of). I admire how devoted she is to her horse, but the ends don't really justify the means. She lied (I was like, ok, understandable, given her fears) and stole (ok, that was terrible) and ran away (seriously. Inconviencing others). Perhaps it's because I was more strictly raised (plus the whole Chinese thing), so I've always been taught that you should always think of others first, even if it's unpleasant for you. The only time when you can disregard the rule is when they violate scared principals (which is, going against the Bible). I'm starting to feel like Amy Chua. I know I had a lot of criticism (still do), but after reading her book, I can see some sense (it's probably going to end up like how I think about the PAP)

Hmm... let me see, there's also Debbie Macomber. Oh, I really love her, although I really can't see her as a serious author. I'm not sure why, but it's probably because of my lack of skills. Someday Soon, which comes before Sooner or Later, was touching, detailing the relationship between a widow and a mercenary. Although, the characterisation did feel a little rushed for some reason, but with three plots, it's hard to go indepth without writing too much.

Alright, 3 more books to go. Got-To-Resist Temptation to gloss over even more than I'm doing. heh. Anyway, Blue-eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas, was interesting. It was a little explicit, though not as bad as Catherine Anderson (I'm so staying away from her books), but the thing was, it was intergral to the plot. No spoilers, but it's about the rich and influential (a sequel apparently), and about recovering from abuse.

The Castaways, on the other hand, deals with grief. It starts with a death, and looks at the reactions of the couples closest friends. The characters were very three-dimensional. I hated some, liked some, all my emotions fluctuating as the story progressed. While it's not a conventional murder mystery, actually, very little emphasis is on solving the case, but the resolution was satisfactory.

Finally, what I read today: Happy Birthday by Danielle Steele. It's a cross between Big Sister and her other novels, but it's good. A good romance story if you're feeling down. Oh, I forgot, I also read What Happened to Goodby by Sarah Dessen, her latest novel. I really think she's a genius(: Although I read a review that this is The Truth About Forever in another form, I honestly didn't think so. Mclean seemed genuine, and her situation was... well, I have nothing but respect. To be able to create a situation where Mclean can change her identity while making it plausible, that takes a lot of imagination. If out of all these books you only read one, read this one.

Well, I've rambled on long enough, and sadly, too many books mean that you can't give an indepth exposition on anything.

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