who says you have to be crowded into the living room, kitchen, and/or dining room to hold a book club? we are ladies of the 21st century. we don’t need no stinkin’ couches. so pull up a blog and join in the conversation.
the members of the BOOK HUNGRY are (alphabetically): patty blount, kelly breakey, karla nellenbach, vanessa noble, alyson peterson, cynthia reese, elizabeth ryann, and myself. here’s the deal. we pick a book to read. we discuss via email. we post a review on our individual blogs on the same day (3rd thursday of the month). we link to each other. done. i know, genius. click on each one of their names (above) and it’ll take you to their review. browse. enjoy.
this month’s BOOK HUNGRY selection is:
SWEET AS SIN by Inez Kelley
what it’s about from amazon: John Murphy is tormented by nightmares. A bestselling young-adult author, he writes the ultimate fantasy: stories where good always triumphs. He knows better. His past has shown him the worst in people—and in himself. When he moves next door to the sexy, vibrant Livvy—a woman completely unlike his usual one-night stands—he’s driven to explore every curve of her delicious body. Pastry chef Livvy knows that giving in to the temptation that is John Murphy won’t lead to anything permanent, but she deserves a passionate summer fling. John discovers she’s as sweet as the confections she bakes while Livvy slowly unravels his secrets. But what will happen when she uncovers them all?
my opinion: when reading this book, i couldn’t help but think of the show “dexter” and how the men both dexter and john murphy become are largely dependent upon traumatic events in their childhood. john is one of the most raw and vivid characters i’ve ever read, but (for me) dexter more successfully portrays a sympathetic hero.
as it was, i didn’t like john murphy. in the beginning (and middle), he was too mean and too intense and too much. i didn’t believe that livvy could go from a superficial love affair to unconditional love so quickly in the midst of all those monsters. she did, fine, but then the downward spiral leading up to the ending was long and traumatic and suddenly, poof, in five pages, happily ever after. uh, what? because the rest of the book was relatively slow paced and wordy, i expected the ending to follow a similar suit. it did not. i wish it had because this contained some of the most interesting details and necessary facts to explain why john is the way he is. i wanted more of that. not less. and because i didn’t spend the entire book in love with john’s character, i needed more time to forgive his actions, whereas livvy jumped back into his arms after one “i’m sorry.”
i didn’t buy it.
it’s a weird thing, this book. overall, the things i liked about it didn’t outweigh the things i didn’t like, however, john murphy is one memorable character. i won’t soon forget him, but i’m also happy not to revisit with him because i like my books with a side of something a little less dark.
in related news, patty, kelly, karla and i had a conference call with inez and it was fascinating. i once read an article about stephenie meyer and how her agent (or was it her editor?) had never seen someone talk about their characters so vividly. it was as if they really were alive. i felt like this with inez. she wrote the book over four years ago and yet she was pulling out trivia and facts and tidbits that i barely remembered and i just finished the book on sunday. impressive.
for once, our group was divided into those that loved it and those that didn’t, so definitely go check out the other gals’ reviews.
7 thoughts on “BOOK HUNGRY: sweet as sin”
I too enjoyed our discussion with Inez. Talking with her, you just felt like John was real. Not just a character that she had created. And I like the fact that not all of us “love” the titles we read every month. For me this is the part that makes our discussion so interesting. And the whole reason we keep coming back month after month to share these stories.
this definitely was one of our more interesting discussions. and i really enjoyed having the opportunity to talk to inez about her characters because she is so passionate about them.
even though i didn’t love the book, i do love having the chance to talk to some authors. it really changes the dynamics of the discussion and it’s so cool getting to learn insider information.
I agree. I too, needed more time to forgive John at the end. but i did enjoy our convo Tuesday. It was great fun :)
for me, the best thing that came out of the book were the discussions — with you guys and with inez. i’m so glad you were able to make it this time! you’re a little bit more real now that i’ve heard your voice. :)
aw dammit. i kinda liked being imaginary :)
John was definitely a character that leaped off the pages at me and Ithink that’s why I love this book so much. In a way, that classic “Awww, let me be the one who redeems the bad boy” response is indicative of my favorite stories. Nora Roberts’ Ethan Quinn is another similar character who made me ache.
But you make valid points…. I could see how the timing would feel off to you, or how Livvy’s past didn’t seem tragic enough to warrant the responses we see her give.
even after our group discussions and even after talking with inez and even after writing up my own thoughts, i’m still conflicted. john is one of those characters who is so real, it’s a bit unbelievable and so it’s not all that surprising to me that we all feel such emotion towards him.
i just wish i’d been able to spend more time understanding and empathizing with him rather than, as karla said, shaking my fist at him.