Sunday, February 8, 2009

Book Review - Sundays at Tiffany's

So, I'm sitting here in my pink cheetah pajamas trying to read Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter". This, coming off of reading James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet's "Sundays at Tiffany's". Two completely different books with two completely different styles of writing. One is of such intellect, your mind struggles to finish a sentence before wandering. The other? Your mind wanders to find intellect.

I know. That was harsh. It's just that I expected so much more of James Patterson. After all, one of my favorite books is written by him. In fact, when choosing this book from the shelf, I was anticipating the kind of warmth and squeeze of emotion that "Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas" provided me. Instead, I received an empty piece of fiction that started incredulous and, despite my best efforts to find meaning, ended the same. It can be compared to a Lifetime movie with the middle part removed.

On the cover, the question is asked, "What if your imaginary friend from childhood was your one true love?" Reading that, I was curious, indeed. Having some experience with James Patterson, yet none with Charbonnet, I must admit, I was excited to read how they were going to make that work. One might think, amnesia, coma, psychic powers, or the most romantic notion, "the heart just knows what the person has yet to discover." (Like that? Probably not. But I'm flying by the seat of my cheetahs pants right now.)

Anyway, there's Jane Margaux, the female main character, who happens to be a young girl at the beginning - and there's Michael, her imaginary friend. The story proceeds as characters are introduced and developed, and then the story fast forwards to Jane's adulthood. This is where it could get really interesting, creative and immensely brilliant. Instead, the author(s) throw in some unnecessary diversions that do not, in the end, tie back into the storyline, giving me a sense of simply needing to fill pages with content. If there's one thing I hate, it's having my time wasted. Add to that the fourteen bucks I spent on it, and you've got one crabby person.

There is one twist at the end, that if you are not paying any attention whatsoever, you might not see coming (yet it was so like Patteson). What I expected in the end was to like certain people who were introduced in unfriendly terms in the beginning, but that didn't happen. And then, there were certain characters I thought would play a bigger part in the storyline in the beginning that just kind of dropped off, with only a mere mention of them at the end.

It's entirely possible that the book was written mostly by Charbonnet and Patterson has only lended his name to it. With all of the product mentions (Chanel No. 5, Caymus wine, Four Seasons Restaurant, Prada, Baby Gap), one wonders if this is more of an advertisement than a story. The author(s) even go out of their way to create a situation where Jane uses the product, Splenda. If I had been in a movie theater, I would have walked out. If I had to bet money, I would say that Patterson owed some favors to some people (or received compensation), and we, the readers, were carried along for the ride.

This is, by far, the harshest criticism I have given to any product or service so far. If anyone cares to review it for themselves, you may have my copy.

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