Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Book Review: Love (and Other Uses for Duct Tape)

Title Love (and Other Uses for Duct Tape)
Author Carrie Jones
Genre YA Fiction
Rating C+

Summary Following the characters from Tips on Having a Gay (ex) Boyfriend, this book explores the new relationship of Belle and Tom and shows how having a straight boyfriend (and a very problem-prone best friend) isn't much easier than having a gay boyfriend.

First Line "George Burns said, Don't stay in bed unless you can make money in bed, which sounds like a good song..."

Review Warning: If you're the kind of person who hates to read a book, and not read any really great stuff until page 256 (of 284), then don't read this book. Let me give you a little break-down of how this book goes, for reference:
Pages 1-42: Introductory scenes to remind us of characters and relationships and events that ocurred in Tips... and set up the scenario/scene/timeline for Love...
Pages 43-82: Set up of the "big hook"/problem of this book
Pages 83-256: Belle thinks a lot about the problem(s) in this book, thinks some more, some interesting kissing, etc.
Pages 256-275: Climax
Pages 276-280: Resolution-ish
The book doesn't sound that great, right? Well, here's why I gave the book this rating: I am somebody who can fall in love with characters and can stand to read about them doing not too much of anything.

Granted, I think that Belle was way too whiny in this book (instead of just being honest about stuff, she whined and complained and internalized and freaked out about stuff), and I think that this book was a vanity piece because Jones loved these characters, she saw an idea for a climax via a country music video (which she admits on her website) and she filled the bulk of the book (the "rising action") with whining.

But I really, really like Tom. And the hook of the book could have been so awesome--and I wanted to read that. Sure, I wanted way more in the way of resolution--I wanted to know what Shawn thought about "the problem" and how it worked out, etc., but that's probably why I sent an email to Carrie Jones asking, "Can you please write another book so I know how things turn out?" That's how much I like these characters.

Also, she does a better job of making Dylan less of a gay charicature. (Plus, I gave her a decent score because she did the repetitive writing thing, thing, thing a lot less in this book.)

Recommendation Fans of Tips on Having a Gay (ex) Boyfriend could probably enjoy reading more about these characters. Otherwise, don't bother.


Andrea said...

I haven't read the first book yet, but I usually like my action to come in around the middle.

Ali said...

I'm the same way--I don't much care if there's a ton of plot, if the characters and writing pull me in. (On the other hand, interesting plotting prior to page 256 never hurts...)