Jenna Black's Blog Experiment

Wherein romance author Jenna Black plunges into the terrifying new territory of blogging . . .


Saturday, August 04, 2007

What I've been reading

Those of you who've been reading my blog since its inception must think I have hired an evil twin to post blog entries for me. After all, I've often had weeks go by without a single post. The reason I'm posting so much lately is that for the time being, I am not under deadline. Which means I have time to blog. Yay!

Usually, I don't like to blog about what I'm reading. I'm hypersensitive (okay, maybe even paranoid) about not wanting to hurt anyone's feelings or make anyone feel left out. After all, I have a lot of writer friends, and I don't want to play favorites. However, today, I'm going to break my own rule. (Drumroll, please.)

I am an occasional reader of Jennifer Cruisie's blog, Argh Ink, and one day I read that she had 50 copies of her new collaborative novel, The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes, which she co-authored with Eileen Dreyer and Anne Stuart, to give away. There would be a random drawing from amongst the first 100 bloggers who kept regular blogs to respond. Anyone who received a copy would agree to blog about it, although there was no obligation for us to review it favorably. I love anything Cruisie, so I put my name in the hat.

I didn't hear back immediately, so I went ahead and bought the book. A few days later, I received my free copy in the mail. (Wouldn't you just know it?) So now I'm fulfilling my end of the bargain and blogging about it.

The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes is about three magical sisters who have serious difficulty controlling their magical powers, and their evil aunt who is out to "make their lives better" by stealing those powers for herself. Of course, they might die in the process, but that's only a minor inconvenience, at least to their aunt.

I first heard of this book when Jennifer Cruisie blogged about a review in which the reviewer lamented the fact that it was a collection of novellas rather than a novel. (Never mind that it clearly says "A Novel" on the front cover. Or the fact that there's no table of contents. Or the fact that there's only one title throughout the book. Or the fact that . . . You get the point.) Well, having read the book, I can now confirm what common sense already told me--there was no way that reviewer read the book and was somehow confused as to its nature. It is clearly, unmistakably a novel. The reviewer must have based her review on the back cover alone, which does rather make it sound like three separate stories.

While I certainly enjoyed the novel, and while there were plenty of laugh out loud moments that had my husband giving me that "uh-oh, I married a lunatic" look, I might have preferred that this actually be three novellas! At the time I was reading it, I never could sit down and do my usual reading binge, wherein I read until I'm ready to quit reading. I kept having to put the book down for one reason or another. With some books, that's not a problem. With this one, it was.

The problem for me was that there were too many characters and subplots to keep track of when I had to keep putting the book down and then picking it back up. This isn't the book's fault. It's just that some books lend themselves to being read over multiple sittings better than others. Even so, I did find it an enjoyable read, and as I mentioned, there were some astonishingly funny moments that made the occasional brain strain worth it.

My recommendations to anyone planning to read this book are:
1. Do not have coffee or any other beverage anywhere near you while you are reading, or you'll end up with soggy pages.
2. Try to read it in as few sittings as possible so you can keep it all in your head at once. (Of course, others may have no problem keeping all the names and stories straight, so maybe it's just me.)


At 2:03 PM, Blogger Jen H said...

bThank you, this has been on my TBB list for a while. It's now been moved up.

Jen :)


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