Monday, May 28, 2007

Love Is In The Air!

Yes, even I read cheesy romances sometimes. In my humble defense, however, I didn't buy any of the following. Two were gifts, and one was a loan. Still, they were all enjoyable!

Title: Mr. Darcy’s Diary
Author: Amanda Grange

Mr. Darcy’s Diary. The title speaks for itself.

As far as Jane Austen knock-offs go, Grange’s sugary confection wasn’t too terrible. At least it didn’t make the ultimate mistake of taking itself seriously. It’s fluff, but at least it knows it’s fluff. Harmless.

If one thing irked me, it was how Lizzy’s eyes were always “sparkling” and her smile “mischievous.” Ugh.

In short, Mr. Darcy’s Diary rather reads like the Gothic romances that Austen herself skewered so brilliantly in Northanger Abbey. Not the plot, of course, so much as the cheesy writing. Sometimes I wonder how Austen would react to the current mania surrounding her. I can imagine her mocking it savagely and merrily.

The best thing about the book? It made me appreciate Austen all over again. Her critics often lambaste her marriage-happy endings, but reading a book like this makes one realize that it’s not the romance at all that’s so endearing about Jane. It’s her wit and subtlety and affectionate (often impatient) appreciation of the ridiculousness of others. No one draws the character of a self-important fool better.

I’ll recommend this for a breezy beach read, if you’re craving Austen-lite. Hell, it can’t be worse than the reputed awfulness that is Mr. Darcy Takes A Wife.

Title: Key of Knowledge
Author: Nora Roberts

Ket loaned this to me almost half a year ago. I spent a “mental vacation” evening curled up in bed skimming it, a glass of wine in one hand. That was probably sometime back in November.

In other words, I can’t remember even the slightest scrap of the plot.

At one point, I did have a legitimate (though short) review written. But then I found the following description of the book on Amazon, and realized that nothing I wrote could possibly compare. So I’m not even going to try. Here’s the review. It’s written by a kid, and entitled “censored faeire fun.”

“it was a little more adult than im used to (im only 13) but its hard to find a faerie novel that doesnt suck monkey butt”

The book doesn’t suck monkey butt. It has sex and faeries. Really, what more is there to say? I definitely voted that a “useful” review!

Title: The Givenchy Code
Author: Julie Kenner

Saving the best for last!

The Givenchy Code is another book from ket, although this was a gift rather than a loan. In fact, she’s already gave it a glowing review on this blog. It definitely lived up to my expectations, being fun, clever, and completely ridiculous (in a good way)! The only times I cringed were when the main character mentioned running in her “Prada sneakers” – which she does periodically while fleeing the crazed assassin. I can follow high fashion to a certain level, but not to the point where running is involved! Nobody can look good running…not even with Prada sneakers (sneakers?!) on their feet.

I’ll confess, the puzzles and clues stumped me. At one point I did manage to recognize the equations for a circle and a line, but I had no idea how they fit in with the code the characters were trying to break. Although this was one of the few times I’ve found all that math I had to swallow in high school and college even remotely useful in real life, which was kinda cool.

Overall, definitely recommended, especially because it’s fun to read a book that is so clearly “ket”!

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posted by Elizabeth at 8:50 PM


Blogger Kat said...

I read Key of Knowledge (and reviewed it even, which is nearly miraculous for me!), and it does indeed suck monkey butt. I read the whole Key Trilogy in fact, and it was my first and last foray into Nora-land.

5/30/2007 8:03 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Hmm...I think I read a different one in the trilogy. The heroine's name was Dana.

But who am I kidding? When it comes to Nora, they're pretty much all the same : ).

5/30/2007 9:37 PM  
Blogger Kat said...

I read all three - I think Dana was the heroine of the second book of the trilogy. She was the reference librarian, right? I approve of a reference librarian heroine! :D

Does Nora actually write all her books? I mean with Nora Roberts and J.D. Robb, how can one person write so many books, even if they are all pretty much the same? Does she have a ghost writer(s)? I always wonder that.

5/31/2007 7:19 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

You mean you didn't know that Nora was a cyborg? She has ten limbs, all of them typing at a rate of 6, 283 wpm, 24 hours a day. You can do that sort of thing when your heart's a spring wire.

5/31/2007 1:14 PM  
Blogger reyn said...

Any engineer will tell you that Nora's heart is a modified hydraulic motor. The spring wires are used to increase the twitch rate of her 80 fingers (yes, eight per each of the ten limbs).

6/01/2007 6:22 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

As a government hack who sold out long ago, I humbly stand corrected.

6/02/2007 9:15 AM  

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