Monday, September 20, 2010

How to Buy a Love of Reading, by Tanya Egan Gibson

How to Buy a Love of ReadingCarley and Hunter have a complicated friendship, one that makes no sense in their snobbish town, where appearance is everything.  Why in the world does the golden boy insist on befriending the fat girl?  Yet, they understand each other in a way no one else does.  When Carley's parents insist on commissioning a book to be written on her behalf as a Sweet Sixteen present, it is to impress and engage Hunter that she even agrees to get involved.  She tries to distract him from his self destructive ways, so he instead begins destroying everyone else.  Will he destroy Carley?

I literally wanted to slap the taste out of the mouths of these spoiled, simpering characters.  Wealthy to a fault, trying desperately to live out the lives of the Great Gatsby characters, these shallow children have nothing better to do than drink, pop pills, spend money, and have sex.  They are so one dimensional it kind of made me sick.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of actual people in the world just like them.  Despite that reality, I found very little about the characters engaging, and absolutely nothing about them sympathetic.  Which is sad, really, because written in just a slightly different manner, I think Hunter could have been a hauntingly sympathetic character.  And Carley, well, I wanted to pity her, but she was just such a jellyfish.

I found the storyline to be convoluted, and confusing.  In the end, I was not really sure whose story it actually was.  There were too many things going on at once, the book within a book concept, the t.v show within the book within the book, just too many layers, none of them having much content.  It was like having a drawing done on several sheets of vellum overlay, and when assembled, the lines never really matching up to form an actual picture.

I did enjoy some parts of the book, particularly in the middle, when Carley and Bree, the author writing the commissioned book, start to make real connections, and Carley almost sticks up for herself a few times with Hunter.  So much wasted potential with Carley's character, it is hard to believe she ever actually becomes the person we learn of in the epilogue, again the lines do not match.

Not the worst book I ever read, but it was not an easy one to get through by any means.

A touring review copy of this book was provided courtesy of Crazy Book Tours.

Crazy Book Tours