A Greek wedding, local news and dreams

>> Friday, August 17, 2018

A bit of a random collection of sort of underwhelming reads today.

TITLE: Wedding Night
AUTHOR: Sophie Kinsella

When Lottie breaks up with her boyfriend, she rushes to make one of the unwise decisions she always makes after her break-ups. Her sister Fliss knows that MO and, determined to stop her, chases her to a Greek island, where the mess she's getting into is about to take place. Lorcan, friend of the man Lottie is about to make her unwise decision with, follows close behind. Farce ensues.

On one level, this was mindless fun, with that little bit of heart that makes Kinsella's books feel a bit more substantial that they might seem. I mostly enjoyed reading it. But I felt this particular story needed a bit more grounding. Pretty much all the characters behaved like utter dingbats for much too long. I think it would have all worked better with more 'straight guys'. Also, it all felt a bit more glitzy and glamorous than I'm used to with Kinsella, and that was a bit disconcerting.


TITLE: The News Where You Are
AUTHOR: Catherine O'Flynn

Frank Allcroft is a local television news presenter in Birmingham. He has a good life, but has been dealing with a sense of loss, particularly since the death of his predecessor, Phil, in a hit-and-run accident. Phil made some strange phone calls to Frank not long before he died, and there's also the matter of a lone old man who was found dead on a park bench and who Frank has reason to believe is somehow related to Phil. Frank decides to look into things, and we follow him as he does, and as he remembers his childhood.

I liked this well enough. Frank is an endearing character and there are lot of interesting, vivid details. The mystery of what happened to Phil works well as a good propulsive engine, even though that mystery is not really the point of the book. What is? Well, that was the issue for me. It was enjoyable as I read it, but though I got the feeling O'Flynn was trying to explore something profound, I didn't really get it. I was stuck skimming along the surface... a very nice, entertaining surface, but a surface all the same. Whether that's an issue with the book or about me being a bad reader, I don't know. But that's what it felt like.


TITLE: Dream Eyes
AUTHOR: Jayne Ann Krentz

I really should stop being a JAK completist. Her books have got better lately, but she went through a pretty bad patch a few years back, and this is a prime example.

Gwen Frazier is a psychic counsellor. Several years back, she survived (and stopped) a serial killer who was targeting psychics. Now, her mentor is dead, and the mentor's ghost asks Gwen to investigate. Gwen gets help from a psychic PI firm, who send over investigator Judson Coppersmith. Judson has his own issues, as he experiences the feelings of murderers when he's at the location where they killed, and this is having an effect on his mental health.

This was just utterly forgettable. There were some nice elements about the romance... as always, Krentz has a knack for creating characters who make each other better, and that's quite satisfying. But the plot is tedious in the extreme. Paranormal weapons and research, yadda yadda yadda. I didn't care at all.

MY GRADE: This one was more disappointing than underwhelming. A C.


Barb in Maryland 17 August 2018 at 19:47  

I read the JAK 'Dream Eyes' when it first came out, as I am a lifetime fangirl. I wholeheartedly agree with your review. Liked the characters, plot made my eyes roll.
Obviously she and/or her publishers decided to throw in the towel on this 'trilogy', as the third book (all set up to be about the sister of the first two heroes and the son of the rival family)never happened. Oh well...
I probably have both Copper Beach and Dream Eyes sitting in a box somewhere, but doubt they'll get pulled out for a re-read anytime soon.

Rosario 19 August 2018 at 07:49  

Interesting. I never even noticed that. Tells you just how enthusiastic I was about that series, I suppose!

She seems to have moved away somewhat from this sort of plot, for which I'm grateful. The suspense plots of her latest are still not that great, but definitely better. But I must say, whenever I go for a JAK reread, it's always stuff from the mid-to-late 90s, maybe early 2000s, but nothing later than that.

Barb in Maryland 20 August 2018 at 16:30  

I go a bit further back, as 'Coral Kiss' is one of my re-read favorites, as are 'Silver Lining','Trust Me'(of course) and the Eclipse Bay series. I am also very fond of 'Sweet Starfire' And the earlier sci-fi series she did as Jayne Castle (Orchid, Zinnia, etc).
I don't know if she's quit writing the futuristic stuff as Jayne Castle. The most recent of those came out in 2016. The whole Harmony/Rainshadow Island thing had gotten stretched pretty thin, but I'll be sad to say goodbye to the dust bunnies. I loved the dust bunnies!

Rosario 22 August 2018 at 04:26  

I was going off memory and clearly didn't go back far enough :) Yeah, some from that period are faves as well. I remember loving Sweet Starfire and the Jayne Castle 'flower' series.

I hadn't quite registered that she wasn't doing the Jayne Castle books lately, as I think I still have a couple of them on my kindle to read. If so, that would be a shame. Some of them got a bit dry, but yes, I'll miss those dust bunnies! But when the pet is the high point, you know things are not going well...

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