Thursday, June 28, 2012
Always the Baker, Never the Bride
I suppose that in this case, you get what you paid for. I downloaded Always the Baker, Never the Bride by Sandra D. Bricker because it was free, and man did it show. What shocked me was that it wasn't only available for online download, but people actually shell out $12.00 for a paper copy. Let me just say, it was not worth it!
What originally caught my attention was the title. I love to bake and cook, and I love reading and watching other people do the same. Some of my favorite books and movies involve making food, and I thought this might be a nice addition to my chick-flick shelf. Uh, no. While I knew that there were going to be heavy-handed religious overtones, that really wasn't what bothered me. You want to pray to get your man? Fine, whatever, it's something that's important to the character, and if the character is written well, I can totally get behind it. The problem with this book was that, well, the characters weren't written well. This felt incredibly juvenile- not because of the lack of sex (because I'm kind of prudish, fading to black is something I vastly prefer to graphic detail!), but because of the poor quality of writing.
I struggled to find any actual adjectives to describe the main character, other than "perfect". There was no real personality. Every other character was worse. The scenes from Jackson's point of view were absolutely laughable because I don't know a single person,m let alone man, who thought the way he did. It was really stiff and awkward. Whine, whine, whine, I'm torn between living my life and living for my dead wife. Really? Because you haven't shown it. Every other character seemed to be the token placement, and there was no real subplot to keep the relationship going. The cutesy phrases that the author was clearly proud of (the "hens" the "after care") were quite honestly, lame. The sisters weren't individualized people, just one collective annoyance, when the author had so much potential. She could have given them each a personality to help both move along and regress the relationship between the main characters. Instead, they were one giant, cardboard cut-out of older sisters.
In terms of formatting, the way the author wrote their accents drove me nuts. She chose a random word in their sentence to italicize, when every character from the book is supposedly from the same place. Either over-enunciate everyone's accent, or don't spell out anything! It was especially irritating because the words that were italicized were rarely ones that would have been especially accented in the first place. The second formatting complaint I have was that Bricker put dialogue from two different people on the same line, without any indication of a new speaker. That's just basic grammar 101. It's confusing for the reader, and poor form to boot.
Finally, the actual topic of food and diabetes was barely even mentioned, which was a real disappointment for me. The creme brulee cake was mentioned over and over again, without any new culinary masterpieces from Emma Rae. She was never actually baking, apart from perhaps one or two scenes. The diabetes was barely ever addressed, and when it was, it was absolutely ridiculous. While Id don't personally have diabetes, not one of the people I've met who has had spent all of their time whining about how they could only have a SINGLE bite of a sweet, or freaked out over having enough protein. Instead, like any other diet, they knew how to get a good balance for their body.
All in all, this book had potential. The author had a good concept, but she did not execute it well. I think this book would have really benefited from a few more edits, and more realism injected into the book. It read as something very amateur, and I left the book feeling quite unsatisfied.