Tuesday, October 2, 2012

What makes a character so annoying?

Book: Kissing Games of the World

Author: Sandi Kahn Shelton

Published: 2008 (Shaye Areheart Books)

Pages: 383

Y’all, I’ve been sitting on this review for like a week trying to come up with a better reason for hating this book than “The characters are really annoying.” But since I’m not going for a grad degree in Comparative Literature here…well, the characters are really annoying. There. I said it. Now let’s dissect.

The main guy is quippy to show how hilariously out of whacky touch he is while trying to reunite with his young son, the main lady is okay except when indulging in hippie artist stereotypes or trying to be anything remotely sexual, their limp half-assed attempts at hating each other so the sex is hotter have no motivations until afterward when the author shoehorns ‘em in, and all the tertiary characters exist solely to have truth-telling talks and witty one-liners that spell out the protagonists’ motivations for them with all the originality of form found in a PowerPoint presentation.

Seriously, the story about a guy who lets his estranged dad take care of his son while the guy goes corporate after his wife dies, and the lady artist who lives with the dad and helps raise his son with her own while being a strictly platonic yet emotionally vital housemate could’ve done all the heavy lifting itself. Not everything has to have a romantic side to it, y’all, and this could have been such an excellent example of that.

Instead, we get hi-larious cranky-kids-be-travelin’ highjinks coupled with slutty yoga instructor sister advice that seriously changes every damn time she says something.

I don’t even know. It’s not good, so I’m going to put it in the donate pile. (Beware Goodwill in two or three months when I’m done weeding the shit out of my current pile. It’s going to be all my annoyed posts concentrated into one plastic bag black hole of sucky literature at 50 cents a pop.) Don’t pick it up, though, unless you want to hunt for motivations. I’m done.


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