Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Perfectly True Tales of a Perfect Size Twelve - Robin Gold

Summary: Delilah White, television's semifamous (to her own shock) and completely endearing domestic diva, likes herself just the way she is: a perfect size 12. When her boss announces that she's taking an early retirement, Delilah finds herself pitted against her rival, the statuesque Margo Hart, for one of the most coveted promotions in television. As the office politics heat to a rapid boil, Delilah escapes for a long weekend at her friend's wacky family estate in the Catskills, only to encounter two surprise house guest who threatened to turn her world upside down. Armed only with a pink polka-dot bikini and her sometimes overactive imagination, Delilah struggles to negotiate a budding romance (with a man who just might be unavailable) while salvaging an unthinkable blunder at the office. As one disaster follows another, Delilah musters all her charm, ingenuity, and spirit; but will it be enough to help her come out on top? (Picture from www.lauriejbooks.com - Summary from the back of the book)

My review: I usually believe that in order to review a book properly, I need to have read the whole thing. I’m breaking my own rule today. Don’t worry, it won’t happen often. I could not even get past the first twenty pages of Perfect Size Twelve because I knew in my heart of hearts there were better things to be doing with my time—like shaving my legs or dusting.

When I read the back of this book, I was hoping for a funny, charming story about a real-sized woman and her experiences dealing with a world that is so body-centric. My pants have been getting a little tight. What can I say, I needed someone to relate to. However, I wish that I had opened up the book and read the first page. Had I done so, I would have seen that the F word appeared in the very first line and multiple times in the next 20 pages, along with other words in the same family. Now, I’m not overly sensitive to language. I have thrown a few words around in my time and heard far more than that, but using profanity in a desperate attempt to get a “shocking” open line, is just coarse and pathetic.

Language aside, Gold's writing was so stilted and mechanical that I got irritated in about 45 seconds flat. It took me a while to put my finger on exactly why, but I finally realized my irritation stemmed from the fact that she was writing in third-person PRESENT tense.

Example: At the beginning of the second chapter the author wrote “Sofia marvels as they wind their way up the New York State Thruway.” She SHOULD have written “Sofia marveled as they wound their way up the New York State Thruway.”

Imagine a whole book written that way (and I did skim to make sure). It was unavoidably awkward. I imagine that the F-word was the author’s last resort at grabbing my attention, after having failed to achieve anything more than a mediocre “Delilah does this, Sofia does that” style of writing. I think that this book would have been far better served if written in a more fluid manner, in the past tense, and without all the language.

Again, this is just my opinion. I didn’t read the whole thing. You might love it. Others have. I unequivocally did NOT.

My rating: One star.

Sum it up in one phrase: Don’t waste your time with this book. It'll make you want to cover your ears and tear out your hair. Go play solitaire instead.

2 comments:

Kari said...

Ha! I appreciate your eye for tense. :)

MindySue said...

thanks! i wonder if i'm just being weird, but it seemed really ODD to me...that that would get by editors. it was so awkward to read. just bizzare.

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