I have to say that 2011 is not shaping up to be a great year for book club selections so far. I’m sure it’s just a blip, but we’ve just happened to have two selections in a row that I have not enjoyed at all.
The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl – Quentin Clark, a young lawyer in Baltimore, happens upon Edgar Allan Poe’s funeral and becomes obsessed with the details of Poe’s untimely passing. Quentin was always a fan of Poe’s literature and can’t stand the bad press he received after his death. At no point in this book was I convinced of why Quentin cared so much about this that he would risk his connections to his family and a future with a woman he loved. The one aspect of the book that seemed like it might get interesting never turned into anything. Also, while I loved Poe’s works, the details of his death are not very interesting. The brief explanation at the end about the new information Pearl had found about Poe’s life and death was the most interesting part of the book, and it was just an afterword. I really can’t recommend this one at all, and no one in my book club liked it. I think it’s the first time we haven’t been able to come up with something positive to say about a selection. I still plan to read The Dante Club because I’ve heard really good things about that one.
Uh, if you are in my book club and you love the book below, you may want to stop reading here and wait for me to say this in a nicer way to your face in book club next month…
Dark Lover by J.R. Ward – I must be honest, I could not enter into this book with a completely open mind. With the exception of the Sookie Stackhouse series, I am SO TIRED OF VAMPIRES. Yes, I’m screaming at you. I AM SO FREAKING TIRED OF VAMPIRES. Ah, that feels nice. These vampires weren’t even the seductive ones that love art and romantic things. They are thugs who like to go to the club and get riled up with rap music. They wear all leather and say things like “off the chain.” They also have ridiculously spelled names: Rhage, Zsadist, Vishous, Phury, you get the point. The women in this series are all accessories to the men. They exist either to feed the men, screw the men, or have the men’s babies. Oh, my feminist brain could not get used to that. Also, one character almost gets raped in an alley one night, and has passionate sex with a stranger who breaks into her apartment the next night. What?! One note about the audio narrator, he sucked for this type of book. He didn’t enjoy narrating it any more than I enjoyed listening, and you could tell.
I am finding that I like some romance novels after starting my romance reading goal for 2011, but this is not one of them. I most definitely do not like alpha heroes or withering flower heroines who don’t have lives of their own. Time to go find a good old western historical romance with a strong silent rancher hero and a heroine with gumption.
Did you like either of these books? Please explain in the comments.