Kristen's Reviews > Joy for Beginners

Joy for Beginners by Erica Bauermeister
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May 09, 11

bookshelves: first-reads, chick-lit, 2-stars
Read from May 06 to 09, 2011

When I first read the synopsis of this book, it sounded like something I would really enjoy. I liked the premise, the thought of character development and growth; however, I found little of that in this book. I kept on trying to like this book, but it just didn't work for me. I think that Erica Bauermeister had a really good plot idea, but the book was too short for it to ever develop. Seven women's stories are told in this book, each getting their own chapter to highlight their adventure that Kate chose for them. Each woman had the possibility of a unique story, but they never grew. You got a little back story on each woman, her task, and then her completion of the task. Every woman's task tied up nicely, with them finding a man/gaining insight/overcoming a fear. It was too formulaic and predictable.


My other problem with this book was the writing. I felt that the writing wasn't organic, that Bauermeister was trying too hard to express the character's feelings. It was too decadent at times, the words and language trying to convey too much. Also, the chapters were a bit too choppy for my liking. Some paragraphs were only three or four sentences, and then break away to a new thought. It wasn't something I really ever connected to because the writing was too distracting for me.


I really wanted to enjoy this book, and while the premise of the book still appeals to me, it's not something that I will be reading again.
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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Beth Great way to describe the writing as being too decadent. I'm a little less than halfway through right now and I don't know if I'll make it through the whole thing. The writing just feels way too indulgent for my tastes.


Kristen Beth wrote: "Great way to describe the writing as being too decadent. I'm a little less than halfway through right now and I don't know if I'll make it through the whole thing. The writing just feels way too in..."

I really struggled through it. The only reason I finished was because I won it in a giveaway, so I wanted to be able to post a fair review about it. Looking forward to your thoughts on it!


Pearl It's her language that I love. I'd call it lush, not decadent. But to each her own!


Kate Sometimes I thought she was pecking through the dictionary looking for a New Word! I thought the language was forced, too. I didn't hate this book with a passion, but it left me a little nauseous. It's definitely NOT great literature, maybe not even good.


Carol E. I agree with you! I really don't understand why so many people are giving it 5 stars! Bauermeister was trying too hard -- exactly! that really irritated me. I skimmed over parts where she was trying to be lyrical or something.


Torimac thank you. i was expecting more, as she handled a similar style of storytelling with "the school of essential ingredients", i thought that book was almost 5 stars! it's a tricky thing to handle so many storylines and i am sorry she didn't do it as much to my liking with this book.


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