Sean's Reviews > The Monsters of Templeton

The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff
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's review
Apr 03, 2008

did not like it
Read in April, 2008

I had fairly high hopes for this being a fun, quality read. Nuh-uh. It has more than a slight whiff of 'chick lit fluff' about it unfortunately. While her descriptions have visual flair, the overall tone of this novel is cutesy and contrived. The multiple narrative perspectives seem forced, with several just feeling like tacked-on filler (ex: the running group. hello/why?) The main character is ultimately confronted (gently, of course!) as being the self-absorbed, spoiled brat/snob that she clearly is. But ultimately we're supposed to find her 'quirky and lovable'. Ha. She is breathtakingly narcissistic. Thus making her impossible to sympathize with, let alone tolerate the longer you're around her. Likewise annoying is the author's (at first, well-intentioned) gushing nostalgia for her hometown (aka, Cooperstown, NY). That treacly faucet becomes so repetitive as to be a deal-breaker right there. Yes, you have extreme affection for "Templeton" = We. Get. It. Equally repetitive is the fact that virtually every character has some (again) lovable quirk which makes him or her warm fuzzy nice/tractor beam likable. Frothy, yes. Bearable, no. The needlessly added elements of psychic events and fantastical creatures are distracting and only further the 'kitchen sink' feel of the story as a whole.

At several points, I resisted my gut response to chuck this book across the room. I really should've listened. The only reason I didn't is that it's fast reading. On nearly every page there's at least one groaner example of cloying, self-satisfied writing. The author refuses to throw even one hard punch at her characters. Lord forbid the main one - who continually gets the easy-out at every turn. Shocker, I know. Honestly, this ultimately reads like a calculated attempt at fishing for a romantic comedy film offer. She'd be lucky if The Lifetime Channel were tempted to take this hokey bait. (Think "Desperate Non-Housewives" meets "Picket Fences".)
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message 3: by Robert (last edited Feb 13, 2009 03:53AM) (new)

Robert B. I admire this reviewer for having suffered "The Monsters of Templeton" in its entirety and then taking the time to write this thoughful review. I made it to " familiar to us as the whorls in our own fingertips" (sic) on page 220 before tossing it in the recycling bin. The fact that either of us got past the first two chapters is worrisome. A one star rating is far too high

Becky This review is pretty much exactly how I felt about this book.

And to the next poster... That line " familiar to us as the whorls on our own fingertips" stuck out to me as mondo lame-o too.

Cori Great review. My sentiments, exactly, but well-written.

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