Ebookwormy's Reviews > Pretense

Pretense by Lori Wick
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's review
Aug 22, 2008

it was ok
bookshelves: fiction, christian-church
Read in August, 2008


I confess the characters were memorable. I liked the ones she took time to develop (Marrell, Paul, Jackson, Mackenzie, Delancy).

But the book started SO SLOW and the writing was horrible. I cannot believe I finished all 600 something pages. I probably wouldn't have if the book hadn't been given to me and I felt obligated to 'report back.' I can safely go for several years without the descriptor, "special" as it was so overused. I was mentally wretching within two pages. Another annoying train is that the author obviously LOVES naming people. Whenever new characters we are supposed to like are introduced, "nice names" is sure appear in the dialogue.

Many will claim these flaws are unique to Christian fiction, but I had flashbacks to reading "Sweet Valley High" back in high school. The "Sweet Valley High" series and "Pretense" have a lot in common. All the main characters have beautiful faces, amazing bodies, gorgeous hair, and "special" personalities that are appealing to all around them, especially those who appear at just the right time to fall in love with them. Not to mention these characters easily find spectacular apartments/ homes that are perfect for their needs and live in locations of natural beauty. Of course, their jobs are wonderfully suited to them and allow them tons of flexibility for their relational pursuits. They have completely natural talents that earn them incredible wealth and get them quickly established at a young age. Of course, if this path is taken by a male character, the astonishingly single rich bachelor is sure to fall for one of our female leads - after all, everyone is beautiful and "special" so we know they won't be 'on the market' for long. What a life. Too bad it has nothing to do with reality.

That said, some of the plot points had value. Without giving it away, I liked the development of characters and found most (not all) of the conversion experiences were well developed. I liked how the characters continued to struggle with their personalities/ normal paths of behavior after coming to Christ. The emphasis on family was welcome and reasonably reflected in the characters. I found the challenges of the book, particularly in the early half to be real (sudden death of someone close, adjusting to life changes, moving etc.). And, in general (though not always) I liked the way the author used prayer.

But these positives were lost in the tidal wave of unnecessary length and the authors insistence that her characters contain perfections too numerous for real life while encountering their struggles one at a time as everything else 'falls into place' and is cleanly and positively wrapped up. I haven't dismissed this author entirely... but it might be awhile before I can stomach another go at something "special" that she has written - and named!
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Denise Griffin I know what you mean by the perfect people! I find Karen Kingsbury has done the same especially with the Baxter /Bailey Flanigan series and it's really annoying but I have to say that I find the plot enough to over ride that annoyance and still read the books.

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