Cara's Reviews > Honey, Baby, Sweetheart

Honey, Baby, Sweetheart by Deb Caletti
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Feb 26, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: fun-or-frivolity
Recommended to Cara by: Dani
Read on February 25, 2012

My sister reviewed this book and made it sound so delicious, I had to get it. By the time it arrived, I had forgotten any of the details of her review--just a halo of "Dani" over the book--so I was expecting it to be really good.

I started reading, and it was kind of horrible. I kept going, getting more and more appalled, thinking, "She thought this was good?! What on earth am I going to say to her?" It was only when I interrupted my reading for a BBQ potato chip quest that I remembered: she shelved it "enjoyably-bad". Phew!

The book isn't bad bad. There was a lot I liked. I cared about the main character, her mom, her brother, her boss, the minister, and several of the oldsters. I wanted them all to do well and be happy. Hell, I even liked the bad boy, Travis... kind of.

I also liked the story, even though there were some mildly implausible/slapstick parts that almost broke credibility. The author also did a great job of building suspense. Even though in a way it's obvious what the main character will do, and it wouldn't be a story if she didn't, I still spent most of the book screaming to her, "No! Don't do it!!!" to no avail. The suffering and induced stupidity of obsessive love is portrayed extremely well here.

Really the bad part is the writing. Normally when I say that, I would mean it was poorly written, which this book is not. Instead, it reads like the product of reading too many books about how to be a good writer. Every time I start to read one of those books, I put it down again because I get afraid my writing is going to turn out exactly like this. Too self-conscious, too many details added for color, too many eccentricities, WAY too many similes. If this author didn't read the page in Stephen King's _On Writing_ where he rails against cliches and urges writers to develop their own original encapsulating phrases, I will eat my hat (ha!).

Just be yourself, Deb Caletti, and your next book will be awesome.
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