Sunday, February 12, 2012

Book Review: India's Summer

A few weeks ago I got a notice on one of the Twitter feeds I follow about a free book available for the Kindle. Having the Kindle app on my iPad, I figured "what the hey..." and downloaded the book. After all, free is free and I do like to read. The book was India's Summer by Therese, an author I had not really heard of prior to this. Turns out, this is her first published book.

As I started to read this one, I found it rather interesting. Here is a British teacher named India Butler who works with troubled teens. She's about to turn 40 and wants a bit of a change. On break from school, she flies to Los Angeles to visit her twin sister Annabelle and her family. What follows then is how India becomes immersed into the Hollywood lifestyle full of fashion, facades and paparazzi.

The problem for me is that the book failed to keep me completely interested.

You have India who is looking for a change, and she does so by re-inventing herself. That means changes in appearance, changes in how she approaches people and even new romantic involvements. Basically, the character who I found interesting in the first couple chapters was progressively going away as the book continued.

Clearly I'm not the target audience here as I found all the celebrity and designer name-dropping to be totally boring.

The plot tended to meander about as if trying to find a way to fill the summer months.

There is a crisis with Annabelle but it fails to develop into something gripping.

There is a romantic relationship with actor Adam but the author cuts away from the scene before things can get sexy.

It seems that India is able to come up with a way to parlay her teaching background into a new career with Hollywood parents struggling with their teens, but just as she gets it off the ground the author comes up with a plot device out of left field to put it all on hold.

And as the pages start moving very close to the end, the story is too conveniently wrapped up for a happily ever after kind of ending.

If you're looking for some very light reading that you don't have to do much thinking about as you read, this might be a book to try. But, if you are like me and you like to have characters you can connect to, that you can feel for, then maybe you might want to look elsewhere.

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