Friday, December 23, 2011

Still alive!

Well, there hasn't been much original content here lately, has there? My apologies for that. I spent months upon months with very little to keep me busy at work and the around mid-october, my boss finally figured out that I should probably earn my paycheck for a change. The semester is now over and with the holidays upon us, I have some downtime again. Yes, this is one of the perks of working for an academic library. The university is closed from the 24th until January 2nd. I go back to work for the 3rd and then I'm off on my annual Disney vacation with my family.

I have my fingers crossed that I'll be able to stockpile some original entries with my gloriously work-free time. I have a Wolf Lake/Werewolves recs entry that I've been working on since I started this damn thing. I've also been working on reading the 2011 nominees for the Romantic Times Reviewer Choice awards. I'm not sure if I want to smush what I've got so far in a compilation entry or try to look at each category individually. I need to catch up the month review entries for October & November and do the one for December, before doing another best of 2011 entry. *sigh* At the moment, the only thing I know for certain is that I am not the target audience for most category single titles.

It seems likely that I'll be able to get my hands on Photoshop early next year and I'll finally be able to spiff up this place. That title banner annoys the hell out of me. It's so bland and brown. Plus giveaways! The Pigeon has been stockpiling books since NY Comic-Con (yes, from two months ago!) and wants to reclaim the spotlight.

In any case, I hope y'all are having a wonderful holiday season with great books finding their way to you!

Review: Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star by Heather Lynn Rigaud

Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock StarFitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star by Heather Lynn Rigaud
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I...Well...Hrm. Where to start?

The last time I attempted to read Pride and Prejudice, I think I was a preteen. And I didn't like it. To be fair, Louisa May Alcott and Shakespeare aside, I don't like most of the books that were published before the 1980s. So I know the general outline of the story, but I'm shaky on the characters and their personalities. Therefore, I can't accurately judge Rock Star's take on the original source material. I can only judge it on its own merits.

I have never really understood the phrase "purple prose" before, since critics seem to apply it wholesale to the romance genre, but it seems to fit this book quite nicely. I had been under the impression that this was marketed for young adults, so the first graphic sex scene surprised me.  I read it with a raised eyebrow and then proceeded to skip the rest of them because they were, well, purple. It was the kind of writing that romance bigots hold up to 'prove' the romance genre is derivative and putting a pretty label on soft porn.

As for the rest of the book, I felt like I was reading fanfiction, an AU where Lizzy and Darcy are modern day rock stars. The book shines the most at moments when Rigaud isn't trying to shoehorn Austen's into the text. When Will acts like Will and not Darcy, when Lizzy curses because she's running late, when the bands are on stage, those parts are enjoyable reads. The best characters for me were Richard and Char because I don't really know the characters they were based on and they were wonderfully flawed. I could believe they were real, I could believe they occupied this world Rigaud had created. Richard is a sex and alcohol addict who takes responsibility for himself and strives to get better one day at a time. He makes a very conscious decision to be with Char and the reader can easily see why she wants to be with him. Char wasn't without flaws of her own and she reminded me of a woman I actually know. A quick spin through Wikipedia tells me that Colonel Fitzwilliam and Charlotte Lucas, the Austen characters, are relatively minor in Pride and Prejudice, so I'm guessing Rigaud felt free to put her own stamp on them.

Rigaud should have done herself a favor and used Pride and Prejudice as a jumping off point rather than a strict framework. The concept sounded incredibly interesting and I'm disappointed with what I got. In the future, I hope Rigaud, a modern day stay-at-home New Yorker mom, will choose to develop her own voice instead of trying to copy one that belonged to a British spinster who lived during the regency romance era.