Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Baby Proof (by Emily Giffen)*

I enjoyed Something Borrowed and Something Blue, so I thought this might be a fun chicklit read. Actually, it was kind of irritating.

First is the plot itself. The main character, Claudia, marries her perfect husband, Ben, and they both agree they don't want kids. She has perfectly valid reasons for not wanting them. Then, he suddenly decides he desperately wants a kid. Without much discussion or therapy or anything else that would be reasonable in this situation, they split up. (This happens at the beginning of the book, so it's not a huge spoiler.) I basically hated this guy. I mean, he's not the one who has to give birth to a child, and he's the one who changed his mind after they'd already agreed on no kids.

Yet all the other characters tell Claudia that basically she should change her mind and have a baby to get him back because he's just so awesome. If he was even slightly awesome, he wouldn't have been so quick to run out the door just because he had changed his mind and she didn't want to change hers. You can't "compromise" on parenthood, as it is a lifelong commitment. SO HE IS OBVIOUSLY NOT AWESOME. HE SUCKS.

And apart from that, there's the way the story is told, which is basically in a series of expositiony passeges. At first I thought "oh, she's just giving us the setup, then we'll get into the actual book." But no, it's pretty much "I was sitting at my counter remembering the conversation I had with this other character, where she told me this story about her life. Blah blah exposition." "So-and-so called me and told me what had been going on with her, which was blah blah blah." I don't know how to explain it, except my friend Katie was talking about "narrative distance" and "scene-based writing" today, and I was like YES, this book I am listening to HAS THAT EXACT PROBLEM.

Anyway. Thumbs down.

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