Friday, June 10, 2011

Utopia Texas by Betty Byrd

I must say that Utopia Texas is difficult to review. This novel was very hard for me to read, so much so that I couldn’t complete the book. Writing a review without reading the entire book is not something I make a habit of doing. In fact, leaving a book unfinished is rare for me (I can’t think of any other book I started but didn’t finish).

I read the first eight chapters of Utopia Texas and a few random passages beyond that. At the end of chapter eight I still did not understand where the story was going. The story through page 50 does not match the description on the back of the book.

There are major gaps in the plot (I use that term loosely) and there is no sense of time. The best example of this is reads like this: “He studied his watch. 11:55 a.m.…. she would meet him at noon….. Within minutes, a cab stopped.” The couple takes a cab ride that presumably will be a short trip to another part of town. There are a couple short paragraphs about the cab ride and when they arrive, “The sun had almost set….” Really? I even read the passage several times thinking I missed something, but there is no explanation for where the afternoon went.

Utopia Texas isn’t my type of book. First, I don’t want to struggle to follow a plot that jumps here, there and everywhere with no lead or preparation. If the scene for the next chapter is a Christmas party, I prefer some indication that it is approaching December 25 or at least that it is winter.

Second, I have no appreciation for lewd language or storylines. We’ve all been around people that cuss just to cuss or because they think it makes them sound tough or macho. In reality those people lack respect and they aren’t pleasant to be around. The same is true in writing. Just as I don’t want to be around people who are vulgar and crude, I don’t want to read about characters like that either.

If you think I’ve judged the book unfairly since I didn’t read all 300 hundred pages, I would be happy to send you the book so you can read it for yourself. I truly dislike writing a negative review, as I’ve stated previously on my blog. Reading is supposed to be enjoyable and I am frustrated and disappointed when it’s not.

I received a complimentary copy of Utopia Texas in exchange for a review.

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