Sunday, January 25, 2009

Book Review: Triple Shot Bettys in Love by Jody Gehrman

Back in June, I had the pleasure of reading Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty and it ended up being one of my favorite novels of last year (read my review). So it would be an understatement to say I was excited about reading this sequel and exploring how man-hating, feisty Geena would fare in her first romantic relationship.

In this second Betty adventure, the action revolves around Amber’s crush on the hot new English sub, the Jack Kerouac loving Mr. Sands. In a plot reminiscent of Cyrano de Bergerac, Amber enlists the decidedly more book smart Geena in her campaign to win over Mr. Sands, getting her help in making over her MySpace page and sending him literate, witty messages. Meanwhile, Geena has problems of her own: Sophie, a super-sophisticated girl from boyfriend Ben’s past moves back to Sonoma and makes it clear she wants to steal him away from her. The third Betty, Hero, is still presumably in love with Claudio, but both are largely MIA here (sadly).

It’s definitely written with the assumption that the readers have read the first book. Since it’s been 7 months since I read it though, I’ll admit, I was a little hazy on the details. It bothered me that the character of PJ was mentioned multiple times without explanation of who he was, and I racked my brain trying to remember (without success). It was also probably due to this time lapse that I struggled through the first 50 pages or so until Mr. Sands and the main plotline was introduced. I loved this portion of the novel: Author Gehrman really excels at writing humor and literary criticism. Her assessments of Kerouac’s On the Road (through Geena) mirror my own:

I wanted to be totally into it, but the truth is, I had to make myself keep reading. I kept looking for the radiant, electrifying prose Mr. Sands always goes on about, but to me it just felt like one, queasy car ride with no particular destination.” (p 61)

And then there’s the Geena/Ben/Sophie plotline. What really I liked about this was the authentic feeling of awkwardness between Geena and Ben – both in terms of how far they should go physically and the spats they had due to Geena’s fear of not being a good girlfriend and her general tendency towards avoidance. What I didn’t like so much was the way Geena let Sophie bully her. Where was feisty Geena from the first book who never let anyone get in her way? To me, it just seemed too much out of character.

Overall, this makes a very nice companion novel to the Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty. Just make sure you read that one first.

Triple Shot Bettys in Love came out this week in hardcover.

19 comments:

Thao said...

I'd love to read this one and the prequel too. Both sound interesting!

Amee said...

Haha, I also didn't really remember who PJ was!

Lenore said...

Amee - Glad I wasn't the only one.

Angela said...

I nominated you for the kreativ blogger award. Check out my blog for details!

BookChic said...

I loved the first book and can't wait to get to this one. It's getting near the top of my TBR pile! Great review! :)

allisonmariecat said...

I received this one in my Penguin giveaway box, and I read the first couple of pages before running to bn.com to use up a Christmas gift card to get the first book (along with others, of course). I'm looking forward to reading both!

Alyce said...

Thanks for the info! I've got the second book but not the first. I'll have to pick the first one up from the library.

For the Love of Books said...

I've wanted to read these books for quite a while I'm pretty sure you just convinced to me!

Lenore said...

angela - thanks dear!

bookchic - you should love it.

allison - excellent move!

alyce - do that.

Reader Rabbit said...

:) Yay, glad you enjoyed it too.
Love the header!

Steph said...

Y'all didn't remember who PJ was? Seriously?

This only further proves the fact I have wayyy too much useless memory space taken up by book trivia :P

Think there's any space for a third book?

Lenore said...

I would love a third book. But I guess it better come out soon... before my mind goes completely.

Ladytink_534 said...

Sometimes when I'm reading a series I haven't read in awhile I have a hard time remembering people so instead of enjoying the book like I should be doing I spend half of it trying to remember who these people are! Ugh! Of course, on the flip side, when I'm reading a series back to back, I don't really enjoy having to go through the reaquantice process. I do wish there was a way to meet in the middle :(

Jordyn said...

I keep hearing good things about this series. I think maybe it's a sign I should read them or something?

Staci said...

This is the first time I've heard of either of these books...sounds like a fun read. I'll be sure to start with the the first one!!

Thanks for the review :)

Staci said...

This is the first time I've heard of either of these books...sounds like a fun read. I'll be sure to start with the the first one!!

Thanks for the review :)

J. Kaye said...

Thanks for the heads-up about reading the first one. I love that cover though.

Teddy Rose said...

Really nice review!

I added the link to the ARC Challenge post.

kissouyin said...
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