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.