Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Sam's Letters to Jennifer - James Patterson

Sam's Letters to Jennifer
Title: Sam's Letters to Jennifer
Author: James Patterson
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 263
Genre: Chick Lit / Romance / Fiction
How I Found It: A friend lent it to me
Date Completed: 7/24/16

Summary: After a devastating tragedy, Jennifer finds herself with only one family member left, grandmother Sam. Thus, when Jennifer gets a call declaring Sam to be in a coma, her world is rocked again. Upon racing to Sam's home, she finds a large pile of letters written to her from her grandmother that could change everything.

What I Thought: I feel compelled to immediately qualify this post with a disclaimer: "I didn't pick this book." It falls so far outside my normal genre selection that it felt weird to even be reading it. As I lay on the beach in Charleston, I couldn't help but clarify to my mom that it was a loaner from a friend. "She wants me to read it so I know what kind of books she likes." A fair request and one I took far to long in fulfilling. The paperback sat on my shelf for nearly a year before I sucked it up and stuck it in my bag for the beach. After all, if you can't read this stuff on the beach, then there is no hope for it at all.

After all my trepidation and delaying tactics, I finished the thing in two hours. Sigh. I should've just done it months ago; then I could've stopped feeling guilty for holding the thing hostage and failing to follow through on a promise to a friend. 

So, my thoughts? It wasn't terrible. It was basically exactly what I expected it to be: saccharine and shallow. I know there is an audience of literally millions for this type of stuff. It's why it sells so well and why Nicholas Sparks continues to churn the stuff out both on the page and on the screen. Still, I'm just not the target audience. 

At the risk of sounding like a total book snob (something I really, really try to avoid being! To each his or her own!), I read too much incredible literature to handle much of this stuff. When you're consistently dining on the meat and potatoes of the classics, indulging in this cotton candy writing turns the stomach a bit. There's not even the glutenous substance of a funnel cake or carb-y delight of french fries. It's pure sugar. Obviously, I'm writing this post right before lunchtime.

I understand there is value in sheer entertainment. I teach my Humanities kids that. We each have our preferred sugary escapes. For me, it tends to be more Top 40 pop music or The Bachelor. For others, it's books like this one. I can't judge; I won't judge. I just don't want anyone to subsist exclusively on these books. I want to help them discover truly amazing writing that can satiate and inspire simultaneously. 

Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Will I Re-Read: No
Other Books By James Patterson: Zoo

A Reduced Review: I know this type of stuff is super popular, but I just can't get into it.

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