Friday, October 19, 2012

Bridget Reviews Kiss The Girls by James Patterson


Title/Author: Kiss The Girls by James Patterson
Publisher/Year Published: Little, Brown and Company, 1995
How I got this book: Bought it at the library!
Why I read this book: I’d never read anything by James Patterson before and thought I’d try.
Rating: 2 stars

So I happened to be at a library a few weeks ago—I say “a” library rather than “the” library because I wasn’t in my local library—and I saw a cart of paperbacks with a sign that said “25 cents each.” Of course I couldn’t help but look (who could resist getting a book for a freaking quarter??). Most of the books looked to be trashy romance novels and super-corny chick lit, neither of which I’m into, but Kiss The Girls by James Patterson caught my eye (my dad likes the movie) so I bought it. I didn’t realize at the time that I was jumping into the second book of a long series about a detective/psychologist, but it ended up not being a huge deal.

Anyway, the premise is this: Naomi Cross, the niece of Alex Cross (the aforementioned detective/psychologist), has gone missing. It comes to light that she is probably the victim of Casanova, a serial kidnapper/rapist/murderer who has been working the Research Triangle in North Carolina. Simultaneously, another serial kidnapper/rapist/murderer who styles himself “The Gentleman Caller” is working his way through the West Coast—and seems to be in cahoots with Casanova.

So before I rip this book to shreds, let me give credit where credit is due: the basic story was good, and I can see why my dad would like the movie. I will also allow that I was kept guessing up until the very end about who Casanova was, and I still turned out to be ultimately wrong, so good on you, Mr. Patterson, for not giving up the goods too easily.

But oh my GOD, Alex Cross was a whiny bitch.

Okay, whiny bitch might be the wrong words. Maybe angsty bitch would be better. But his voice (this was written in first person from Alex’s point of view) was so freaking annoying. Some of it comes down to James Patterson’s writing style, no doubt, which was also horrible. He sure does love using italics, and not always in the most appropriate situations. The result was that Alex Cross came across as kind of self-righteous and overly earnest. And the good basic storyline was obscured by terrible prose—the kind of terrible prose that really makes me wonder how in the world James Patterson manages to sell millions upon millions of books every year.

Something else that really bothered me was how flat the characters were. No one underwent any significant—or even insignificant—changes throughout the entire book. All Alex could think about the majority of the time was Naomi or his kids, and definitely had something of a savior complex going on. Sampson, Alex’s colleague and friend, is perpetually snarky despite the harrowing situations they find themselves in. Kate McTiernan was probably the least realistic character of the bunch, the impossibly beautiful, incredibly intelligent and talented doctor who overcame her tragic past and blah blah blah. 

Basically, this was a really fluffy book that I only continued to read because I was grudgingly interested in finding out who Casanova was. So James Patterson can create suspense, but definitely not much else.

Rating: 2 stars 

19 comments :

  1. Haha wow, I haven't read anything James Patterson either, doesn't really appeal that much.....

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    1. Yeah, after this, I wouldn't recommend it.

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  2. I'm adicted to Alex Cross novel. I don't know why. They aren't necessarily quality literature, but I always love the story. And I will always picture Morgan Freeman as Alex....

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    1. Sorry my iPad froze and wouldn't let me correct my typo!

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    2. Haha no problem! And I did like the story--I just wish the writing had been better :(

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  3. BOOM. The truth about James Patterson has been said: "So James Patterson can create suspense, but definitely not much else."

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  4. EXCELLENT review! I, too, wonder how he can sell so many books. Makes me seriously wonder about the state of the nation's readers!!

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    1. Thanks, and same!! There is so much quality literature out there that doesn't get recognized because of the drivel some of the popular authors are spewing. Not that anything labeled as "popular" is bad, of course. And I realize the fame machine generally means you need to produce about a book a year. But still...

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  5. So I am definitely not a huge James Patterson fan, in large part due to the whole Fiction Factory scandal, but I did love Kiss the Girls as a movie (never knew until more recently it was based on a book). As for the book itself, I'm going to pass thanks to your review and on principal.

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  6. I read Maximum Ride by Patterson about two years ago. It was the first and last James Patterson book I'll ever read. His writing belongs in an elementary school writing contest, not selling millions of copies and on countless advertisements.

    I have a theory about Patterson's popularity, and that is this; To the avid reader, his prose is crap, but those who only read the occasional book and like an easy reading experience flock around his simple-sentenced, un-nuanced, repetitive books. I don't make a habit of bad-mouthing writers, even if I don't like their particular style, but Patterson spits out carbon-copy novels every six months. This isn't a man serious about writing, this is a man serious about paychecks.

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  7. I've always wondered about Patterson's books - I've never read one, but a friend of mine loves them and I've been tempted to give one a try in the past. I think your review pretty much sums up why I've always had reservations - I imagined that the plots would be reasonably good, but the writing wouldn't be that thrilling. I did quite enjoy the film of this, but I don't think I'll be in a rush to pick up one of his books now!

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    1. I've heard so much good stuff about the film (from my dad and sister especially) but I don't know if I could watch it now =\ I still might try though...

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  8. I LOVED the movie however, but I think I shall skip the book. oh well.

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  9. Wow I heard this is one of his best or maybe I am thinking the movie. I have enjoyed two of his books.

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  10. I'm so glad to see that I'm not the only one to feel this way about James Patterson! I've only read one of his books (so bad that I don't even remember which one), but every time someone tries to recommend his books to me, I shudder internally. But because of his popularity, I thought, up until now, that I was the only one!

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  11. So I happened to be at a library a few weeks ago—I say “a” library rather than “the” library because I wasn’t in my local library—and I saw a cart of paperbacks with a sign that said “25 cents each. cafetera express

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