Saturday, May 14, 2005

Is That All There Is?

Random House told readers to "Open the door to first fiction" in its three page ad in the Library Journal for March 15th. It's no wonder most of us can't get an agent let alone a book deal because all these books seem the same. They profiled thirty books and fully half of them are chick lit:
*Whores on the Hill by Colleen Curran. "A sensual evocation of sexual awakening played out against a backdrop of adolscent angst . . . as three adolescent girls run wild through the last all girl parochial school in Milwaukee." So except for Milwaukee, it's a new Gossip Girl novel?
*Emily Ever After by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt in which a girl gets a job at a New York publisher. Hasn't this already been written half a dozen times?
*Exclusive by Barbara Fischkin. About two sparring reporters. Anyone heard of Hildy Johnson?
*Soapsuds by Finola Highes and Digby Diehl. A book about an actress on a soap opera by an actress on a soap opera. Better I suppose than the character herself supposedly being an author as AMC's Erica Kane supposedly was. And I doubt it could be as good as The Confessions of Phoebe Tyler. Say, wasn't there a movie like this with Teri Hatcher and Sally Field?
*The Perfect Manhattan by Leann Shear and Tracey Toomey. Cassie, a name I love, is the lead in "a novel about the bartending life and uppercrust society in New York City." Hopefully, it comes with a coupon for booze to distract oneself from the novel.
*The J.A.P. Chronicles by Isabel Rose. "Sex and the City meets Jane Austen." A description which speaks for itself.
*Pounding the Pavement by Jennifer van der Kwast. "Twenty-something living in New York City". Noticing a pattern?
*They're Not Your Friends by Irene Zutell. Three reporters (again?) in, guess where? That title is the quintessential chick-lit caption.
*FAB by Kieran Batts Morrow and three others. "A chick lit-side splitter" about four girls in Gotham and Lalaland. Nothing wrong with southern California that a rise in the Pacific couldn't fix, right?
*Man Camp by Adrienne Brodeur. Two women from the Big Apple don't like the guys they date so they send them to re-education camp. Can you imagine the fury from the NOW-crowd if a man wrote a book about doing this to women?
*The Butcher of Beverly Hills by Jennifer Colt. Two crime-fighting redheads "out to rid L.A. of various criminals." Including the people who decided to put this sort of thing between two covers?
*Alternate Beauty by Andrea Rains Waggener. In an alternative universe, the Reubenesque is in. So Roseanne would be more attractive than Paris Hilton? Talk about a Hobson's choice.
*Making It Up As I Go Along by Maria Lennon. "Wanting to save the world in Africa, Saffron Roch finds herself pregnant and in love with a cheating doctor." Quick, do Finola Hughes's writers at GH or AMC or whichever program she's on now know about this plot?
*Fashion Victim by Sam Baker. Yet another reporter, this writer doing the Jessica Fletcher bit by tracking down the killer of a fashion designer and a gang of trademark infringers. Oh. My. God.
*Passing Roscoe by Debra Borden (not listed in Amazon so I can't link to it). Kitchen-sink drama about the travails of a mother dealing with her kids and her mother. Random comes up with exactly one book about a real person with a real life and even that doesn't sound appealling.

Gentle Reader, this post is far too long already, so I'll save the remaining first fiction for another time. I'm also working on another review for you: the Gossip Girl series. So stay tuned.


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