August 25, 2014

Review: Girls' Night Out and Devil Doll

I reviewed five Shebooks back in January, and I mostly enjoyed them.  I've read a few since, including the two I am reviewing in this most.  I must say that they continue to be high quality, but priced a bit high for me.  I know Amazon gives greater royalties at the $2.99 price point, but it took me one lunch break to read both of these stories.  That's not much reading for $6.  It might be a better option for slower readers.

Girls' Night Out Girls' Night Out: a mystery by Kate Flora
Available now from Shebooks
Review copy

The blurb for the novelette is simple and enticing: When the man who date-raped a friend is found not guilty, the women in her book group decide to take matters into their own hands.  The story opens with the friends moving a body, letting the reader know the plan has gone wrong.

I selected "Girls' Night Out" because the blurb reminded me of Fern Michael's Sisterhood series.  I must have good instincts, because that is exactly what I was reminded of.  Local district attorney Jay Hanrahan date raped Ellen Corso - and was found innocent.  Ellen's book club decides to take matters into their own hands and give Jay a taste of his own medicine.

"Girls' Night Out" is a fun bit of black comedy.  It's pretty slight, but it is a fun bit of comeuppance.  I'd certainly try a full-length novel by Kate Flora based on this work.  She's got a nice, wry humor.

Devil Doll Devil Doll: a friendship gone awry by Bonnie Friedman
Available now from Shebooks
Review copy

"Devil Doll" reminded me of one reason why I don't usually read memoirs.  I really felt for Catherine (name changed?) who has quite a bit of her personal life exposed in this memoir, in addition to author Bonnie Friedman's generally low opinion of her.  It can't be nice to have yourself immortalized negatively in a true story.

Bonnie and Catherine were fast friends when they studied abroad, but years later Bonnie dropped her without a word.  "Devil Doll" explores why.  Their relationship had strange ups and downs, including Bonnie sleeping with Catherine's husband, with her permission.  Neither woman comes off very well.  Catherine has a bit of a superiority complex, while Bonnie is judgmental and capricious.  It's well written, but not that enjoyable.

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