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Showing 1-10 of 33 reviews(1 star). See all 68 reviews
on February 25, 2002
Currently, I am about 1/2 way though this nonsense! I can't bring myself to "want" to read this one. In the book store it looked like a possibly cute story. I've never read any of Olivia G's books before so I had nothing to compare it to. This is a bomb. I do not like one of the characters in this story. First of all it is too dragged out describing ever second of Jon's "transformation". Secondly, they make this guy a total geek, like he doesn't even know how to speak to a woman without "cool" Tracie's help. And Tracie is extremely annoying. If Jon is suppose to be Tracie's friend, why is she always laughing at his patheticness? I guess I will continue to read, but only because I don't have another book at this moment. I say do not waste your TIME!
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on October 20, 2001
Totally predictable and not worth the energy spent turning the pages. Granted, you don't expect Goldsmith to be Shakespeare, but this even falls below her previous works. "First Wives Club" and others have redeeming moments, are humorous and a diverting "fun" read .... but this is just awful, demeaning, page-filler!
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on July 18, 2002
I was attracted to the cover of this book as it sat on the New Fiction shelf at the library where I work. After reading the description, I should have known better, but decided to broaden my horizons and do a little "beach reading". After the first 3 chapters, I wanted to put the book down. Tracie was obnoxious, juvenile and I had an impossible time believing that she was out of high school. Do grown women actually act like this? I've never met one so completely, frustratingly moronic. Jon- talk about a one-dimensional character. Gosh, a computer nerd who works 80 hours a week and hasn't gotten laid since the Reagan administration- how unique.
Their relationship was implausible, as was their dialogue, their jobs, their friends, etc etc etc.
After a few more chapters, I kept groaning to my husband who said, "Just put it down. Give up!" But I never put a book down. This should have been a first.
I was disturbed by Jon's bed hopping. Given the fact that all Tracie's friends/ Jon's conquests knew about each other, could EVERY SINGLE ONE have been so taken in by "Jonny"'s amazing charms that they didn't care???? Could all of them have been so repulsively spineless and brainless that they couldn't have a backbone and be a real woman and get a REAL man?
There were absolutely no likeable characters, the plotline was straight out of a bad 80s movie (and apparently another book!) and the errors were glaring. Worst part is, if you read the acknowledgements Goldsmith actually thanks someone for the info on Seattle "hot spots".
Ugh. My first book by Goldsmith and it would take some strong convincing to get me to pick up another. I will be recommending to everyone I know- if you must read this book, get it at the library: the fact that it's free dampens the pain.
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on January 20, 2001
I was thrilled to see a new Olivia Goldmsmith book... I snapped it up immediately, and began to read it. Having loved everything she'd ever written, I knew that I was in for a treat.
Or was I?
I was stunningly dissapointed with this novel. It contained none of the elements that make Olivia such a fun read. For example, the characters were one dimensional, at best. Tracie was a poor knock-off of Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones, but with out the humor or pithy insight. Ordinarily, Olivia Goldsmith develops her protagonist so well that you are empathetic, no matter how imperfect the character is. Compare Tracie with Sig in "Marrying Mom" and you'll see the disparity in developement. In the case of Bad Boys, I simply didn't CARE what happened to anyone.
Usually Olivia is fabulous at tying up the minute details. Her books generally leave no loose ends. But there were scads of loose ends in this book. What was the deal with the waitress? She seemed to be the only one with an interesting story. And what happened to her friend Laura? Was she ever going to get together with Phil? And what was the impetus for Phil's change? What happens to Jon's dad? And how did her mom die, and will she ever find closure?
As well, where were the surprising plot twists? And why no antagonist in this novel? Half the fun of the Olivia Goldsmith novels is watching justice being dispensed to the wicked. WAnd where were the wicked??
My advice? Stay away from this book. It never fulfills its promising premise. Do yourself a favor and re-read the First Wives' Club.
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on March 7, 2003
The premise of this book sounded great. It appeared to be a light, entertaining read. Then I read it... well most of it and then I put it in the GARAGE SALE PILE. The plot is predictable without any twists or diversions. Not only are the characters flat, most are ridiculuously unhealthy. The majority of the main character's (Tracie's) advice on how to get women is demeaning and juvenile. She actually encourages her male friend to be emotionally abusive as if it is charming. You just can't believe how she tells him to treat his dates! She tells him to be condescending,critical and demeaning. Everything from judging what they eat to hitting on other women when he's on a date. SHe encourages him to make women doubt themselves and it will keep them coming back for more. And in the process of giving her "friend" advice she shreds him apart as if he offers no endearing qualities at all. She's terribly mean! And all the while she is in the depths of a nowhere relationship with a complete loser. And she's content with the dumb, not deep, cheating, and manipulative "artist" because the (...) is good. Even dialogue is weak and forced. Uh, I could go on and on but this book isn't even worth the time. A DEFINATE BOOK TO AVOID!!
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on January 16, 2003
This is the first book I've encountered by this author, and I can say that I won't be looking for her other works. The characters were condescending, and frankly, the characters who were supposed to be "cool" reminded me of the socially inept people you desperately try to avoid at parties. The dialogue didn't come across as spontaneous at all, and the plot was very predictable. Goldsmith includes too much detail in her descriptions (e.g., do we really need to know every facial movement each character makes?), which makes the story drag. Although I like the idea of a male version of the makeover story, I was deeply disappointed by this book.
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on January 21, 2002
I honestly don't think I've ever read a book with so many inconsistencies in it. I won't go into them, although they were annoying (along the lines of: Phil puts on his jacket and leaves, but is nibbling Tracie's ear two paragraphs later???).
The very worst mistake(unforgivable), to me, was that the first time Jon and Tracie "get together", he had just been in bed with Allison. GROSS! He leaves Allison in bed, races across town, and finally takes Tracie to bed, supposedly after years of loving her. No shower first. How romantic is that? Where was the editor?
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on March 5, 2002
As someone who has enjoyed previous Goldsmith novels, I was seriously appalled and disappointed by this one. Others have written much about why it disappoints, so I'll try not to repeat all of those observations.
However, I must reiterate the most glaring error in a book filled with errors (that reader review was written long enough ago that it's probably not read much now):
Jon (who is being made over by Tracie from geek to hottie) goes to the SEATTLE-TACOMA airport to practice hitting on women (which is an odd choice to begin with). He reads the arrivals board and notices a flight has come in from...Tacoma! How miraculous.
Really, all an editor would have had to do is look at a map, for crying out loud, to see that Tacoma and Seattle are too close together to fly from one to the other (and might have even found out that they share an airport). Not that Goldsmith couldn't have done so herself and saved the editor the trouble...There are numerous other Seattle-related mistakes, but that's the most preventable, unforgivable and ridiculous.
Also worth repeating: Everything about the "newsroom" (fluffroom is more like it) was wrong, wrong, wrong. No respectable editor tells his/her reporter to include "as many advertisers as possible" in her story, no matter how fluffy that story may be. (Note I am talking about respectable newspapers. For all I know it may happen unapologetically at some "shopper"-type rags, but I haven't spent any time at those -- just in real newsrooms.)
Another thing: When sexual harrassment occurs in this day and age, it's a little more subtle. Heck, people even get in trouble for the subtle stuff some of the time! No one who acted in the manner of Tracie's boss would last a week in a job like that. And even if he did, Tracie and her co-workers would be idiots not to sue him. But I guess depicting a sleazy boss with enough subtlety to make him believable might have required some effort -- and this book has "toss-off" written all over it.
This book is so annoyingly bad that it doesn't even qualify as a "fun read." A few mildly amusing scenes do not a fun read make. Save your money and send the publishing world a message.
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on July 29, 2001
I brought this book with me to the beach to read this weekend. Instead of whiling away the afternoon engrossed in its pages, I was enraged that I had been "taken" by such a trite, uncreative attempt at writing, especially by someone who in the past has shown extreme talent.
This book trys so hard to be hip and yet it fails miserably. Its almost as if Ms. Goldsmith is trying to cash in on all the readers of books about young singles such as Bridget Jones, Confessions of a Shopaholic or Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married. However, the differences between this book and those was that the others were GOOD! And they were probably good because the authors knew what they were writing about and were closer in age to their heroines. They had their fingers on what was going on in their worlds around them. Ms. Goldsmith certainly does not have her finger on the heartbeat of the twentysomething Seattlites she is attempting to write about. In fact, she is so much older and so much further removed that her poor attempts to portray these people and their words and actions at times made me physically wince. (It was kind of like a dorky junior high health teacher wanting to talk with a 9th grader about rap music - instead of being cool, the teacher just looks like more of a dork.)
This book was fomulmatic and extremely predictable. Somewhere around page three you can decipher the rest of the story. I just kept hanging on thinking there would be some twist of fate, but once again I was let down. Obviously, this is not her genre. Not only would I not recommend this book to anyone, I would tell others to RUN in the other direction from it. Don't let it ruin your trip to the beach!
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on July 17, 2001
I didn't find much "bad" about Olivia Goldsmith's character, Jon. I found him rather annoying. All he did was whine. "Tracie WHY don't the girls like me. Why why why." Because you are an annoying character that should have never been written, that is why. I wanted to smack him across the head. Seriously, I am most relieved that the initial hype this book has generated has worn off, and most readers are now starting to see that this is a book that indeed was hacked out rather quickly to make a bit more money off the success of Goldsmith's previous work. It is not a good piece of fiction. And as for the comparisons to Bird's "The Boyfriend School," indeed they are justified. Goldsmith has taken a fine piece of humorous fiction, and changed a few minor details (enough to destroy the heart of TBS), and called it her own. The main characters have the same occupations, Tracie/Gretchen both work as newspaper feature writers, they both have boyfriends that are in the music business, and from beginning to end the similarities would take a book to list. And the book is called "The Boyfriend School." I guess it is legal in literary circles, but it doesn't seem quite ethical. As has been said about "Bad Boy," and quite succinctly, save your money. If you want a funny read, find "The Boyfriend School." It is out of print, but will be WELL worth the effort to locate it.
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