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This was not a bad book. Parts of it were enjoyable. It just didn't last. The narration was very good. But I listened to this author's debut book Ain't Misbehavin and thought it was an incredibly well written, entertaining, unique book. The characters were all well developed and quite eccentric. While they were easily recognizable as a certain type of character - a proud, native Texan from a small town, they weren't stereotypical or a caricature of the species.
I don't usually like books that focus on characters from a specific region or heritage. The author usually goes into overkill making the characters the epitome of the obnoxious Texan, or New Jerseyian or Italian, or whatever. That just makes the characters sound stupid and should be insulting to someone who comes from that region or shares that heritage. The author avoided this in Ain't Misbehavin. She doesn't in Crazy Little Thing Called Love.
I felt the characters in this book were not nearly as well developed. And when their actions seemed unbelievable, they weren't just quirky - they really were unbelievable. And they were just too Texan, from good ole boy name of the hero to the fact that every other scene takes place in the same honky tonk. Even the narrator, who is a favorite of mine seemed to spread the Texas a little too thickly. I never understood why Donny Joe was a partner with Etta's grandmother in the B&B. And I certainly didn't understand why everyone seemed to think of Etta's sister's desertion of her only child as only irritating. It went beyond irritating. It not only made Etta's sister Belle a completely unlikeable character with no redeeming qualities, it made Etta less likeable. Her reaction to her sister's actions was so mild it made me think almost as poorly of Etta as it did Belle.
Finally, this book lacked the humor and warmth of Ain't MIsbehavin. I didn't find the characters funny, engaging or particularly likeable. It is hard to like a book if you don't like the characters.
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