Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Book Review: Happiness...Almost by Buddy Moore

Title & Author: Happiness...Almost by Buddy Moore
Publisher: Dorrance Publishing Co.
Pages: 125
Why I read it: Received in print to review

You know, I'd really prefer not to start off my book blog with a crappy review, but here goes nothin'. I received this book from Dorrance Publishing Co. for free, in exchange for a review on it. Let me just say: this book sucked so much that after about 20 pages, I really didn't want to read anymore. Sadly, I'm not one to just not finish a book, so I had to read it all.

The book seemed so promising. The title sounded decent, the synopsis seemed like it would make for a great story. It was not anything I had expected.

[SPOILER ALERT] (As if you were even considering reading it...)

The story begins with an 18-year-old boy named David who is anti-social and doesn't really fit in. He is convinced that in order to find true happiness, he must have a girlfriend. He goes to a church outing (after his mother suggests he go and he "doesn't want to put up her shit") and meets this girl named Brittany on the bus ride. Turns out David's mom asked the pastor to have this chick pay him some "special attention". Who does that?

I mean really, David's dad was practically the only character who remotely had any sense. He thinks it's a bad idea and says it will only hurt David more in the long run if Brittany turns him down or if she just wants to be friends. Well, guess what? She doesn't want to have anything to do with him; frankly he freaks her out a bit because he starts to get super obsessive. He goes on a killing spree and is determined to murder anyone who gets in the way of their "relationship" or who makes her unhappy. And I mean anyone---the mailman, the janitor, even her own father.

And it's not even that these people are making Brittany unhappy, or really interfering with their relationship (or non-relationship in this case). They're just people that she happens to talk to and express her concern for David's behavior. Because he is so obsessed and convinced that him and Brittany are supposed to be together, he doesn't see that she is even freaked out by the situation, and doesn't understand that you probably shouldn't call someone 20x a day if you want them to give you any time of day. He just doesn't get it, which is really the saddest part of the story.

The entire time I'm reading this book, I'm thinking "Seriously? Can it just end now?" We already know what is going to happen in the end, we really don't need it played out for us any further.

This book was just plain difficult to read, and I don't mean in a challenging, intellectual way. I mean it was awful. There was absolutely no character development, and I couldn't really relate to any of the characters throughout the entire book. Even the main character, David---I couldn't relate to and feel bad for him until the last two pages of the book. I know that sounds horrible because he was clearly mentally-ill, but he was flat to me, and didn't have much personality to go along with it. 

Another one of my main issues is that throughout the book, there were entire paragraphs with each sentence start with "He". "He did this," "He did that," for like six sentences long. Seriously? There were no other words that could have started the sentence? There were a ton of over-explanations, with things that I knew were going to happen and it had to be spelled out for me.

I like books that I can get lost in. Books that have a plot. And characters that are actually developed and make a place in my heart. Characters that I can put myself in their shoes. I was definitely disappointed with this story to say the least, and I really hope that the next book from this Publisher will not be so amateur.