Monday, January 11, 2010

First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria: How a Peace Corp Poster Boy Won My Heart and a Third World Adventure Changed My Life
by Eve Brown-Waite
Author Website:

Available in hardback, paperback (releasing April 2010) and Kindle. Broadway, 2009; ISBN: 0767929357; 320 pages.

I've heard writers and editors talk about the "red line of death." It's the point in a story that causes the reader to shut the book. Either the story progresses too slowly, is too confusing or simply no longer holds the readers interest. This book has a red line of death.

I loved it at first! It was funny and witty and offered a sweet, interesting story. I could relate to the main character (who, since this is a memoir, is actually the author). She showed a lot of spunk. The book seemed well-written and flowed nicely.

Then she lost me. It wasn't that the book became too confusing; rather, I just got bored. The plot seemed too redundant. The characters didn't evolve. At least not within the first 130 pages. What was entertaining and challenging became depressing and cliche. The delightful edge became rote.

It's not that I didn't like the book. I did -- but I couldn't finish it. This title has rested untouched next to my bed, bookmark firmly in place, for more than two months. What's worse? I have no motivation to finish it. I simply don't care what happens in the last half of the book.

Final Thoughts: This is a great candidate for a library book. Parts of it are really great -- I laughed out loud in places! -- but, ultimately, the book disappointed me. I wouldn't pay full price (a hefty $24) for it.

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