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Friday, June 01, 2007

Sammy's Hill

****½ Sammy's Hill by Kristin Gore. Chick lit.

Little note to the naysayers on Amazon: Sammy's Hill is chick lit/women's fiction. It is not a political treatise; neither is it a memoir of life in national politics. It doesn't pretend to be, or try to be. Argh. That sort of thing really irks me. It's like saying this is a bad computer because you can't take a bath in it.

Samantha Joyce is a health-care advisor to Senator Robert Gary. She's also a bit of a hypochondriac and fish-killer. When she meets Aaron Driver, speechwriter to Senator Bramen (in the same party as Gary, but slimier), it looks like he might be The One.

There are a few problems along the road to true love--a minor scandal caused when Sammy Blackberries an explicit message to Aaron that ends up accidentally going to a couple hundred of Aaron's friends and associates--and Sammy's increasing unease with Aaron working for the backstabbing Senator Bramen.

Then the presidential race begins, and Bramen's the frontrunner. Gary ends up endorsing Bramen's chief rival and becomes the vice presidential candidate.

There are a lot of details about life in politics--from the give-and-take required to get a bill introduced, much less passed, to the grueling campaign trail. The frustrations of an idealistic newcomer are evident, but leavened with humor.

Sammy herself is a wonderfully vivid character. She's quite Bridget-Jones-ish in her distraction and self-deprecation, but she's herself, too. She's just short of being over-the-top--a character I could believe in and root for.

The romantic relationships are very realistic, but that was my only quibble: not that it took Sammy a while to find The One--I liked that--but that the development of the relationship with The One didn't get more emphasis. Not that it was necessary--just that I'd expected it.

I bought Sammy's Hill from the Amazon bargain bin on a whim, not having heard anything about it, but on a quest to find new authors. There's a sequel out shortly, and it's on my to-be-bought list.


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I didn't enjoy the book (and not for any of the reasons you listed). I though the main character was an idiot and I got tired of reading her thoughts on everything because most of them were innane.

K. Gore is a much better writer than this but she can't use her Futramma shtick in longer fiction.
Oh, I didn't mean those were the only reasons people might not like the book--I'd just read several reviews to that effect, though, and thought it was worth mentioning, expectations having so much to do with how much I like or dislike something.

Believing/liking/relating to the main character makes a huge difference, too. I personally enjoyed her, but I can see how she could grate on someone's nerves or sound idiotic.
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