October 09, 2011

Talk of the Town by Lisa Wingate

I had read the 2nd book in this series by Lisa Wingate a long time ago (Word Gets Around) and I had enjoyed it. Enough that when I saw this first book I decided to give it a read. They can be read in any order as the plots are separate from one another, so that didn't make any difference to my enjoyment of this one. What did make a difference was the fact that this one was almost excruciating to get through.

Mandalay Florentino is a producer from California who has landed in Daily, TX as part of a secret plan to have American Megastar come to town for the top final five, of which a Daily resident will be a part of. Amber Anderson, local talent, is under big wraps for this announcement and it's Mandalay's job to make sure everything runs smoothly. But of course there are always hitches when you have to deal with the paparazzi. She has to deal with her love life too and a new found attraction for a country boy passing through. Mandalay wants to do her best, but she has a lot of things working against her.

There weren't very many characters that I liked in this book. I found Mandalay boring and whiny and she didn't ever seem to do very much. She just had other people do everything for her. Carter was sweet but kind of unbelievable and he just seemed to pop up like a gopher in almost every chapter. Imagene was about the only character I liked as she seemed down to earth and since she took turns being a narrator with Mandalay, we got to know her pretty well. Amber Anderson, who only make a brief appearance was overly saccharine sweet and also an unbelievable character.

Between the slow moving plot and the writing, there was definitely a reason why I didn't enjoy this installment of Lisa Wingate's. The plot leisurely took its course getting to the conclusion with a lot of useless filler. But the writing was the real kicker. Wingate decided to make sure that you knew these people had accents and spelled things out phonetically to illustrate these accents. Charming for about the first paragraph, it quickly grated on my nerves after and made the book difficult to read. She also switches back and forth between Mandalay and Imagene as narrators and while they have different voices, sometimes they run together and confuse the reader that was as well. I should also note that this is considered Christian fiction and much to my delight, there was barely any mention of religion at all making it entirely non-preachy.

Not the best for sure and it makes me a bit hesitant to read the third book in the series. I probably will though just because I don't like to leave anything unfinished.

Talk of the Town
Copyright 2008
359 pages

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