Today's book will remain nameless, because I couldn't finish it. I skipped to the end, thinking I would at least see what happened, but I couldn't bring myself to read even that. I feel very bad about this, because it was a Netgalley arc, and I hate not to be able to give those books and their authors some support. In this case, while I can't support it, I won't attack it, either.
However, I think there's a lot to be learned from books we don't like, and I did have some thoughts about this one.
This was a YA book involving two girls looking to get in with the popular crowd, the popular crowd being an unpleasant bunch of people. Not a new situation/setting by any means. It did make me think a little bit of women pairs in TV humor, such as Patsy and Edina of Absolutely Fabulous. But only a little. I kept wishing Georgia Nicholson from Angus, Thongs, and Full-frontal Snogging was running things in the book.
Since I'm trying to learn something from my humor reading, here is my takeaway from what I was able to read of this book:
- Characters should be well defined, anyway, but it really is a necessity for humor. Read anything by Louise Rennison, Georgia Nicholson's creator. The humor in Rennison's books comes out of her very strong characters.
- Weak characters struggle to pull off hyperbole/outrageousness. That goes back to character.
- Don't rely on variations of the same shock joke for a big portion of your book. Shock has a place in humor. Shock can be funny. But once the shock is over, so is a lot of the humor. Have something else up your sleeve.