The Newsmakers by Lis Wiehl (with Sebastian Stuart)

Despite the drinking problem that caused her to lose custody of her daughter, the main character went from being small market news reporter to a big market reporter who broke big news on her first day on the job which leads to her uprising in the business. Of course, with that, comes new enemies.

I did not finish this book, and I did not care to. I should have known I wouldn’t get much out of this book based on the cover and the summary on the inside sleeve. It was the title that got me. “Newsmakers.” Maybe it’ll make the business I’m in more exciting, I thought. No, it did not. This is a drama filled story, yes. Slightly intriguing. What do they mean this place is dangerous? Who is this boss guy, really? But very formulaic. You got the boss who hired the character giving her her second chance, but it must be too good to be true. Character mulls over this great new opportunity, and everyone around sends her nothing but warnings. And then there’s the mean girl who doesn’t like the new girl and wants her to fail. And of course a new office romance. But no, she must put her career and her daughter first. Oh, but he’s so handsome! “He asked me to dinner! What do I do?!” (No that is not an actual quote from the book, but it might as well have been).

Some of the wording is heavy handed. The boss has a globe in his hand and tosses it up and down. Then the author continues to tell me, “He’s got the whole world in his hands.” Thanks. I needed that metaphor slammed into my face.

And it’s a lot of self empowerment which is not a bad thing, but when the character repeatedly expresses that empowerment to herself, and the reader has to read it over and over again, it gets, again, heavy handed. I know her history, I know her goal, I don’t need a reminder that she is doing this for her daughter every chapter. I don’t feel there are layers to the characters. When the main character was scared, I did not feel fear. Suspension of disbelief just wasn’t there for me.

I wanted to finish the book for the sake of finishing something I started, but this was not my cup of tea, and I just did not care that much about the character. I might watch a movie like this or a TV show. I do keep up with TV shows like this, but it’s not something I want to read in a book. It’s more personal drama than a substantial story. To its credit, though, there is an intriguing murder to be solved, but I couldn’t stand trying to read through the little cliche subplots to get to it.

The writing style reminds me of my own. It’s a lot of step by step, the character walked out her door repeating her mantra. She arrived at work to find… It’s cut and dry, and a lot of things are blatantly being told to the reader when they should be shown. And that’s my problem in my writing. But she got published, so what do I know?

And riddle me this. What does it mean when there’s a contributor name? Did they both write the book or is Sebastian Stuart supposed to be someone everyone knows which convinces them to look at the book like some books have, “with James Patterson,” after the unfamiliar author name?

I think I found a new title for this blog. “The Unpublished Critiquing the Published.”

Anywho, summer reading is just around the corner! I haven’t picked up another book yet, and I have probably a chapter or two of Game of Thrones left; yes, the first book, the one that I first mentioned many many entries back. It’s not for lack of interest, but I’m not going to lie, some of the terminology goes over my head, and I can’t quite remember what all has been going on with each character. It’s a lot of people to keep up with, and I think that turns me off. It’s not a read I can do at work or a waiting room because it requires un-distracted focus and an attention span I do not have to even get through one chapter in one sitting.

I read young adult because those have fantastical stories I can read on a bus or during the two minute commercial breaks in the news cast I’m supposed to be monitoring. I haven’t actually taken much time to read the big guys’ books like Stephen King, Tom Clancy, Grisham, but those books are on my list.

Next up will be still, young adult, a re-read of a vampire tale (not Twilight) that claims to be different from all the other vampire tales when that was the big craze. I remember liking it, but I can’t quite remember what it was all about, and I recently found the sequel at Half Price without knowing there even was a sequel. So next entry will be a two parter.