Monday, October 26, 2015

Book Review: Bah, Humbug by Heather Horrocks

by M. J. Joachim


A bit of a stickler when it comes to good writing, I’m not into the idea that authors need to explain themselves in their books. Horrocks writes like I think she might talk, and it comes across as chattering nonsense in many instances throughout her story, Bah, Humbug. There were scores of things that troubled me when reading this novella, not the least of which was the book description right after flipping it open to get to the first chapter. The redundancy was not lost on me, because it was already included in the About This Book section before I started reading.

Perhaps that’s the best way to describe the writing in Bah, Humbug. It’s excessive and unnecessary. In other words, had it been edited properly, the story would have likely been much tighter, throwing the waste in the round file, so the story flowed without so many interrupted thoughts that probably should have been worked out as part of the story, instead of an explanation of what was happening in the story. Even then they weren’t needed. This book wasn’t a tech manual and it didn’t require a rocket scientist to comprehend what was happening in it.

The timeline also troubled me quite a bit. I mean, what are the odds two famous people will end up living next door to each other, fall in love and solve years of extended family headtrash, or vice versa, in about a week, all during the busiest time of the year, Christmas? The elements of a real love story were definitely present, but the timing of it all was way off, especially when some family members had been estranged for years? Yet, the main character pulled it off, bringing her neighbor’s family together, both of them falling in love, and completing the scene of one big happy family singing Kumbaya, or rather Silent Night, around the Christmas tree, all while crying their eyes out because of the healing that needed to take place, and did, only to end up with the two main characters deciding to get married on Christmas Day.

Even the snowman threw me for a bit of a loop. Who in their right mind would go out like a wild animal and take on a complete stranger in a new neighborhood, a man who was decapitating a snowman, no less? She came off like an unmitigated raving lunatic, a mad woman gone berserk, a crazy person reaching their last straw. This was the beginning of an extreme love affair that would be cemented in less than a week? Puhleez!!! We can and must do better than that for our audiences! It’s only fair! Especially when in the next moment, this same main character turns into the next Martha Stewart, only sweet and kind and full of the Christmas spirit. Gag me already. She was not anyone full of anything but a lot of hot air!

Okay, I’m done bashing, but you really can and should find better books to read and spend your money on. This one needs a whole lot of work yet.

Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope your Monday is marvelous!

M. J.

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