Monday, June 22, 2009

Book Review: Made in the U.S.A.

I was excited about reading this latest book by Billie Letts. I remember enjoying her Where the Heart Is, although it's been many years since I read it.

Honestly, I thought this novel was a disaster. Everything about it felt contrived; in fact, everything about it felt like it was written to be made into a Hallmark movie. Maybe it was.

Two kids whose guardian dies (of a heart attack in Walmart) go off to Las Vegas to search for their long-lost Dad. Dad, of course, ends up dead, so the 15 and 11 year old siblings have to fend for themselves on the streets of Las Vegas. Within a short amount of time, predictably, the girl poses for porno magazines and becomes a coke addict. What a surprise! Not only was the storyline predicable, but the whole porno episodes were handled much too graphically. I don't really have any desire to read lurid details about a young girl's experiences as a porn star. Seriously. It totally did not fit into this "feel good" book.

The Las Vegas scenes go on and on, and then enter another homeless guy with a strange Mexican accent, who brings the kids to his long-lost family of circus performers. (Strangely, none of them have Mexican accents. Yes, it's sort of explained but it was so lame.) The girl, of course, turns out to be a world-class aeralist. Seriously.

The writing was choppy. The characters were flat. The dialog was dreadful. Does anyone really start their sentences with "Say, …"

Say, I bet you can find something better to read than this. Please do.


Karen (KayKay) said...

I just read this book as well. I'm not sure why I finished it. Yes, it was so bad that I threw it away when I was done - not too many times I've done that. I wanted to make sure not to inflict it on anyone else - particularly my daughters.

Marbel said...

I had seen this book in the library a few times and wondered about it. I had read a Billie Letts book long ago and enjoyed it. (Don't remember it but I know WalMart figured in that book too.) Well, I have plenty of reading to do so... I think I'll skip this one.

I am so sick of books about the seedy side of life...

Betty and Boo's Mommy said...

I almost picked this up at the library a few weeks ago - now I'm glad I didn't. Thanks for the heads up on this one!

Natasha @ Maw Books said...

Oh no! I loved her other book and I just won this book and it arrived in the house this week. Now I'm scared to see how it is!