Archive for March, 2013

Hit Girls: Not a, erm, hit

Okay, this is an exaggeration but I REALLY DIDNT LIKE THIS BOOK

Okay, this is an exaggeration but I REALLY DIDNT LIKE THIS BOOK


I generally don’t read crime books and so it’s perhaps unfair that I get to be the one writing up our review of “Hit Girls”. I have no idea whether it’s a good or bad example of the genre. I just know I didn’t think this was a good book. And roughly two thirds of the group agreed. I don’t like slagging things off, so I’ll be brief.

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Those book group members who like crime books generally liked it. Even I wanted  to know what happened. So, it’s compelling (if you can get past the misogyny and violence and bad writing).
  • Pinkie
  • Described as a good “holiday read”
  • The setting- a really good sense of Hackney. The writer clearly “knows her stuff”
  • Good to try crime in book group. Even I agreed with this. When else would I get to read “Hit Girls”?

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE

  • Oh my god, where do I start?
  • The writing- very reliant on cliche. Too much exposition. “Clunky”.
  • The characters- mainly stereotypes.
  • The setting (about half the group TOTALLY disagreed and thought you got no real sense of this being in any particular place)
  • Appalling misogyny and violence
  • The “ozzie”

My overwhelming feeling about this book was that  it’s entirely “functional”; it sticks entirely within the conventions of a genre and aims to “do a job” (i.e. wants to tell a complicated, bloody story, using the types of characters you find in a book like this). And maybe that’s okay. After I’d got through absolutely HATING the book (about the first third), I did find that I wanted to know what happened and so maybe it is successful? For what it’s worth, I thought it was a shame that a writer who knows the world she writes about so intimately doesn’t want to push beyond the cliches and the stereotypes and give us a bit more. I’d LOVE to read a book about the Hackney underworld which felt real and had some depth; this wasn’t it. I want more from a book.

Nevermind, onwards and upwards and onto “Glasshopper” by Isabel Ashdown. I have a feeling this might be a bit different…

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About the group

Sunderland Book Group meets on the third Wednesday of every month at 6pm at Holmeside Coffee in Sunderland.

If you would like more information about what the group is reading, please visit www.newwritingnorth.com/submit/join-sunderland-book-group.

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