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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