Thumbs down to the The Red Book by Deborah Copaken Kogan

File this under: This is a terrible book, but for some reason (clue: read the acknowledgements), the critics won’t just come out and tell you it sucks.

So here’s why it’s bad (Spoiler alert!):

  • Cardboard, lifeless characters. It’s impossible to believe in them and their relationships. They appear to have sprung fully formed from a preliminary plot outline.
  • Gaping plot holes. Just two examples: Clover thinks her plan to get knocked up will work in an age of DNA testing, Herve’s lover cops to their affair after denying even knowing him a minute earlier. I know, right?
  • Small annoyances. Could anyone really believe there was no wifi at the Harvard dorms?I know, right?
  • No redeeming features such as wit, small insights. The jokes about Bruno’s English are cringe-inducing.

P.S. I liked Shutterbabe: Adventures in Love and War.