Friday, July 20, 2012

Audiobook Review: Must Love Dogs by Claire Cook

Title: Must Love Dogs
Author: Claire Cook
Narrator: Carrington MacDuffie
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Edition: Unabridged
Duration: 7 hours, 2 minutes
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)
Forty-year-old preschool teacher Sarah Hurlihy thought she'd set herself up for a great life. She'd married the man she loved. They bought a house, decorated it, and then sat, looking at each other, trying to remember why they'd gotten married in the first place. But Sarah didn't have to wonder for long; her husband took up with a younger woman, sounding the death knell for their marriage, and propelling Sarah back into singlehood -- at the same time as her newly widowed father.  
Thrown unwillingly into the suburban dating pool alongside her dad, Sarah is ambivalent about the whole process, despite her ticking clock and thoughts that she might enjoy a child of her own. But Sarah's large, loving Irish clan comes to her rescue -- her married sister placing a personal ad in her name and regularly monitoring Sarah's dating progress; and her brother, Michael, helps her feel lovable when he seeks out her comfort and advice while riding out his own rocky marriage.

Overall Rating: 2/5 

So, I really didn't like this book. I gave it two stars, because it was a quick read and I was able to finish it, but on the whole, I was disappointed. I can't remember what I thought of the movie since I watched it so long ago, but I think it may have been better. Nothing of importance really happened, I didn't find it all that funny even though it's labeled as a "humor" book, and the characters annoyed me. Granted, I'm not divorced or anything, so maybe I'm not in the target audience, but I think that other authors cover this topic much better and in a much more entertaining way.

The number one way for me to dislike a book is if I dislike the main character. That's exactly the problem I had with Must Love Dogs. Yes, she's been through some tough times, but all she does about it is whine and watch The Brady Bunch. I couldn't relate to her, because all she does is put herself down all the time. (Honestly, the bulk of the book isn't taken up with any real plot, it's mostly Sarah whining about her life.) And though she finds some semi-decent men to date, she treats them like crap. She walks out of a guy's house without saying goodbye to him or anything, because he stops making out with her to deal with his puppy. Which is somewhat understandable, but at least say something. And she's really snarky and sarcastic for no good reason. I can see the occasional smart remark, but it was over-the-top. In short: she complains about not finding good guys, but she treats all the guys she dates like crap, so there's no one but herself to blame, really.

Secondly, nothing happened in this book. I felt like Claire didn't go through  much of a change at all. There wasn't anything of significance that could have been a major turning point. If there were a sequel, I feel we'd find her in the same situation as the beginning of this book, just older.

In terms of audiobook format, the production is great. MacDuffie is an excellent narrator, and had the content been better, this would have been a fantastic read. The thing is, there are many funnier chick lit books out there to spend your time on, in my opinion.