BOOK REVIEW (69): Careful of the Company You Keep

BOOK REVIEW
Careful of the Company You Keep
 
 
Okay. Let me start this review by giving you a warning: when you first pick up Angie Daniels’ Careful of the Company You Keep you’ll probably want to throw the book away.
Like that first chapter (told from Renee’s POV, one of two first-person narrators in the book) is so offensive, I considered DNF’ing at page 1.

Really.


There was a lot of gay-bashing, let’s just put it at that, and downright nasty attitude from the so-called protagonist (again, one of two).


I promise, PROMISE, this story does get better.

It’s like the Japanese dish, nattou, where acquired taste plays a large part in who likes it or not.
This book is really simply put — IMO — an acquired taste.

So the story follows Renee and Danielle, two friends in their late 30s (I believe they’re both 38) who are unwed, bed-hopping frequently and in search of a calm in their love lives.

Mind you this is NOT a romance. I would call it women’s fiction, but light-hearted, makes-fun-of-itself WF.

Anyways.

Renee and Danielle both tell the story in alternating chapters in 1st person narrative. Renee is the more ruder of the two; she doesn’t have a filter. But she’s also smarter. Danielle will make you want to toss the book across the room, yet she’s kinder (not as potty-mouthed).

Both women end up landing in hot water with other females and poorly navigating their romantic and sexual decisions.

Eventually all of their choices — good and bad — comes to a head way at the end of the book. Let’s just say neither woman escapes without a scar…or several.

All right what’s U-G-L-Y that gives it no alibi:


1) What is up with the freaky euphemism in this novel!?

Both of these women refer to their vulvas as the “Kitty Cat” or just plain old “kitty”…as in, “my kitty is purring” (<– paraphrased text from the book)
And Danielle calls her man’s penis the “black snake”. I don’t have a thing against snakes, but imagine how much I don’t want to be around one now. D:

2) How these women go from being downright intolerable to sympathetic figures — if not symbols of martyrdom by the end. The change was too quick and too much for me. Not surprisingly it felt fake (particularly Danielle’s relationship with her daughter and Renee’s yo-yoing Good Samaritan role with her schizophrenic neighbor).


But don’t forget the Good:


1) For starts the dialogue is amazing! I would kill to have the author’s skill to bring to life these characters. If you’re looking for a good teaching tool for realistic yet humorous dialogue, pick up Careful of the Company You Keep.


2) How the plot tied together. Like I said if you can manage to get through the first few chapters, you’ll keep flipping the pages not knowing where the time is going (or at least that’s how I felt!)


What you can take away then is that the book is an okay read. I liked what I liked, I hated what I hated, but it was all cool in the end.

After this review if you want to pick up Careful of the Company You Keep, and you like it, you might want to grab the other two preceding books in this trilogy (Book 1 – here and Book 2 – right here)

My verdict:

✮.5

(3.5 stars)
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