Saturday, September 15, 2012

Week-End's Minis XXIV: Goodnight Tweetheart by Teresa Medeiros

It's the week-end! It's the week-end! And I'm awake at an insanely early hour because I'm so excited about the New Bride with White Hair tv series. Sigh. Ironically, when episodes 3 and 4 are going to be broadcast in China, I won't even be home. Instead, I'll be on my way to a book signing. Yep, the Smart Chicks Kick It! tour is making a stop in Montreal. Kelley Armstrong, Melissa Marr, Rachel Caine, Rosemary Clement-Moore, Melissa de la Cruz, Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl should be present at the book signing. I've only really read Kelley Armstrong and I've already seen met her twice already... But what can I say, it's so rare that authors that I'm interested in stop by Montreal, cannot skip this occasion. I'll definitively have pictures tomorrow. Ugh, perhaps not tomorrow actually because I'm having issues with Picasa... seems like I'm over the storage limit, sigh. Will have to figure that out. But anyway, as soon as possible! LOL. That is if the New Bride with With Hair doesn't distract me :)

Anyway, today I had plans to review another book, but I figure this one would come more easily :) So enjoy!!

Goodnight Tweetheart by Teresa Medeiros
published by Simon & Schuster in December 2010 (trade)/August 2012 (paperback)
Can two strangers who meet (and tweet) by chance find a love strong enough to last a lifetime? That’s the question former literary sensation Abby Donovan is forced to explore when she meets Mark Baynard on Twitter. Mark, an English professor traveling the world, shatters Abby’s writer’s block one witty tweet at a time. Just as she begins to write and live again, she discovers Mark is hiding a secret that could change both of their lives forever. In the tradition of Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail, two lonely people discover it doesn’t take 140 characters to find your soul mate, just three little words.
Genre: Contemporary romance/chick-lit
Series: None

What do you need to know? Abby Donovan is an author whose debut novel about a girl growing up with a bipolar mother (based on her own experience) won Oprah's approval and almost a Pulitzer prize. However, the fame has its downside and that is when you're on top, there's only one way to go: down. As a result, Abby is having a major writer's block and has been stuck on chapter 5 of her second book for a couple of years... Her deadline is past due and fans are starting to forget who she is... That's not good at all! In an effort to maintain Abby's visibility, her agent creates for her a Twitter account.

On her first day on Twitter, Abby is taken under the wing of Mark Baynard, an English Lit professor at Ole Miss who is on sabbatical and traveling the world. He offers Abby to teach her how to navigate the Twitter world. Their discussions quickly take a flirtatious direction and soon, Mark and Abby are going on "tweet dates." But can a relation be born of these exchanges? And have both parties truly been honest with each other?

Why this book? I've read some of Ms Medeiros' books in the past and enjoyed them, although they were historical. I remember wanting to read Goodnight Tweetheart when it first came out, but didn't because it was trade. So when I saw it at Walmart, I picked it up :)

What did I like? I didn't really know what to expect of Goodnight Tweetheart, but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. Actually, the Twitter format is like email or instant messaging in epistolary format book, so it was very readable. I admit to counting some of the tweets to see if it was really 140 characters LOL. Surprisingly, you can write a lot with 140 characters :)

So yes, Goodnight Tweetheart was very readable and I enjoyed Abby and Mark's budding relationship. They really had chemistry between each other and with this anonymous cover, they shared personal information and secrets more easily. Abby's fear and writing block, Mark's issues with his ex-wife, etc. It felt really real and I love that they got to know each other and had no chance to fall in bed LOL. Also, being a blogger, I know really well you can form strong relationships over the net. And as I said, Mark and Abby had really good chemistry together, so it was believable. I also liked the pattern in their conversations - how they greeted each other and said goodbye, it was really cute.

Something else that I really enjoyed was the twist about Mark. I knew from the blurb Mark had a secret, but I did not expect what it was. And it fit the situation so well and made so much sense. So bravo to Ms Medeiros for that :)

What didn't work? A few things didn't work for me. First, there was a lot of pop culture references in Goodnight Tweetheart and as a result, it was hard for me to follow at times. However, it gave them a rhythm and really proved they were suited for each other, so in the end, that was okay.

My second issue is pretty much Abby's character. I thought she was hard to like and root for. I can understand her fear of failure, but I thought it went a bit too far. Because of it, she became almost agoraphobic and also, the denial? You're due past your deadline a couple of years and when your editor asks to meet you and your agent, you think it's good? Come on, be realistic. The thing is, Abby was clearly in a rut, but she did nothing to get out of it and that annoyed me. Quite whining and do something. Can't write chapter 5, then why don't you write the ending? Also, she was afraid to run out of money because she could not hand in her book... Perhaps moving out of her posh apartment with a view on Central Park for something more affordable would have been a good thing to do? I just wanted her to be more pro-active.

Another thing that bothered me was Abby's reaction when Mark told her the truth about her situation. She got angry and hissy about it and hurt. Those are all good reactions, but instead of work things out, she just disappeared. I felt Abby was a bit naïve about it all. I mean, it's the internet... people are going to lie, they're going to keep secrets. Mark came clean... and really, it doesn't change who he was. I also felt she did not consider his side of the story. It really, really made sense.

One final thing, as much as I believe it's possible for two strangers to meet on Twitter and develop a romance, as much chemistry Abby and Mark had, I still felt Goodnight Tweetheart lacked some depth. Something to make Goodnight Tweetheart truly memorable...

My Grade? C.