SBD: first impressions

It’s Sunday, but I’m posting this SBD early…if I wait, I’ll forget about it, or not have time to post tomorrow. 

I was tempted by a 15% off coupon to browse in the B&N at the harbor yesterday.  Eh.  Tourist season approaches, which means I won’t be shopping there much until October or November.  I hate the fact that people sit on the floor in the aisles, blocking traffic and shelves.  And they aren’t reading, just hanging out — yesterday a couple was sitting in the romance corner sharing earbuds and listening/watching an iPod, blocking the bottom two shelves on two bookcases, plus more that I could see but couldn’t have reached without stepping on them or leaning into them.  And they have to do it there, rather than the cafe because the cafe now polices people using the tables — must have purchased a beverage or food item.  I understand it, of course, but am frustrated by the inability to browse without feeling like I’m running an obstacle course. 

Anyway, I picked up a contemporary, set in Texas, and thought I’d give it a try.  The first paragraph or so:

The west Texas sun had peaked in a bright blue sky, and Judith Ann Strayhorn had already wasted more than half the day.  Behind the wheel of her Dodge pickup truck, she raced along the highway on her way from Lockett to Abilene, one hundred miles away.  Her mind was on Harley Beall, the state cop who had stopped her earlier for speeding.  He hadn’t been sympathetic when she told him she was on a mission.  He had looked at ther with cold eyes, his mouth set in a grim line.  He must’ve been having a bad day because this time, he hadn’t given her the usual warning.  This time, he had given her a ticket.  Damn.  Now Daddy would try to badger her into going to driving school.

Since the first time she had been allowed to drive the twenty-eight miles from the Circle C ranch to the town of Lockett all alone, Jude had found adhering to the speed limit a burden.

The second paragraph goes on to have Jude muse about the possibility of going to court and saying that she hadn’t really been going eighty in a sixty mph zone.  And she’d get away with it because her granddaddy let the judge hunt on his land.  But she couldn’t do that because she didn’t want to throw her family’s weight around too much.

Too much.  But some is okay?

Okay, reading that first paragraph, the first impression I got of Jude was:  spoiled, self-indulgent, scoff-law who feels entitled and above the law, who blames others for her own errors and problems.

Is that really how the author wanted to present this character to me, as a reader?

I read on a little bit, but nothing that happened in the next 10 pages or so changed my mind.  Nosy, pushy, and whiny are more adjectives that came to mind as I read.

No, the book did not come home with me.


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2 responses to “SBD: first impressions

  1. Yeah, she sounds like real winner…

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