Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Review: Crazy Sweet, by Tara Janzen

So, Shannon and I are having a disagreement in "Recommendations" comments about Ms. Janzen. Thumbs up from Shannon. Thumbs down from me.

Rather than get the comments all strung out, I thought I'd do a quick mini-review here.

I read this one a while ago, maybe last summer. I nabbed it from the UBS, the way I often try new authors. The premise is that the heroine, once a mild-mannered secretary or something, has been turned into an assassin extroadinaire --code name Red Dog-- by a combination of experimental drugs administered by the UberBadGuy in a previous book, and then "special" training by the Good Guys.

Glancing through the comments on Amazon, it looks like even Janzen fans didn't like this one. Red Dog isn't much of a likeable character, and I felt like the plot built us up for a big ending that didn't deliver. Can't say much more than that without spoiling it.

The secondary romance isn't secondary enough. It's distracting and at times you have to wonder who the heck this story is about. And what happened to the nun, anyway?

I think I'm not the MOST discriminating romance reader out there. If I'm entertained, I'll put up with a lot of mediocrity. But after reading Crazy Sweet, I've made it a point to avoid Janzen since.

I might've liked it better if I had read the series in order; this one just doesn't seem to hold up on its own.

OK, Shannon, should I give Janzen another chance? Maybe starting at the beginning of a series? Anyone else want to chime in for yay or for nay?



Shannon said...

Wow, the synopsis of this book makes me not want to read it. Really? The experimental drugs turn average woman into super killer trope? Ugh.

Go back and read the first book. It has a more... "normal" premise. If you read it and don't like the book, than the series is probably not for you. Sounds like you started with the worse one!

Holly said...

Ok, let's see if I can help, because I refused to even read Crazy Sweet. Dumbest book ever, IMO. I'll go in order of release:

Crazy Hot - Really good, but I was frustrated by something the heroine did towards the end.

Crazy Cool - Awesome. I loved Christian, his heroine and their story. Loooved it.

Crazy Wild - Pretty weak. Although to be fair, I wasn't interested in Creed from the beginning.

Crazy Kisses - Loved this book. Kid was such an awesome character, and I really liked Nikki

Crazy Love - This book turned me off the series and I vowed not to read another one.

Crazy Sweet - Saw it on the shelf and laughed myself silly over the back blurb. Never read it, not sorry about it.

On The Loose - Got this one from a friend who said I had to read it, because finally she was back to writing good stuff. I tend to agree. It was similar to her earlier novels and I ended up really enjoying it.

Cutting Loose - Another good one, though not as good as a couple of others.

But then, she's kind of become like Book Crack for me. I just can't seem to help myself. :)

I will say I've never agreed with those who swore she was the best author EVAH.

Nicola O. said...

Holly, thanks, that's very helpful!

I have to disagree with your "Dumbest Book Ever" judgement though. That honor belongs to Queen of the Damned, IMO. <g>

Shannon said...

Thanks, Holly! That was a great overview. I agree about Crazy Cool. Fantastic!

Holly said...

Well, let me rephrase:

Dumbest book out of the series.

Because honestly? I can think of tons of other novels that deserve the Dumbest Book Ever title. =)

Bridget Locke said...

Ms. Janzen is a read, but not keep kind of writer for me. Though I do admit that I love some of her characters, each book basically reads as the same. However, how can you not love the name Skeeter Bang? I mean, honestly! :D


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