Review book courtesy of Penguin Group
To recap: when I put up a “non-review,” it means I couldn’t finish a book. I’m not going to review it on Epinions or Amazon, and this isn’t going to be a full-on review, but I don’t mind telling you folks here why I decided not to finish it in case that information is useful to you. Just keep in mind that my judgment isn’t based on the entire book. In this case I made it through a little over a hundred pages before I decided it wasn’t worth finishing.
Saylor Oz is a Brooklyn sex therapist who somehow manages to get mixed up in mysteries. Most recently, her roommate’s brother has gone to jail for three murders he didn’t commit—models who were killed and had locks of their hair removed. Saylor is convinced the murders have something to do with an old adult movie called Bad, Bad Babydoll, but no one believes her. So it’s time for her to strike out on her own and solve the case.
There are two main things that really put me off of Allyson Roy’s Babydoll. The first was the weird disconnect in tone from one part to another, and sometimes even within the same scene. Saylor can segue straight from some fairly dark worrying about Angel, Benita’s brother, to breezily listing off the little details of her wardrobe for the day. While escaping from someone who nearly succeeds in raping her, she’s more worried about damaging his carpet than she is about hurrying. It’s really hard to turn serial killer murders with serious consequences into fluffy, humorous chick-lit; Roy certainly tries to do just that, but to me it just resulted in a discordant tonal mess.
The other thing that bothered me was the character of Saylor Oz herself. On the plus side, the characters definitely have depth to them, as well as plenty of personality. On the other hand, boy howdy does Saylor (and sometimes Benita) come off as one of those “too stupid to live” heroines who’s constantly putting herself in harm’s way and really should be dead twenty times over by now. She has a PhD. Benita is also a well-educated and intelligent woman. I realize there’s a big difference between intelligence and common sense, but this got ridiculous. I couldn’t muster up any confidence that these characters could survive one such plot, much less multiple books’ worth (this is the second Saylor Oz book).
If the above doesn’t sound problematic to you, then go for it and check out Babydoll. Like I said, it certainly has some fun and funky characters. But as for me, well, I won’t be finishing this one.
Edited a few hours later to add:
I realized I forgot to address two important things in a book that involves a sex therapist and a mystery: sex and the mystery. Unfortunately, I also realized that I forgot to address these things because they left so little of an impression on me. I couldn’t feel any chemistry between Saylor and the two hotties she’s lusting after, and the mystery felt flat and uninteresting.