I’ve been having a fun weekend spending time with one of my best friends from college who came to visit this weekend. I’m currently sleepy and have had 3 beers, but I finished this book a few nights ago and really wanted to get my review, as well as some gaming stuff, done before I conked out. Sadly, this book wasn’t my thing, but opinions are just opinions, and I would bet I have friends who would dig this book. It did spark a new interest in watching some old movie classics. Now it’s just a matter of actually doing it.
The Woman in the Movie Star Dress by Praveen Asthana
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I received a copy of this free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This review contains minor spoilers.
Genevieve is a young Native American woman who works in a thrift store that sells clothing that may or may not have been worn by previous celebrities. Believing they hold a trace of those woman they’d adorned, Genevieve wears them to various functions to achieve various goals, including finding love, being a seductress, and playing detective to find out the truth of a tragedy that tore her family apart.
I probably wasn’t the target audience of the book, as I’m not a huge noir reader, or a huge mystery reader, or really a fan of classic movies and movie stars. While I found some entertainment value in the read, there was alot I wasn’t sold on.
The book starts out with something of a plot, and then branches to all these little subplots that one would assume would end up connecting. However, the number of story lines slows the pace way down and parts of it were either boring or melodramatic. It doesn’t help that the plot just seems to stop so that Genevieve can go out with different people wearing different dresses. The mystery gets lost and then becomes less of a mystery and more of a personal journey story. Which is fine, but it definitely doesn’t feel noir. The supernatural aspect of the clothes carrying traces of their former wearers would have been more interesting if Genevieve wasn’t also taking peyote or smoking marijuana. Because seriously, between the peyote or clothing spirits, my bet is on the peyote.
I found Genevieve to be annoying and some of the side characters to be melodramatic. Like the number of story lines, the number of characters got a little out of hand, doing nothing more than giving Genevieve a reason to wear more clothes and not really serving a purpose. The idea of linking characters to different movie stars was interesting though. The one character I did like was Renzo. His story and mystery was my favorite, and I really enjoyed his ending.
Besides the fact that Genevieve has weird feelings towards three different guys, the romance factor is low. In fact, I wouldn’t really consider this a romance novel. There’s a pretty high level of angst and a really awkward scene with the father of one of her love interests. As for the Sex Factor, there is no steam to this book. It talks about sex happening without ever going into it, which would be okay, but this book needed something to spice it up.
The writing was okay, but technically the book could have benefited from some deleted scenes and extra development into the main characters and mystery. There are many people on Goodreads who seemed to love this, but it just didn’t grab me.