Little Black Dress Books, £5.99, ISBN 978-0-7553-5440-5
Contemporary Fiction, 2009
Trick or Treat is the story of our heroine, Lucy Diamond, who one day starts hearing voices of dead people in her head. Before long, she’s the one-stop psychic hotline for ghosts wanting to tie up loose ends before they move on. Meanwhile, she’s approached by this hot guy, Simon, and it looks like her love life is looking up for once. Of course, since this a chick-lit story, we all know better than to expect a hero without some hidden motives, right?
This book is pretty unreadable in so many ways. It’s unfortunate how this book is written from an omnipresent point of view, with the authors often including observations about things in a certain character’s point of view that this character should not be aware of. Ms Morris often breaks down the fourth wall to address me, the reader, as well. While this technique may work in another genre, here this technique comes off as laughably pretentious and out of place. She also tends to halt the momentum of the story at various points to indulge in bizarre discourses about, say, drapings or mating habits of human beings and what not. Unfortunately, these moments are far from witty or even entertaining.The author comes off instead like a rambling stand-up comedian who is trying way too hard.
The story is so clichéd that it’s almost excruciating to read. Lucy is a typical chick-lit heroine with plenty of overly familiar baggage, she has a predictable more outgoing best friend, she also has this gay best friend that is so obnoxiously over the top in a Queer Eye Gone Wild manner, Lucy’s mother is a hippie… Trick or Treat has everything but the kitchen sink stuffed inside its pages. Throughout everything, Ms Morris is trying so hard to be funny, but she always falls at least ten miles short from the punchline. Nigel, the gay guy, is especially obnoxious in this story because he is just loud and in your face without exhibiting any of the wit the author claims that he has in abundance. It just proves that making a character gay and making him behave like a mincing nelly will not automatically make the character uproariously funny.
One good thing about this story is how, in the end, after Lucy realizes that Simon had lied to her, she doesn’t make excuses for him. He ends up giving up a few things in his life to stay with her, heh, and I like this, given how in so many of such stories the heroines have to be the ones who give up more to keep their love.
While it has a pretty cover, after all things considered, Trick or Treat is just not good, I’m afraid.