Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Book Review: Inside by Brenda Novak
Author: Brenda Novak
Enjoyment Rating: 3/10
Referral: I wanted to read a Harlequin romance by an LDS author for an article I was writing
Source: Ordered used from Amazon
Books I've read this year: 140
I read this book at a Girl's Weekend a few weeks ago. I brought it, along with two or three other books, and I expected that with no scheduled activities, I'd whip through this book fast. Instead, it took me the whole weekend, plus a few more days to finish it. The first problem is that the first few chapters were confusing. The premise of the book is that Virgil Skinner served fourteen years in jail for a murder he didn't commit (although he did kill a couple other people while he was in jail). He's been exonerated, but he wants complete freedom, and the people he allied with in prison to stay alive want him to stay true to them now that he's on the outside. In exchange for an entrance into Witness Protection for himself, his sister, and her kids, he decides to hook up with the California Dept. of Corrections to go back inside and give them information on another prison gang. While he's waiting to go back inside, he meets Peyton Adams, the unlikeliest of prison wardens-- she's hot and single and in her 30s. She's also all buttoned up, but she and Virgil quickly end up in bed and in love, so her heart is all aflutter when Virgil goes inside (for a book called "inside," Virgil actually spends about 80% of the novel outside-- it's all lead up).
The book just wasn't good. Maybe some readers will like it, if those readers prioritize romance over believability in terms of plot and characters. Add a confusing narrative and a totally nonsensical psychotic villain, and the book was torture to finish.