Box Office Poison by Phillipa Bornikova. Or, Yes. It is.

Box Office Poison
Recommended for: fans of female-focused UF such as Chicagoland Vampire series
Read on August 23, 2013
★  ★  ★

Fast and frivolous.

Good parts:

  1. Fast
  2. Frivolous
  3. Linnet, the heroine, does not miraculously develop kung fu skills
  4. She does use amazing legal skills
  5. Former female adversary now a bestie
  6. Lots of detail on Hollywood movie set
  7. Kick-ass horse
  8. Solving problems often takes a team
  9. Decent writing, with details that make it feel real

Bad parts:
1. Numerous men she meets are convinced she is ‘cute’ and want to date her
2. Former love interest treats her in a cold and heartless way, clearly under a spell but causing Linnet self-doubt
3. Leading male in this book obviously has a crush on Linnet, of which she is completely unaware
4. Which means future love triangle
5. Former female adversary now a bestie
6. Lots of detail on a Hollywood with imaginary movie stars
7. Moralizing about how we all need to treat beings as individuals, and not just react against a particular race/species
8. End-of-book scene where important identity questions are promised to be answered “when you are back at home in New York.”

Personal peeves:
1. Being an over-twenty-year-old lawyer at a prestigious firm, living on her own, and living away from her dad since she was eight but still calling her him ‘Daddy’ when he visits
2. Repetitive dialogue about counting calories/being forced to eat salad/drink plain coffee and then eating french fries, binging on sushi and eating steak-n-crab at dinner. “I grabbed a cup of coffee, and took a blue M&M, and wandered back toward the set.” Seriously.  A M&M? Who does that? I hate heroines in UF with food issues. Harry Dresden doesn’t have food issues. Felix Castor doesn’t have food issues. Cal Leandros thinks the less healthy, the better (he’s the Dean of the brotherly duo). Neither does any other male detective. So why must the females? I don’t mind if it’s about healthy, but it always seems to be about weight. Females and female writers–let’s stop hating ourselves, hey?

Okay, now that I parse it out, it’s not that great. Still, Bornikova is a decent writer whose talent is wasted on a storyline that barely reaches above the low bar of standard UF (young single woman working to establish her identity and relationships in the new order). Notable for some nice touches of humor.

Three stars. Yes. It rated above Cold Days. So sue me.

About thebookgator

avid reader and Goodreads reviewer looking for a home.
This entry was posted in Book reviews, fantasy, Urban fantasy and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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