WHITE TRASH BEAUTIFUL
Author: Teresa Mummert
Rating: 1.5 out of 5
Genre: New Adult
Format: ARC (Received copy for an honest review)
Publisher: Gallery Books
Release Date: July 9, 2013
Recommended Reading: AGE+ 17
Contains No Spoilers
OVERALL THOUGHTS: If you get anything from reading Gliterary Girl, it will be honest reviews and although it pains me to evaluate a book with harshness, I can’t see any way around it. White Trash Beautiful is a poorly devised tale about a self-deprecating woman stunted in adolescence, who continuously makes irrational decisions and spends every page blithering about her self worth or lack thereof. The tale teetered on awful for a great majority and nothing about it felt real or organic. The writing was mediocre at best and clearly edited for syntax only because there was nothing imaginative about this stale narrative with words that couldn’t even pass for fundamental prose. This is a clear case of transactional success not founded on creative aptitude.
SYNOPSIS: A word-of-mouth bestseller that’s captivating readers with its honesty, grit, and headstrong heroine, White Trash Beautiful is a story for anyone who has ever felt trapped in life, cheated by love—and longed for something more . . .
Cass Daniels isn’t waiting for her knight in shining armor. She knows that girls like her don’t get a happily ever after. Not if you live in a trailer with your mom, work at a greasy spoon diner, and get leered at by old men. Maybe that’s why she puts up with Jackson—her poor excuse for a boyfriend, who treats her like dirt. Cass has learned to accept her lot in life. That is, until he walks into her diner. . . .
His name is Tucker White, and he’s different from any man Cass has ever known. Tall, tattooed, and bad-ass gorgeous, he’s the lead singer of the rock band Damaged. From the moment they meet, Tucker sees something in Cass he just can’t shake. Something beautiful. Something haunted. Something special. And he’s determined to find out what it is—if only he can get her to open up and let him in. . . .
THE LOWDOWN: Teresa Mummert’s name rang a bell. The moment my eyes gazed over the cover I knew there was another book she penned that I had read, but in an effort to not stain my viewpoint, I left it alone and didn’t seek out that unknown niggling in the back of my mind that insisted on warning me away. If I had known she wrote Honor Student, the book that I returned because I found the writing hard to read, I would never have subjected myself to this title. And let me be clear, I didn’t return it because her story was substantively offensive, but because her writing was so horrible and riddled with so many errors, I literally couldn’t read it. Like, my mind rejected it as litter. I detest being so hard on a writer and I rarely am, but in this case it is unavoidable. As brilliant as self-publishing is for those amazing authors who wouldn’t have been noticed otherwise, it has also brought about a crime spree of novel proportions. Killers of the written word. The contestants who, if this was an American Idol contest, would be laughed at by viewers during the audition phase. We are subjected to so much mediocrity nowadays that we have lost sight of what is truly treasured; prose that can only come from a skilled and talented novelist.
Now, thanks to a team of editors no doubt, Teresa Mummert’s White Trash Beautiful wasn’t as horrific as Honor Student. It had a decent basis and the opening was fairly entertaining and gripping. However, after the initial setup this book just falls completely flat. The girl protagonist we meet in the beginning doesn’t like herself much, which is understandable. Life dealt her a pretty crappy hand. She lives in a trailer park with her addict boyfriend and mother, whom she takes care of by slinging hash at a local diner. So far, so good. But then she meets the boy (frankly this is the only reason I feel people were drawn to this book), the one who offers her hope for another life. Her way out. He’s lovely and sweet (although the use of sweetheart was wholly unbelievable – such an old word for a young rock star) and provides hope that she may be worth more than the dumps she has been subjected to.
Okay, I can buy that.
But then he leaves for another tour stop and the story just fizzles. I read page after page of the same. I am trash; no one will like me; I am worthless; I deserve what I am getting; my boyfriend used to be good; I deserve to be hit; Daddy doesn’t love me. This repetitive inner disgust is smattered with unnecessary flashbacks and talks about impending hurricanes that never hit. To further the tear down the believability of this far-fetched story, Mummert describes characters her protagonist cares for yet we never meet and her protag doesn’t have any friends… not a one. In fact we don’t meet anyone in her life except the addicted sloths she lives with and her co-workers; a greasy short order cook who is described as mean, but actually isn’t and a greedy waitress who is all but useless. What I did like was the topic. I think delving into an issue as serious and heavy as domestic abuse and its relation to drug addiction is a topic that deserves focus and I love seeing these problems tackled; however, not like this. Not with a girl who doesn’t ever take herself out of her position in search of betterment. Yes in real life this down on her luck girl would probably wallow and believe she deserved what she got, but after 150 pages of the same drivel, I about lost my mind. This character bored me, made me angry and frankly all my sympathies dissolved by the third act. She was inconsistent, erratic, self-loathing and plain old stupid.
Sometimes the end can redeem the prior inconsistencies, but that never happened. By the end, I just wanted it to end and didn’t care how it came about. The big tragic finale was neither moving nor tragic, because by that point it didn’t matter… I wanted out of this girl’s head. And the boy that I felt added some redemption to this blasé story, he turned out to be equally uninteresting or controversial. He was a stale and stagnant character, who didn’t make me swoon, as I am sure was intended, instead he left me yawning.
FINAL THOUGHTS: If you aren’t a stickler for a good story and don’t care much if the writing is drafted with any thought, by all means read White Trash Beautiful. But if you aren’t as concerned with the sales ratings, but the quality of work tucked inside the covers then I suggest looking elsewhere.
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