You Had Me at Good-bye Review
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I’ve often said that, with chick lit, it’s the journey—not the destination—that counts. The end of the book might be predictable (in fact, it usually is), but as long as the characters are likeable and the story’s light and enjoyable and well-written, that’s what really matters. But when those elements don’t come together, it makes for tough going.

In You Had Me at Good-bye, the second book in the inspirational Drama Queens series, Tracey Bateman tells the story of Dancy Ames, a devoted and hardworking associate editor at Lane Publishing. Not long ago, she lost a well-deserved promotion to Jack Quinn, her brother’s gorgeous best friend—and it’s starting to seem like she’ll never get ahead. To make matters worse, she’s not sure weather to hate Jack or pine for him.

But then the worst happens—and Jack fires her from the job she loves. Dancy’s roommates encourage her to take the opportunity to finish that novel that she’s never had time to write. But even though her granny’s old Bible tells her to trust God, Dancy feels like her whole world is falling apart.

Like most chick lit, You Had Me at Good-bye is completely predictable. While a little predictability is excusable, though, it’s more than just predictable; it’s blatantly obvious. From the very beginning, there’s no question that Jack has a thing for Dancy—because he drops hints all over the place—but Dancy’s just too clueless to see it. Despite all those romantic dinners and sweet little gestures and suggestive comments—not to mention all those times when Jack comes close to kissing her—Dancy keeps denying that he could ever be interested in her. Her complete oblivion is drawn out long past the point of frustration. After a while, in fact, it’s so obvious that it’s almost insulting to the reader’s intelligence. Bateman doesn’t hint at where the story might be going; she practically comes right out and says it—repeatedly. And that makes it difficult for readers to be surprised and delighted when everything comes together in the end.

Unfortunately, it’s not just the romantic aspect of the story that’s predictable. The subplots are, too. And that takes all the fun out it—because it’s just no fun to read a story that’s painfully obvious to everyone but the characters.

While You Had Me at Good-bye has an important message, the journey to that final message just isn’t all that enjoyable. The characters are somewhat flat, and the dialogue is often unrealistic (How many New Yorkers do you know who use the word “swell” without the slightest hint of sarcasm?). And, unfortunately, there’s just nothing here to challenge you—or to hold your interest.

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