Monday, April 16, 2012

REVIEW: Panda Heart by James Brock

Panda Heart Panda Heart by James Brock
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Panda Heart has a word count of less than 52,000. The novel was short, but I felt it should have been shorter. The story is told in 1st PoV from Artie's side, in a manner in which Artie was telling the story directly to reader. Artie started the story with him being shagged by some guy. I was in the mood for smut so I was happy to receive instant smut. Woot!

In the same chapter — chapter 1, Artie quickly told the reader in a flashback of how he met the blonde Adonis at a gym Artie frequent. The drawn-out flashback then merged back to present time where Artie was being shagged by the blonde Adonis. I thought this was going to be a case of instant love, definitely instant lust considering how Artie only met the blonde Adonis for the first time in Artie's life where moments later the guy shagged Artie. I was quickly proven wrong when chapter 1 ended with Artie's boyfriend Randy walking in on the two.

Artie is a cheater. But that wasn't what made me detest the story. Nor was the fact that Artie confessed to cheating many times on his past lovers beside just Randy, some of whom he cheated with were taken men. Some of his past lovers were taken men, too. What made me detest the story was how Artie narrated the story.

In chapter 2, Artie took the reader back to his childhood where he always knew he was gay and to his college years where he meet his two best friends Corey and Vivian who both were equally if not more of a screw-up than Artie. The flashback then reached the time where Artie met Randy, then dated Randy, then fought with Randy till chapter 5 where Randy walked in on Artie committing infidelity at the present. The long flashback was a horrible way for Artie to tell the story.

The flashbacks were already unbearable, Artie made the novel more unbearable by telling the entire story in tangents. Artie would tell the story, digress for a paragraph or a couple, and then get back to what was happening at the present. His tangents were not relevant, nor were they appreciated. His tangents made reading the novel a chore.

I got fed up by 1/3 of the novel and started skimming thereon. There was angst, there was cheating, there was Artie making poor choices after another. Panda Heart was about how much of a screw-up Artie was. I wasn't upset at Artie for what a douchebag he was. His awful narration make it incredibly easy for me to stay detached from him.

Blah blah blah. Lotta angst happened and at the end Randy and Artie got back together. Panda Heart was a romance novel after all. The final two chapters were contemptibly sweet.

I rate Panda Heart 1-star for I didn't like it. I recommend readers to sample before purchase to see if the narration is groovy with them.

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