Friday, December 28, 2012

REVIEW: Timothy by Greg Herren

Timothy Timothy by Greg Herren
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The author acknowledged Timonthy as a homage to his four favorite authors: Phyllis A. Whitney, Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart, and Daphne du Maurier. I didn’t think much of this till a few chapters later when Timonthy strongly reminded me of a book I once read for my school’s summer reading.

Long story short: Timonthy is a gay fanfiction of Rebecca, paying the most homage to Daphne du Maurier. (Then again, it’s the only book I have read by one of the author’s favorite authors.)

I didn’t mind that the book was predictable for me because I read Rebecca. Timonthy and Rebecca were different in many ways, but the key pieces were there such as the distant husband, the MC dressing like the deceased spouse at the event scene, and the boat where it happened. I liked that Timonthy had the best parts of Rebecca. What I did mind, however, was that Timonthy also had some of worst parts of Rebecca.

The Flaws

+ the instant love with the MC
The elopement worked well in Rebecca’s historical setting, but not in Timonthy’s contemporary setting. Marriage, even with a pre-nup, should have been the last thing in Carlo’s mind after what happened with his deceased husband. The proverb “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me” should have been Carlo’s creed.

I know marriage was unavoidable because the plot was paying homage. However, the book could have mitigated the issue if Carlo and the MC, nicknamed Mouse, married for companionship and the promise of love rather than for instant love.

+ the villain
Even dead, Timonthy still causes problems for everyone. I recall from Rebecca, the book, that Rebecca, the character, was one-dimensional. This happened in Timonthy, the book, to Timonthy the character, as well. It wasn’t for the lack of character development; the book focuses on Timonthy greatly and build him up to be a deliciously-hateful villain just like in Rebecca. But it was also the lazy kind of the hateful. Timonthy the book never once developed Timonthy the character beyond his wicked behaviors and deeds. Timonthy was an evil Gary Stu because he was an evil Gary Stu, period.

+ the distant husband
I understand that the book, being titled after the character, would focus on Timonthy, but was it necessary to have Carlo and Mouse apart for most of the story? The same as the couple in Rebecca? Carlo didn’t get much character development, and as a result his character felt bland. I found it jarring that such a major character rarely showed up in the book. It is entirely possible to have a distant, secretive character and still have him present in 100% of the book.

+ the meek MC
Mouse is an apt nickname for the MC. I liked him and his voice and how the story stuck to his 1st person POV. Nevertheless, I wished his growth to a wilful character happened faster instead late in the book. I would have enjoyed more of the book instead being rather bored for most of the book, bugged by Mouse’s naivety.

+ dishonorable mention
Last but not least, there was a supporting character who was seriously annoying like fingernails on chalkboard. She only showed up in 2-4 short scenes, but a single appearance was more than enough.
“I HAVE to play tennis this afternoon, and I didn’t WANT to cut my visit ONE minute short to have to run home and CHANGE. Oh, dear, you’re SPEECHLESS in HORROR at my CLOTHES.”
She talks like this every single fucking time. I know it was intentional to make the character a diva, but it did it in the most horrible way. I literally couldn’t stand to read her dialogue. I had to skim for the sake of my sanity.

The Plot

+ the bad prologue
The story began with a ridiculously long prologue. It lowered my expectation so much that I wanted the story to be over with already. The book would have been significantly better without it. Not to mention it ruined the ending some since it was one of those prologues where the scene happened after the story and the MC tells the story like a flashback. The prologue sucked like spoiled eggs.

+ the ending
I had mixed feelings about the ending. I liked it somewhat because of what happened to Carlo and Mouse, but, barring the terrible prologue, I would have liked it more if the closure wasn’t so weak. Specifically, the romance between Carlo and Mouse would have been convincing if they sincerely spent some time together and not the few, absurdly small scenes here and there like raisins in raisin bread. The instant love was bad enough.

The couple should have also gotten rid of the mansion and be done with Timothy and everything he corrupted once and for all. Seriously! The entire story was one long lesson of why they should. Apply the lesson, for y’all mental health’s sake already.

In Conclusion

I rate 3 stars Timonthy for I liked it. I almost didn’t like it had Mouse not grown to a willful character and saved the day. Better late than never.

If you enjoyed Rebecca, then you should consider reading this gay (smutless) fanfiction. I liked Timonthy better than Rebecca mostly because Timonthy’s ending was stronger.

Goodreads | Amazon

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