Wednesday, January 06, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: "What Doesn't Kill You" by Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant

BOOK REVIEW: "What Doesn't Kill You" by Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant (2009)

"What Doesn't Kill You" was my reading group's last reading selection for 2009. I've been trying to keep up w/the readings though I'm currently living in Cairo. Reading this book was a welcome break from the last few weeks of teaching during the hectic Fall semester.

It was an easy and quick read. The book was written in first person. The main character, Tee, was witty and I liked her thinking which was often hilarious. Based on the title, you can ascertain that someone is going to experience a lot of drama. So much drama that it can only make you stronger. That character is Tee. Well, according to one of my reading group members, Tee doesn't really go through anything really difficult. It's a good point though I won't elaborate for fear of giving away too many details of the book.

We concluded that Tee did put herself in some situations that could have been avoided - easily. Still in the end, I enjoyed the book. Though it did wrap up nicely and neatly with a big red bow. There were a lot of issues, yet Tee ends up with a happy ending. Did I want her to suffer more? No, but all of her problems did not have to be solved. It makes the book more realistic.

I've read most of DeBerry and Grant's books, and they are good writers. I like the characters that they introduce because they are real. One thing that continues to baffle me is how they manage to co-author the books. What's the writing process like when there are two writers? Well, my reading group and I had a conference call w/the authors and that question was asked. They say that they definitely don't split up the writing based on characters. They say they were so in tuned to Tee's character in "What Doesn't Kill You" that the writing just flowed for them.

What's interesting for my reading group is that this was the second time that we had a conference call w/them about one of their books. We also talked to them about "Better Than I Know Myself". And my reading groups history w/DeBerry and Grant goes back to the group's inception. The first book that we read was "Trying to Sleep in the Bed You Made". That was well over ten years ago. Love that.

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