Sunday, February 28, 2010

Review: Lone Star Legend by Gwendolyn Zepeda

Lone Star Legend
by Gwendolyn Zepeda
2010 Grand Central Publishing
342 pages
Softcover Edition
Genre: Contemporary Fiction

4/5 Stars

Summary (Press Release)
If she can find the time, Sandy Saavedra will stop to breathe. New management has turned work upside down and her father's upcoming marriage - something he forgot to mention to Sandy - means there's no peace at home, either. But it's okay. No matter what's thrown her way, Sandy can deal. Because Sandy has a secret, and his name is Tio Jaime.

A short drive out of Austin delivers Sandy into the wide-open spaces of the Hill Country, to the front porch of grandfatherly hermit Tio Jaime. There, in the company of pepper plants, a shaggy dog, and fresh squeezed lemonade, the old man imparts down-to-earth advice. Overbearing boss? Work smarter; she'll leave you alone. Disrespectful boyfriend? Pack your bags; a real woman tolerates only a real man. His simple perspective reminds Sandy she can make her own choices - something she's been forgetting lately.

Feeling inspired, Sandy posts their chats online. But as she introduces the world to her personal Eden, her own life heads straight to hell...

My Thoughts
This book turned out to be a wonderful surprise and I enjoyed it tremendously. The writing was crisp and clear, with many funny and humouristic moments between the characters, the details and descriptions were rich, with plenty of emotional scenes. All of this combined together to produce a fairly good page-turner.

What particularly intrigued me about this book was the debate about anonymity in the blogging world. Sandy had a personal blog where she vented her fears, frustrations, doubts, and angst about her personal life, writing things she really shouldn't have exposed to the public, all under the guise of thinking she was writing anonymously. Some of the things she wrote, while readers were understanding and sympathetic, were hardly flattering. As she became a prolific writer for the new entertainment site she worked for, she let information drop that linked her to her blog site and people began to understand she wrote both sites. All of this began to explode and she hurt everyone around her. I couldn't help but think of all the blog sites that proliferate today, many who write under the guise of anonymity and who probably write things they shouldn't under that mistaken guise, and I often wonder how long before we start to hear about lawsuits and other such things happening to bloggers. My mother always said to beware about what you write and about what you say as both could come back to haunt you. She would definitely be right about Sandy in this novel.

I really admired Tio Jaime as the sudden fame really did not go to his head as it did the others. He was Sandy's rock through everything and his words of wisdom became an instant hit with viewers on Sandy's website. Sandy however, has not been able to convince Tio to sign the release form, but posts his interviews anyways. The nagging seed of dishonour continues to grow, but she ignores it until she can't ignore it anymore and has to deal with the consequences of her actions.

I also admire Sandy as she manages to keep her integrity despite all of the fame she is exposed to. Although she does some things she is not proud of, she manages to get it all under control without lowering herself to the crass level of some of her colleagues and with her head held high. It was nice to see her develop into a self-confident young woman who came through an ordeal with her morals and integrity intact, and one who learned from the many mistakes she made.

I really enjoyed the many blog posts and comments that were included in this novel. They were quirky and fun and very enjoyable. They added a certain something to the novel that made it more interesting. They also showed how scary some of the readers can be, and how scary it can be for celebrities out there in the world. I also think there was a message in here to be leary of blogging; do it for fun, for a business, but beware the idea of anonymity as it does not exist.

Filled with memorable characters, and an interesting storyline, this is a novel with a message.


Post a Comment