Thursday, October 31, 2013

Book Review and Giveaway: The Booby Trap

By Jami Deise

**Giveaway is now closed**

Whatever happened to the good old-fashioned romantic comedy? Did it die with Nora Ephron? Because instead of Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally and even the mediocre You’ve Got Mail, romantic comedy (or “rom-com”) fans are forced to sit through Judd Apatow’s take on love and marriage, which usually deals with an exceedingly immature man and his constantly nagging partner.

True rom-coms feature both man and woman as protagonists; they each have their own separate goals; they come into the relationship under false pretenses; they have best friends and romantic rivals; they come together at the end. This is the classic structure and what rom-com fans want. I believe the last movie that featured this formula was the Kate Hudson/Matthew McConaughey film How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.

If you miss these movies as much as I do, then you’ll want to pick up a copy of Anne Browning Walker’s The Booby Trap. This book hits all the plot points of the classic romcom. Reading it is like watching a film; I could even see Kate and Matthew in the lead roles

Despite her Playboy Bunny name and body, Bambi Benson is a PhD candidate at Harvard in women’s studies. She’s spent the past year working at the Booby Trap – a “Hooters” copy cat – in order to get close to the waitresses there and report on their lives for her dissertation. Trip Whitley is the scion of a wealthy Boston family, made rich off of a dating agency. A playboy whose efforts at the agency are unappreciated, Trip is infuriated when he’s told to get a girlfriend in order to make the agency seem like the place to go for a real relationship. After meeting Bambi at a bachelor party at the Booby Trap, Trip hires her to pretend to be his girlfriend. He thinks he’s hiring a bimbo in order to infuriate his father – and Bambi agrees to go along with the charade in order to earn money to attend a conference in London, plus teach a lesson to Trip about judging women by their appearances.

The plot unfolds in a predictable but fun fashion. As Bambi and Trip spend more time together on their fake dates, Bambi finds that he’s not the insufferable pig she first presumed. And Trip finds himself drawn to Bambi and starts to suspect she’s not the idiot he first took her for.

The Booby Trap is a fast read and a fun ride. Yes, it’s predictable, but stories like these are meant to have happy endings. If the hero and heroine didn’t get together, it wouldn’t provide the emotional experience this type of book promises.

I did have two quibbles with the story, however. One, I found it unbelievable that owning a dating service could make a family wealthy, and that the paparazzi would find Trip a worthy stalking target. Two, I thought the whole question of whether it’s better to date a beauty or a brain to feel dated. Along with the women’s studies major, the novel felt like it should be taking place in the 1980s rather that present day. I think if Walker had spent more time exploring the question of what makes women work at a place like this; how they view themselves, etc., it would have felt more contemporary.

Still, these are minor points and they do not distract too much from the enjoyment of the novel. If another night at the movie theatre trying to decide between the latest comic book adaptation or the new zombie flick makes you want to scream, staying home with The Booby Trap is definitely an option.

Thanks to PR by the Book for the book in exchange for an honest review.

**We have one copy for a lucky reader anywhere in the world!**

How to win:
Since it's Halloween, tell us something scary that happened to you OR something that you're scared of.

One entry per person.

Please include your e-mail address or another way to reach you if you win. Entries without contact information will NOT be counted.

Worldwide. Giveaway ends November 5th at midnight EST.

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28 comments:

Ge-Anne Bolhuis said...

One night I was talking with my niece about my deceased mother. It was late and we were the only ones home. During our conversation she nonchalantly mentioned that "Granny" could be heard moving about the house sometimes. I smiled and nodded and thought "Sure she does!". We moved on to another topic, and a few minutes later, we fell silent. In those few seconds, out of nowhere, a woman sneezed loudly. It sounded just like my mother! I looked at my niece and she said, "See? That was her!" gabolhuis @ gmaildotcom

Melanie Backus said...

My uncle use to always stand behind the front door when he knew someone was coming to visit. He loved to jump out an scare people.

mauback55 at gmail dot com

rubynreba said...

I am terrified of heights! I'm working on overcoming this but not having much luck!
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

Charlotte said...

I don't care for haunted houses.
CABWNANA1@bellsouth.net

Nova said...

My ex-husband put on a ghost mask of my son's one year and jumped out from behind a door dressed in a black cape, holding a rubber knife...scared me so bad, i punched him...LOL
sparkle40175@hotmail.com

Allie Smith said...

Sounds like a fun book. I couldn't agree with you more about the state of Rom Coms today, and Judd Apatow!

Here it is Halloween and I cannot think of one time I was scared? I know there have been many, because I'm an easy target. Sorry

allieDOTmcsmithATgmailDOTcom

Janine said...

This sounds like a fun book. I hope to be able to read it soon.

Some people think I'm crazy to hold onto this for so long, but I'm scared of big dogs. I got bit in the face when I was a little girl and still have scars.

Janine
kinini01@hotmail.com

Kim Pinch said...

Scary movies scare me. I can't even watch the trailer on TV without getting nightmares. kumquat8 at hotmail dot com

Leslie Rodriguez said...

Just the other day I was laying on the living room floor. I heard a sound like a door closing. I look down the hallway to see if it was one of my kids going to the bathroom and see a shadow. I wait to see if I hear the door close to their room and heard nothing. I waited a little longer and nothing happened. So I got up thinking they were sneaking around and there was noone there.

Linda Kish said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linda Kish said...

It's not a big thing but I am afraid of losing my glasses like them falling off if I look down from a high place or on a ride. I don't see much without them so it really bothers me.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Jessica said...

I'm scared of bugs!

Thanks!
-Jessica M
walkingcorpse11@hotmail.com

Chanpreet said...

I dislike rats, mice, spiders, and cockroaches. I was visiting my family in India one summer. I must've been 13 or 14. My grandmother, aunt, and a few younger cousins decided to visit a great-aunt who lived near by. It'd been raining so the streets were full of mud. I was wearing open toed sandals. I thought I was walking carefully until I felt something on my feet. I looked down and there was a (hopefully dead) mouse on my shoe barely touching my big toe. I let out a shriek, kicked my foot to get the rodent off, and somehow managed to lose my shoe. Everyone in our little group and people lining the shops on both sides of the street came out to see what all the noise was about. Instead of making me feel better, I instead got laughed at and teased. They thought it was no big deal. I washed my feet with some industrial strength soap when I got to my great-aunt's house. I still hate mice.

Chanpreet said...

I totally forgot to leave my e-mail address. kaur_chanpreet(at)hotmail(dot)com

bn100 said...

Don't like snakes

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Summer Grinstead said...

In college I was in my apartment alone over Chirstmas break and I was woken up around 4AM so someone pounding on my bedroom window. They knocked for over 10 minutes. I was paralyzed with fear! I finally fell back asleep. I'm sure it was some drunk person but it scared me to death!
sumsum085@aol.com

Terri. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Terri. said...

I am petrified of spiders!

AtTheMapleTable at yahoo dot com

Mary Preston said...

Unpredictable people scare me. Just the other day this old man grabbed me while I was out shopping & said "Shall we dance?" He may have meant no harm, but it shook me up.

marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Hailey Fish said...

I'm petrified of spiders, centipedes and millipedes.

fishiegirl22@yahoo.com

Ally said...

I'm scared of someone shoving cotton balls in my mouth.
oblongota7@hotmail.com

TinaB said...

Terrified of spiders & my husbands driving!
Brannanflooring@aol.com

Claira Pam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Claira Pam said...

I hate to admit it, but bugs terrify me - I go to ridiculous measures to keep them out of my office...

claira.pamATgmail.com

My heart is here said...

I was with my friend and her sister scared us. She came behind us while we watched Scary Movie and screamed. It was really scary :D
mmyheartishere@gmail.com

PoCoKat said...

Scared to death of bees. Also allergic to them.

Bridget O'Neill said...

I am terrified of heights!

Bjoneill@hotmail.com

Melissa said...

Thanks for participating and sharing what scares you.

Random.org chose one winner from all entries with contact info. (One entry per person.)

Congrats to Mary Preston!