Discussion #1: Obsession, Deceit and Really Dark Chocolate

Chicken Lit’ers who have finished reading chapters 1 through 7 can begin posting comments here.

To get the discussion rolling, how about a few starter questions:

  • What are your thoughts about the characters and their relationships with one another?
  • Do you think politics are involved in Eugene’s murder/assassination?
  • Did you pick up on any clues that might have a foreshadowing affect on our reading?
  • Do you like the author’s writing style so far?

Your turn!

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16 Responses to Discussion #1: Obsession, Deceit and Really Dark Chocolate

  1. ginabeana says:

    Alrighty let me answer some of off your lead off questions. The love/hate relationship she has going on with Anatoly is amusing – but I don’t really see too much of a real connection between Sophie and everyone else. I feel like they are just supporting characters. I had to keep reminding myself who such and such was and how they were connected to Sophie. I guess I feel that the author hasn’t given the characters much of a voice, so to speak, as of yet. Did anyone else get that impression or is it just me? Compare this author to Jane Green (To Have And To Hold) who I think does an amazing job of developing her characters.
    I’m thinking politics are involved with Eugene’s murder – but who knows – maybe there is a twist in store for us readers. Maybe it’s really it’s Johnny! No would suspect him, haha! I kind of hope the murder is politically motivated in a sense because we’re reading so much about liberals, conservatives yadda yadda yadda.

    I think the “furry sh*t” comments that Eugene kept saying was 1.) HILARIOUS 2.) very much foreshadowing. Does anyone agree? Any other clues?

    I’m still undecided about the author’s writing style. Parts of it are funny, but for the most part I’m not really that overwhelmed by it. The book isn’t boring me, but on the other hand I have read other books where I found the author to be very witty and sharp.

    Have you guys ever read “Size 12 Is Not Fat”; “Size 14 Is Not Fat Either”; “Big Boned” by Meg Cabot? The premise of the book we are currently reading is very similar (I think) to Meg Cabot’s series – and so far I think Cabot did a much better job with the murder/mystery theme.

  2. Becca says:

    I am not reading this book. But listening to it.

    I think that is what is keeping it from being too boring. I do agree that supporting cast need more fleshing out. The Anatoly/Sophie story needs to go somewhere, or go away. The sexual innuedos and tension is the only thing that is holding them together. Definitely political in nature. The political stuff is so 2008 election year. You know, I don’t mind it so much, but thought that I would get away from it in a book, at least for awhile, but it isn’t bothersome.

    Way too descriptive of the surroundings and not of the characters. The first book we read was wonderful. I would read or listen to another. I did just download another Jane Green book “Second Chance”. I am going to download it to my Ipod and give it a listen when I am done with this.

    I haven’t read those books yet, Ginabeana, but they sound interesting. Definitely going on my recommended list.

    Have you gone beyond chapter 7? I am actually on chapter 14. I am having a quiet day at home so I am taking advantage of it and listening while doing other things.

  3. ginabeana says:

    Good point about the 2008 elections, Becca! Also very good point about the whole “way too descriptive of the surroundings” thing – it’s true! I didn’t really pick up on that until you said it. I think its because I’m a big San Francisco fan so I was enjoying that aspect of it.

    I read a lil bit ahead on my lunch break and will probably read a good chunk more on my commute home this evening. I am looking forward to seeing how things progress.

    You know what’s also weird to me…the fact that Sophie wants a commitment from Anatoly or some sort of exclusive right to him but claims she doesn’t want to get married again…hmm…I know its not important in the grand scheme of things, but obviously she is in major denial. Wake up, girl! Haha!

    Becca, I think you will enjoy those Meg Cabot books. Let me know what you think if/when you get to them.

  4. Ok… I’m still almost done with the 7th chapter – had to work on a nun’s computer most of the day, so I lost some reading time.

    Great comments! The first thing that comes to my mind is that I think we missed most of the character development in the author’s previous Sophie Katz novels. Kinda makes me want to go back and see what happened in those, too. 🙂

    Please don’t finish without me… please?

  5. Just finished. Catch up w/you time!

    @Gina – The “furry sh*t” thing has to be a clue. But what? Another thing, the Vader-Pink Panther messages – I’m thinking Anatoly is trying to scare Sophie away from the investigation. And apparently after references to Sophie solving previous investigations, I don’t think he wants history to repeat itself.

    Also, I’m not sure if I can bring myself to read another Meg Cabot novel after that last one. Not that great, but I do value your opinion and might consider one of those that you mention.

    @Becca – 2008 election, how true! Fizgerald & Brooke remind me of Obama & Clinton. How scary is that? It’s like ‘Calgon Take Me Away’ or something.

    As per the surroundings, I guess I’m always one who likes to have a visual of the settings and didn’t really notice. (Hmmm… as I backtrack through the book to see if this is weird.)

    @Gina – Sophie’s girlfriend made a good point that might help her relationship-wise, and that is to figure out her issues and deal with them… aka ‘ANATOLY’.

  6. Becca says:

    I just got the three books from a reseller on Amazon that you listed Gina. Mitch got a gift certificate so I bought all three. I am looking forward to reading them.

    I have gotten ahead. I am up to chapter 14…it goes by fast when I am busy. I like to be busy. 😉

  7. ginabeana says:

    Oh, good Becca! I’m glad you picked those books up! Maybe I should put some of my old books up on Amazon. Anyways I really hope you enjoy them.

    Brenda – you’re talking about the Queen of Babble book (or something like that) by Meg Cabot, right? If so, the previous mentioned Cabot books are, in my opinion, way better that that book.

    Ok, back to the novel at hand. Brenda, I like the point you made re: the lack of character development. I keep forgetting this is a series so you may be on to something there.

    I know we’re not finished with the book, but what does “Dark Chocolate” (as mentioned in the title) have to do with this mystery? Did I miss something? I’m very curious to read more to find out that part.

    Any other questions regarding the first seven chapters?

  8. @Becca & Gina – I’m going to check the library and put a hold on the Cabot books, unless Gina puts hers up on Amazon then I’ll buy them online. As long as they’re better than Queen of Babble *cringe*, I’m all interested!

    What does dark chocolate have to do with this story? Not sure at this point, but I do hope it comes up some time soon. I can see where the ‘obsession’ fits (Sophie’s obsession w/Anatoly), and possibly ‘deceit’ will make more sense as the mystery unfolds. But chocolate? We shall see.

    More questions? I want to know more about this Rick character and what he’s up to with Mary Ann. And what about Maggie Gallagher? Why won’t she return people’s calls? Does she have something to hide? Oh and is Johnny really all nervous because he’s starstruck with Sophie? Or is something up with him, too?

    I’m just full of questions right now, aren’t I?

  9. ginabeana says:

    Ok, good, I’m glad I didn’t miss the dark chocolate part yet. I was hoping it wasn’t something so blindingly obvious that I missed.

    Rick and Johnny make me feel a lil uneasy. Maggie, too.

    At first I figured that Johnny was a clumsy goof ball but I dont know – you have to be careful of the quiet ones! Oh, you know who Johnny reminds me of: Richard Kind from the TV shows MAD ABOUT YOU and SPIN CITY. That’s who I picture when I read the book. Just a younger version. Does Johnny or any of the characters remind you girls of anyone?

    I’m skeptical of Rick and MaryAnne’s budding romance. I’m not sure why, but something seems fishy to me. Too good to be true type of thing.

    But then again, It could just be me projecting my real life political skeptism (sp?) on the book’s campaign stuff.

  10. @Gina – I’m going to show my age with this comment, but Johnny reminds me of Jack Tripper on Three’s Company. (What? I was a mere toddler back when that show aired. Sort of.)

    Politicians shouldn’t be trusted, so I’m skeptical just like you – now to find out which party is hiding all of the secrets in this story.

  11. @All – And Mary Ann? Reminds me of sweet little Mary Ann from Gilligan’s Island. (I was basically an infant when that show was big. *cough*)

  12. Becca says:

    Mary Ann is up to something furry, me thinks… 😉

    And you were so not an infants when that show was big….lol!

    And what do you think of the bag lady at the beach? Have you gotten that far yet?

  13. @Becca – ok, maybe infant is stretching it a little, err… alot? 😀

    I just finished chap 14. Get ready for discussion #2! No “bag lady at the beach” yet. How far along are you?

  14. Becca says:

    Oh crud. Sorry, major mea culpa….I apologize. I am sitting out a bit in time out. I am up to chapter 20 something. Can I be forgiven. That was not meant to be a spoiler, crud, crud, double crud!

  15. Ah… no problem. But you’ve made me want to pick up the pace a bit – thanks for that! You can leave your time out chair now. Don’t forget your book. 🙂

  16. Becca says:

    It really is a good book! I can’t help myself!

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