Book Review: Just Too Good to Be True: A Novel

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by E. Lynn Harris

Publication Date:
List Price: $15.00
Format: Paperback, 336 pages
Classification: Fiction
ISBN13: 9780385492737
Imprint: Anchor
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Parent Company: Bertelsmann
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Book Reviewed by Thumper

I never thought the moon would rise or the sun would set on the day that I would be writing a review on any E. Lynn Harris book. I use to be a fan of Harris, a real diehard fan. I loved his first three novels: Invisible Life, Just As I Am, and And This Too Shall Pass. As time went on, well, the bloom did not just fall off the rose; it got drunk, started singing ’How Drunk I Am’, tripped and fell flat on its ass. And I had the nerve to tell it. I had a lesson coming my way and Harris was the one to give it me.

Writing reviews: It was real easy for me to do what I wanted to do, say what I wanted to say and not worry about rest of it because my literary world encompassed my computer monitor, the four walls of my office and the pages in between the front and back covers of books. Somehow—and I cannot explain it—it did not fully dawn on me that once a review is released into the world, aint’ no telling who’s going to read it. *eyebrow raised* I cannot remember the Harris’s book or the review I wrote on it. The only thing I do remember is that I was in all of my Thumper glory and would not have wanted to be on the other end of that review.

Anyway, at my second BEA [Book Expo America], I met Harris. I did not set out to meet Harris. It happened so fast, but lo and behold I was introduced to Harris. Oh my Lord. Baby-umph-baby, Harris gave me a look! Whoa! That look must be the look people get on their way to Hell! *LOL* I’m laughing now but I wasn’t laughing then. Look’I was paralysed. I didn’t have enough wit about me to say to my own self, uh now’s the time for you to say your prayers and ask for forgiveness for all of your sins. *LOL* I ain’t going to lie, he jacked me up. For a long while after that, I stayed jacked up. Then one day I was talking to the author Gloria Mallette, with her sweet self, and she straighten me out. The episode was a learning experience; a reviewer has to have to stay true to himself, speak his truth, and have tough skin but that we are all in this together. For a number of years I did not read any of Harris’s books. Actually got pissed off when one came across my desk. But as you’ll read, that is no longer the case.

In May, I completed my secondary education; I am too old for that stuff. FINALLY, I was able to get back to my books. Since I’ve been away for a while, there weren’t a lot of books lying around the house for me to read. I read a few, wrote a few reviews, you know getting my chops back. Lo and behold, I come across Harris’s latest novel, Just Too Good to Be True. I thought about it: should I read it or not; well, you aint got nothing else to do and you done read two Faulkner novels, why not read the book’if you don’t like it and you say it’it ain’t like he can whoop your ass. Fortunately, I think I’m safe on this one. I actually liked Just Too Good to Be True. The novel is a well written, fast paced drama that is easy on the eyes. I started and finished the book in a day. I was pleasantly surprised.

Camryn Bledsoe’s dreams are all about to be come true. She raised her son Brady as a single parent. She’s a proud mother. Brady has been a perfect son, good grades, respectful, and a good Christian. Camryn could not ask for more. Brady Bledsoe has the world on a string. He’s a good looking, talented college football star, with his eye on the Heisman trophy and an anticipated top NFL draft pick. Both Camryn and Brady have secrets and desires that could blow their worlds apart and if they cannot get a handle on them.

The novel is a nice, quick moving drama. The drama is not what I would consider a heavy full blown drama. The drama is a light, no sugar and low fat drama. Yet, I would consider the novel a Calgon-take-me-away novel. I have not read one of those in an awfully long time. I was quickly hooked. The story kept me interested till the end. The novel gave me a much needed change of pace. I am glad to say that there was the one Harris trademark in the book that was present humor. In his past books, there is always, at least, one character or several scenes which are hilarious. Harris did not fail me on this point. He created a character, May Jean, who is a hoot. May Jean has a voice mail message, which is priceless? I’m going to use it myself.

I have no problem recommending Just Too Good to Be True. Who could have imagined that the day would dawn when I would be able to say that about a Harris book?

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