Melinda Truelsen is a graduate student in literature and a Mustang Daily book columnist. Her column, “Reading Between the Lines,” appears every Wednesday.

Every once in a while, I see a book lying ever so temptingly on a Barnes & Noble shelf that I just can’t help but pick up. It catches my eye as I’m on my way to look at something else, and I turn to look.

This is the kind of moment that led me to find “Girls in Trucks” by Katie Crouch. I was spending unnecessary time (and money) in Barnes & Noble this summer, and I was simply intrigued. The cover is wonderful — and, yes, I know that we should be above judging book by their covers, but apparently I’m not. I turned the book over, and the little blurb on the back even sounded good. The story is about a Southern belle, Sarah Walters, who has a difficult time fitting into the debutante society she was born into. The blurb on the back sounded funny and promised “biting humor and keen observation,” so I had high hopes for this book.

Sadly, my high hopes were dashed within a few short chapters. Though funny at times, this book was a confused and rambling mess. I thought at first that there was some kind of rhyme or reason to the constant jumps in chronology or the hanging endings to the chapters, but as of yet, I can’t find any, and believe me — I’m getting my Master’s degree in literature — I really tried to find a reason for many things in this book.

Another big factor that bothered me was the often unnecessary erotic moments. After a while, it seemed like I was listening to a high school girl unleash all of her illicit sexual acts for no purpose other than to free herself of the information. I suppose this kind of writing has a place, and I’m not saying that every erotic scene is uncalled for, but there seemed to be no reason for any of them except to add some shock value and reaffirm that the main character is a bit of a tramp.

I’ve decided that if I were editing this book, I would tell Crouch that she was only allowed to keep about six chapters; the rest should be tossed out and started over again. Okay, you are probably thinking that I sound pretty harsh, and maybe I am, but I haven’t been this disappointed in a book in a long time. Besides, I’m not saying the entire book is worthless; there are some chapters in which I actually laughed out loud, but there were others in which I actually cringed because they were so badly written and were such a waste of time.

Some of the higher points of this book include when Crouch tells us about Sarah’s visit to her sister at her East Coast college, Yale of course. This is a Southern debutante, after all, so it has to be Ivy League all the way. This chapter is hilarious, as Sarah (at this point a high school student) talks about her incredibly intimidating, smart and brilliant older sister and her less than considerate new fiancee. It was quite amusing to hear about this odd couple and their rush to get married in order to obtain a green-card for the fiancee. Another amusing chapter follows Sarah through the ups and downs of a tumultuous relationship with a possessive boyfriend. It was the honesty and genuine emotion conveyed that made this chapter one of the keepers.

I hope now that I have effectively warned you against this book. Don’t be so easily tempted by its attractive cover and catchy title as I was. Though in closing, I will admit that it did serve its purpose and kept me busy over the last few days before the quarter started, but beyond that, I can’t really say anything else nice about it.

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