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REVIEW: White Trash Beautiful by Teresa Mummert

Dear Ms. Mummert:

Sometimes I think to myself that my reading results would have a higher success rate if I just read excerpts but in this case I did read an excerpt on your site and I was excited for the book. I bought the book the morning it came out but I didn’t realize that the excerpt would be the only decent part of the story.

White Trash Beautiful Teresa MummertCass Daniels is a waitress living in a trailer park with her druggie mother and her abusive boyfriend. A stranger walks into her cafe and her life is changed forever. A down on her luck girl who gets out of a cycle of bad decisions is a book I wanted to read about. And while there are romance stories featuring characters, even girls, who drag themselves out of poverty, the excerpt hinted at this book being different.

Unfortunately, the promise of the excerpt dwindled quickly. Cass is a terrible waitress and employee. She is rude to customers, often taking unauthorized breaks so she can go outside, sitting with customers and drinking alcohol, and mope about her circumstances, and pretty much acts like she is the owner instead of an employee who is in desperate need for a job. Cass is really, really dumb. When Tucker comes into her bar she doesn’t recognize him despite loving his music. He’s in town to play a concert and it is very hard to believe that the concert wouldn’t have been advertised all over, including the radio station that plays the songs – Tucker’s songs – Cass sings along to. In fact, the improbability of no one recognizing Tucker is pretty high. The improbability factor is sent skyrocketing when Tucker’s band mates, twins, go into the cafe the next day at the request of Tucker and still no one makes the connection.

Tucker, the hero of the story, is so thinly drawn you can see right through him. He’s given few identifiable characteristics. He’s a rock star, has money, and is determined to protect Cass. Why, though, we have no idea. There is almost no effort at making Tucker into a realistic rock star. He is able to go to a nightclub with Cass and not get mobbed. He says that he is in every gossip magazine yet walks around unfettered with no bodyguards. When he gives a concert at “the pier” he jumps down and makes out with Cass below the pier. He has very little dialogue in the book. His actions consist mostly of standing around his motorcycle and asking Cass to come to his concerts. But he isn’t even given enough depth that I could call him a stock character. He just is this flimsy piece of tissue moved around the book to provide the ultimate escape for the heroine.

We know more about her abusive boyfriend and his backstory than we ever know about Tucker except this is told to us so late in the story that it’s hard to understand why she is still with the boyfriend and why she is constantly bailing him out. Instead we get paragraph after paragraph of how he mistreats her; how she doesn’t love him; how she is afraid of him. A reader is asked to fill in all the justifications, all the complicated feelings that a woman may feel even if it is contradicted by the text.

It’s easy to see why Cass is attracted to Tucker. He’s famous. He’s rich. He seems to care about her. Why Tucker is attracted to her is a mystery. I’m sure there are dozens of young pretty women in roadside cafes all around the country. Why Cass? Tucker interacted with her all of a few minutes before, I guess, he decides she is the one. Cass has no evolution. She has the victim mentality at the beginning of the story (which is completely understandable) but maintains the same mentality throughout the entire book. She is constantly crying. CONSTANTLY. I searched “tears” and there were 36 mentions. Nearly every scene ends with her crying or in tears.

I ended up seriously disliking this book because it was so weak in all areas but mostly because I felt like it was an insult to me as a reader. It was so weakly crafted. It’s not sexy. It’s not realistic. The first person narration is by someone whose only sympathetic trait is that she is abused and if that was taken away all a reader has left is a foul mouthed liar and cheat. The only thing good about the book is the excerpt. F

Best regards,

Jane

PS Spoiler. The ending was completely ridiculous.

[spoiler]Cass is sent money to come to Tucker’s concert at Hilton Head (and let’s not even start about the venues that this band is supposedly playing in. Savannah?) She shows up and about a minute after her arrival, a knock sounds at the door. Tucker takes a bag from the hotel porter (or as the author calls it the attendant) and in it are three pregnancy tests which he hands off to Cass and then Tucker leaves. Of course Cass is pregnant. *shakes head* Like this wouldn’t be in gossip magazines everywhere? Tucker White has hotel buy 3 pregnancy kits!!! And then Cass would be the subject of intense scrutiny but, you know, whatever. This is FANTASY right? No need for any attempts at realism.Anyhoodle, Cass loses the baby because her abusive boyfriend (not yet ex) beats her. Then Cass decides she is too worthless for Tucker and leaves. It is not until the EPILOGUE that Cass and Tucker meet again and start their HEA. To which I say, what the fuck?[/spoiler]

AmazonBN

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

9 Comments

  1. Ridley
    Oct 06, 2012 @ 12:05:04

    To which I say, what the fuck?

    +1

  2. Jessica
    Oct 06, 2012 @ 20:47:18

    this^^^

  3. Kini
    Oct 06, 2012 @ 21:24:44

    I too was suckered into reading this book because of the excerpt. This book was horrible. I’ve seen other reviews that raved about it and I wondered if they read the same book as me. I’m so glad someone else saw the same things I did.

  4. Dunja
    Oct 07, 2012 @ 10:14:19

    @Kini:

    Me too i.e. excerpt knocked me off my feet but everything else was really really bad. I do not understand why in the reviews that were super positive Tucker was so praised?
    Anyway the conclusion is: good excerpt sells the book.

  5. Jen
    Oct 17, 2012 @ 23:16:17

    You think this book is bad? Have you endured her ‘Honor Series’ books. I couldn’t even make it through the first book. No plot, the characters were…well…idiots. Madly in love with each other yet we never see it develop. Love just sorta pops up one day and that’s all there is to it apparently.

  6. ChicagoHope
    Oct 26, 2012 @ 22:36:14

    Horrible, horrible book! It was dnf for me. Couldn’t undertand Cass’s motivation and got fed up pretty quickly with her whining.

  7. Cecilia
    Jul 06, 2013 @ 01:52:13

    I disagree. Clearly none of you have been in an abusive relationship. And it is explained why Tucker is not mobbed or recognized early in the book. His band is an Indie band… they have yet to be made insanely famous. Also… do u think she would even consider that the mysterious hot guy is a lead singer in a band? The poor girl is preoccupied with surviving and not getting the snot beat out of her, keeping her job to support not only herself, but her abusive druggie boyfrend and druggie mother. Your review is classic blame the victim. I really liked Cass. Don’t get keys wrong I was yelling at her towards the end, but I have been where she was…. and if you are used to being told you are worthless and you deserve to be treated like crap you believe it.

  8. Teena in Toronto
    Jul 17, 2013 @ 16:58:56

    I enjoyed it :)

  9. Daily Deals: A couple of unusual historicals, an m/m and a geeked out paranormal
    Jul 20, 2013 @ 12:02:24

    [...] Pocket has placed five books on sale between 1.99 and 3.99 in celebration of ComicCon. One is “Real” by Katy Evans for $1.99 which we featured before and Kati D loved. Another is White Trash Beautiful for $3.99 which I thought was abysmal but the book is on sale so you can make your own judgment if you like. [...]

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