The Last Valentine by A Business Man Turned Author (If you’re actually interested in knowing the author’s name in order to go to your local library and…I dunno, destroy every copy, the author’s name is James Michael Pratt)

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Well, most of my readers will be surprised to even see this book appear on my blog. “This is hardly literary”, you may be saying to yourself. I applaud you for coming to that conclusion, but I read this thing, so I will utilize my blog to verbally destroy it. 

My creative writing professor/overall goddess had given me a constructive criticism about my writing, well more about me as a person. “Cherylann, you have one problem: You are allergic to sentimentality.” 

What I wanted to say was, “So?” but if this lack of emotion was negatively affecting my writing, I couldn’t afford to just ignore it. As much as I’d like to say I have reached my ultimate potential in creative writing, I really can’t. I also respect/adore my professor, so instead of “So?” I said, “How can I fix it?” 

She had a rather odd assignment for me: Read a sappy romance novel. I was picturing the books in the romantic section of Borders (R.I.P) with the women in clingy nightgowns and the half naked glistening centaur-men on the cover. She quickly clarified that she meant a “sweet” novel, not an erotic one. 

Well, this book was the sappiest looking one I could find. It has some old looking love letters with a thornless rose covering them on the cover. The contents of the book were no more promising than the cover. The characters were utterly inhuman, every situation more cliché than the next. The parallel love stories just about threw me over the edge. Not only was the plot boring, I didn’t even care what happened to the characters. Unfortunately I cannot stop reading a book once I have started, a “virtue” my 4th grade teacher Mr. Ito instilled in me at an early age. Once I reached the last scene, the whole “going into the light” one I actually had to put it away for a few minutes, literally put it out of my sight, The only consolation was I didn’t waste money buying this book, I checked it out from the library. 

I may be allergic to sentimentality; however if there is any caring in my cold, black heart, this certainly was not the book that could squeeze it out of me. In order to become sentimental about a character, that character has to be somewhat real. These characters were stagnant and typical. I probably would have been better off with the centaurs. 

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