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Friday, January 7, 2011

Caleb + Kate [DNF]

Caleb + Kate by Cindy Martinusen-Coloma

Grade: DNF 
"When Kate's family purchases a hotel in the Pacific Northwest, she enters a world that is wholly unknown to her. She never has any privacy because of the constant flow of guests. And as the hotel owner's daughter, she struggles to make friends.

Then she meets Caleb, a strange combination of working-class, Hawaiian culture, and Christian bad boy. He talks about love in an all new way that she finds so alluring. But the two have nothing in common. He rarely smiles, rides a motorcycle with a rough crowd from town, and worst of all, he totally ignores Kate. But Kate has something that he needs and she resolves to prove to him that what she has doesn't define who she is."--from GoodReads
I did not finish Caleb + Kate. Perhaps it was just the wrong book at the wrong time, but deep down I think not. It was just not for me. After browsing through GoodReads’ reviews, it seemed quite good with an overall rating of 4.something. I went and purchased the book and [tried to] read it several days after it arrived. Never made it to page 100. This is rare.

Caleb + Kate has its audience, I mean look at those ratings! But there are reasons why it didn’t work for me:
  • I am a jaded reader. I’ve had enough with instant first love, pow wow, fireworks in the eyes. Even before talking to each other, Caleb and Kate seemed to be already in love with each other. There’s a lot of sap, cheese, and candy sweet things going on in the novel. Even I have my limits.
  • Monica, Kate’s best friend, is a flip-flop character. She’s deemed self-centered and prejudiced against all things not rich by Kate. Her actions follow that statement. Yet a few chapters over she’s also considered extremely loyal, intuitive of people’s feelings, and caring. So Monica is a witch who’s nice. Totally makes sense.
  • Two perspectives from Caleb and Kate. One was hard to stomach, but two? I don’t think I could handle all that sweet.
  • Why Caleb + Kate so reminiscent of Perfect Chemistry? Gorgeous, blonde, (did I mention Christian because the author likes to point that out) smart girl. Hot, tattooed, dark-skinned and dark-haired boy (from Hawaii because I didn’t catch that the first 3 times). Girl is rich, doesn’t really lift a finger, but she’s so nice. Boy isn’t rich, working constantly and hard around the edges. Girl of course softens him up. Then again it’s not such a novel idea.
  • This is a religious novel. I just had no idea how religious it was. I have no qualms with religion and respect people’s decisions, but I’m not Christian or Catholic or any other religion involving God. I'm fine with a few scenes, but Cindy Martinusen-Coloma brings up faith and God quite a lot. I just can't connect to any of it.
Cover B-
Source: purchased for myself
Published: 4 May 2010; paperback


  1. Wow I'm definitely staying away from this one!

  2. Uh oh this one is on my shelf waiting to be read! I think I might just stay away from it for quite a whole. Thanks for the honest review Yan :)

  3. Thanks for the candid review. And I think I might just start calling myself a "jaded reader" since I find it hard to explain to people why I am so darn picky!