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Before I get into the meeting notes, and boy were they enlightening, I wanted to make a couple of announcements.

October Meeting: Our October Meeting is one week later and one hour earlier. We will meet on October 30 at 5:00 pm. It’s potluck, so please bring a dish to pass (if you’re busy, this can be a box of cookies or a bag of chips). We will be in the kiddie room on the main floor in the back. There will be a COSTUME CONTEST too. So dress in something Halloweeny or try and create a character from one of our books, it’s up to you.

Game Day: Our next Crime & Beyond Game Day is on Sunday, October 8 from 1-4pm at Enchanted Grounds Coffee Shop in Highlands Ranch (8800 S Colorado Blvd). I have RSVPs from Kerry, Sharon E, Jay, Allie, Jeff, Claudia, and Gail. Let me know if you’d like to come (I need to reserve the table, so need a headcount).

Book Choices: We will be choosing books next week, so if you have one you’d like to put on the list, log into BookMovement and add it to the possible selections area by THIS Friday, 9/29. I will be pulling the titles off the site now and compiling this weekend (so if you go in and see that your previously suggested title is missing, don’t panic – I delete them when I pull them off) I will send out the vote sheet next week. We will be choosing 6 regular books and one December one (holiday related).

Now, on to Whatever Happened to Cathy Martin by Mim Eichmann. First of all, let me say that it was pretty unanimous that the blurb on the back of the book sounded really interesting. Also, that the author had some good ideas for the initial plot of the book: small town, high school ends, girl just kind of goes missing, what could have happened to her? Lastly, the prologue was very intriguing.

After that, the book, for most of us, kind of fell apart. There were SOOOOOO many different plots going on. Amy named a ton of them, but I didn’t write them down. Let’s see what I can remember: we had Nazi’s, the Amish, evil twins, impersonation, murder, half-siblings, cave dwellers, unknown remains, and the list goes on. Amy likened the author’s approach to the study of improv, where actors are taught to take an idea and say “yes, and...” It led to a convoluted and extremely dense last third of the book where so much was going on that our heads were spinning. Unfortunately, included in the book’s wrap up was some graphic and to us, unnecessary stuff, that really didn’t fit in or add to the storyline.

Our scores were, we think, the lowest—or at least some of the lowest—we’ve ever seen. The book got one 8, one 6, three 5s, two 4s, six 3s, three 2s, and three 1s. Our average was 3.37, not a great score.

Some members found themselves giving the book 1 point for each good thing it had and clearly in their opinions, that was very few things. Christina, for example, gave it one point for the fact that she didn’t throw it across the room. Other points were given for: remembering the prologue, the line “it looked like she brushed her hair with an egg beater,” the use of the song "You Light Up My Life," the mention of the movie Wait Until Dark, the description of the book on the back that drew us all in, and, from Melissa, all of the extra sleep she got while trying to read it.

This book was clearly self-published, and for some of us, we gave the writer credit for that. However, hiring an editor to find typos AND one to guide with plot holes, excessive plots used, and other issues would have been highly recommended. We didn’t think that either of these types of professionals were consulted. It really read like a self-published work, and not one of the better ones. Specifically, the dialogue stuck out to a lot of us as really bad. It was like someone dared the author to put 10 plots in one book and she was like – game on.

Some of us found parts of it entertaining, for me the first half was good. The plot twist with the girls being twins was good, but not executed very well. Several people mentioned that they wouldn’t have finished the book if it weren’t a book club read.

If this were, god forbid, made into a movie we want Tom Cruise to play Chomp.

Thank you to Chris M. for bringing snacks and leading the discussion. And thanks to Cindy for snack as well.

We welcome Kim V. and hopefully didn’t scare her off. Kim, you’re on the email list and I will leave you on until you tell me otherwise.

Our October Book is Are you Sara? By S.C. Lalli. We have high hopes, please don’t let us down S.C. Lalli!

Until October,

Kerry

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