on August 13, 2012
I usually don't pick up books like this on my own, as I generally don't tend to gravitate toward contemporary women's lit. Apparently I've been missing out if there are authors like this one writing with us gals in mind. So, thanks Tracy H. Tucker for broadening my horizons and sending me this book for review -- what a blast!
Christine is your typical mom, wife and friend with one exception: Every little tic, bump, muscle spasm or even zit is her potential death, in her mind anyway. The author takes us on a raucous ride through a critical point in Christine's life: An ugly divorce, adjusting to life as a single mom, dealing with an overbearing mom, reentering the dating scene, and ultimately getting to know herself and coming to terms who she really is -- all while dying of cancer, ALS, leukemia, multiple sclerosis, AIDS. . . .you name it, she's got it.
This book is funny -- really funny -- while at the same time artfully and poignantly peeling away at the layers of Christine's phobias. Tracy H. Tucker has a talent for humor, and is expert at blending that humor with insightful and intelligent prose. The characters and dialogue were real and entertaining and I loved all of the characters in this book, especially her patient and tolerant friends whose forbearance in the face of Christine's constant dubious maladies was touching and genuine. Don't tell anyone, but I saw so much of myself in Christine -- I hope I'm not the only one. I find myself on WebMd probably a little more than is healthy (pardon the pun), and couldn't help but laugh every time she rushed to the computer to find out what she was dying of next.
The author successfully tells a tale that many of us have unfortunately witnessed or experienced ourselves: A couple who seems to have it all one minute, only to devolve in a matter of days into hateful, malice-filled enemies; a tyrannical mother sees her chance and moves in for the kill; confused children trying to deal as best they can.
I keep saying this novel is funny. Well, it is. Take, for instance, Christine's first blind internet date as she ruminates on how her life would end up with this guy who pronounces "toilet" "tole-it": "Woman! Bring me a goddamn beeyah, for Chrissake! I need some alchy-hol before I work on the tole-it!" That one was a snorter for me.
I Kill Me: Tales of a Jilted Hypochondriac is for adults only, although not in the Fifty Shades kind of way. The language is real. What do I mean by real? There's cursing and descriptive sexual scenes and innuendos without being romance novel-ish. Basically how I talk every day, to my mother's dismay and horror. How a lot of us talk, but many authors refuse or are scared to write, especially in mainstream contemporary fiction. The sexual scenes are not pornographic, just sexy and, yes, sometimes funny.
My only complaint about this book is the ending. It came a little too quickly for me. I turned the page and it was over, not realizing I was close to the end and it felt a tiny bit rushed. Sometimes that's the mark of a really good book, though. Maybe I just didn't want it to be over. :) Male or female, if you're feeling a little down and need a good laugh pick up I Kill Me: Tales of a Jilted Hypochondriac and call me in the morning. ;)
on August 6, 2012
My wife was cracking up reading this book, so I started to read it secretly... It was so good that I couldn't put it down! That's how she caught me reading "chick lit". But I didn't care. It doesn't matter if you are a man or a woman, this book is so well written, anyone will get pulled into the story. This is a great book!
on July 29, 2012
I rarely laugh out loud when reading, but this book had me laughing out loud from beginning to end. Tracy Tucker truly captures the rapid fire and catastrophic thinking that comes with a good old fashioned freak out, but does so in a both sensitive and hysterical manner. I would recommend this book to any of my friends (and have recommended it already to most of them).
on August 26, 2012
So I sat down with "I Kill Me" expecting a comedy written mostly for women and with decent enough writing to allow me to finish the book having had a few laughs along the way. Oh how happy I was to get so much more:
Ostensibly "I Kill Me" is a light-hearted comedy that allows the reader to laugh with (or at)the main character for her hypochondria-sis. It is a novel idea for a book and it works in this novel. It is interjected in an effective, well-timed yet not too distracting way.
Look beyond the segments of hypochondria or better yet take it out of the novel entirely and what is left? The answer to this question determines the quality of this novel. Easily the best writing and the most engrossing parts of this novel are NOT the part of the book dealing with her hypochondria and paranoia over her health. The characters are developed wonderfully. The wrenching aspects of divorce and recovering from it are portrayed in beautiful, real, and heart-felt chapters. I loved this book mostly, if not entirely for the well-paced narrative, nicely written and developed characters, and story line that hooked me. by the end of the first couple of chapters, the writing had reeled me in and had me rooting for the main character. Tracy has a knack for comedic writing for sure, but beyond that she also has real literary talent. Her pacing, character development, dialogue, and story telling ability truly shine in this debut novel.
I look forward to what she offers next.
on July 7, 2013
This book is definitely written for a mature audience for its adult themes and language. Right from the start, we're thrown into the middle of Christine and Richard's marriage as it falls apart. They were living the all-American dream complete with the dog, house and two kids. Life was going well, or so Christine thought. As we ride along with Christine, we can see that she loves her husband enough to force herself from her comfort zone and battle the inner diagnostician as they arrive at the hotel for the encounter guaranteed to spice up their love life.
It all goes downhill from there for the characters. Each of them must deal with the fallout from the infidelity, divorce and moving on in their new roles. The honest way in which the author portrays the characters helps to keep the story moving at a steady pace as well as provides the emotional punches to which many can relate. Though divorce may be common in this country, the road labelled "moving on" isn't always an easy on to take. Both Christine's and Richard's journeys reflect that in the book.
All in all, I loved how honest the main character's reactions were. She clearly had issues stemming from childhood that no one really wanted to take time to address. Again, that's something many could relate to. The author is able to draw you in and make you care about the characters, leaving you with tears of both sadness and happiness by the time the end of the book comes along. This book is definitely a great story if you're looking for a guilty pleasure and want to root for the underdog!
on January 30, 2013
I Kill Me is a laugh-out-loud comedic story that follows Christine Bacon's journey as she navigates her way through a messy divorce and tries to pick up the pieces of her life while suffering extreme bouts of hypochondria. In her debut novel, author Tracy H. Tucker weaves a humorous and lighthearted tale written in the first person narrative told by Christine, who keeps the reader in stitches as she battles through crazy antics and drama that life has thrown her way.
At some point in everyone's life there are intense stress and struggles that you have to deal with, so it is easy for the reader to relate to the struggles that befell Christine. I couldn't help but feel for this neurotic woman, at times I wanted to hug her, and at other times I wanted to shake her and tell her to pull up her big girl panties, deal with the issues and move on! I think the author did a wonderful job of adding a touch of humor to an otherwise serious condition that afflicts some people, it lightened up the story and provided a nice balance.
Christine's journey to start her life over has its challenges: the stress of divorce from a wacker of an ex-husband, teenage daughter drama, a crazy controlling mother, and the introduction of a new love interest. As Christine goes through the ups and downs, the reader is drawn into her world. I couldn't help but commiserate with Christine as her hypochondria spiraled out of control, but there were also some pretty hilarious scenes that kept me snickering as I cheered Christine on when she finally got a hold of herself and moved on.
I Kill Me is an uplifting and lighthearted story of one woman's journey to find herself through chaos and heartbreak as she learns to start her life over.
on January 21, 2013
I loved this 32 chapter book. It was told through Christine's first person point-of-view. The opening sentence: "I could think of two big reasons why this threesome wasn't going to work: her boobs," piqued my attention right away. That scene was the most awkward thing I've ever read (in a good way) LOL. The husband wanted his wife and massage therapist at the same time. He and the massage therapist had already went over all the sensual details, so this was planned well in advance. Eventually, Richard wanted a divorce. All I could keep thinking: he was having happy endings way before he wanted that threesome.
My favorite lines: 1) "Or," added Hank, "join Facebook like I keep telling you, and then you can search for former classmates you wish you'd had sex with in high school." 2) "I'm sorry." Her apology sounded a bit too automatic. 3) "The thing is, you have to allow yourself to make mistakes. Because learning who you're not can help you figure out who you are."
The author had a brilliant talent with point-of-view. I felt like I knew who Christine was by her interactions with other characters, how she treated herself, etc. Tracy H. Tucker moved the story forward in a witty and entertaining way through immediate scenes instead of narrative summary.
The character's hypochondriac episodes were funny, especially when it got on her friends' nerves. That was her coping mechanism, so I could understand her actions. I also enjoyed her self-depreciating humor. Her own mother was a worry wart-I could see where Christine inherited the obsessive thoughts about death. Besides keeping me laughing, there were also some tense moments. I'm all about conflict, and there were plenty of those scenes when Richard would stop by to pick up their daughters.
I hoped that her ex-husband could redeem himself by the end of the novel, but it just wasn't meant to be. I'm happy that slowly but surely Christine got her life back on track without letting that loser get to her anymore. The sweetest revenge-living a happy life and not giving him a second thought. At times, I thought she'd get together with her male best friend (the teacher). Her kids kept hinting at it, and he kept flirting with her like he had a crush on her all that time and wasn't afraid to express it since she got a divorce and was available now. She did eventually find a "friend," which I thought was good for her.
My favorite scenes: 1) Richard comes in the bathroom, uninvited, surprising Christine 2) her first blind date with Steve, her online buddy. he was a weirdo 3) any scene with her mom because she resorted to acting like a scared kid
I RECOMMEND this book to read.
on November 8, 2012
Christine Bacon leads a pretty fulfilling life. Married to the same man for over a decade, she's mother to two wonderful daughters and teaches middle school English. She's comfortable in her life and, on the surface, everything seems to be going swimmingly. That is until her husband suggests a threesome with his massage therapist. Being the thoughtful wife she is (that's just how she rolls) she decides to go along with it. When the menage a trois goes awry, she realizes that her happy marriage wasn't so happy after all. Soon after the fact her husband Richard leaves her and Christine is left in her home with her two children, dog and cat, alone for the first time and having to pick up the pieces of her life. It doesn't help that she assumes ever bump, itch, scratch and twinge of her body to be a road leading to death's door. Christine is a hopeless hypochondriac and as her marriage and perfect life fall apart in front of her very eyes, she convinces herself that her body is falling apart too.
I came across I Kill Me just browsing around for new authors one day. I have to admit that, between the cover, the title and the book blurb (a book that starts off with a threesome? Consider me intrigued) I couldn't help BUT pull the trigger on this one. And I'm glad I did. I know I'm probably not the target demographic for a novel like this (it was under the heading of 'chic lit'. That's a moniker I don't really like. It seems...limiting in a way) but I'm not opposed to reading anything as long as it's entertaining and well written.
Christine crafts a protagonist in Christine that is so neurotic and worrisome that I couldn't help but enjoy reading ever word that went through her head. It's in the first person so we get a really intimate glimpse into the character's thoughts. Because of her 'condition', much of the conflict comes from inside. Christine really is the only one standing in her way despite everything that's going on around her because she's convinced that every cough and sneeze and bump is a symptom that will only lead to her untimely demise. She goes off on tangents regularly. She'll be in the middle of talking to someone, feel the onset of a headache, then begin mentally flipping through the Doctor's Desk Reference until she's convinced she has a catastrophic disease. These interludes are, quite honestly, laugh out loud funny. WE know there's nothing wrong with her, the people she interacts with in her world know there's nothing wrong with her, but Christine is convinced that she's always at death's door. I know saying that it comes off as funny may seem a little morbid, but it's really not. Tucker writes it in such a way that it's endearing, comical and also touching. You just can't help but pull for Christine and hope that she gets control of herself and is able to let her anger at her ex husband and the cards that life dealt her go and move on in her life and find happiness. Christine is, in a word, adorable.
The secondary characters play perfect compliments to Christine. The selfish ex, the willful daughters, the overbearing mother, the stoic father, her hunky gay best friend, and her off color co workers are all there to try to help her get a grip on herself, even when she's convinced that she's got one foot in the grave. The dialogue pops and there's humor on just about every page.
I kill me is extremely well written. It's very lean and fluid. There are no long passages describing what people are wearing or the colors of houses or buildings, etc, etc, so on and so forth. In other words, it's fast and never bloated. As a result it's a quick and addictive page turner.
I'm very glad I decided to give this book a chance. I really enjoyed Tucker's author's voice and the story she had to tell, not to mention the fantastic characters that populated the world she created. Check this one out! I think you'll like it.
on September 21, 2012
This book is a fantastic read.
Christine is married to Richard and has two daughters. She lives an ordinary life except for the fact that she is a Hypochondriac. The story begins with Christine's attempt at a threesome after being coaxed into this by her husband, this doesn't go so well. Not long after her husband leaves her and this is where Christine's journey begins. I won't give anymore away but this is a thoroughly engaging story.
The author addresses the reality of being a Hypochondriac with some humour thrown in
The parts of the book where Christine is concerned about her health is well written and gives the reader an insight into what it is like to be a Hypochondriac. Christine's character is truly adorable and I was rooting for her throughout the story. I felt every lump, bump, ache and pain with her and was even convinced myself she had a weird rare disease. I felt sorry for her and got quite emotional in parts.
I loved the character of Hank also, Christine's long time friend who is also a doctor, there are some conversations between Hank and Christine that are hilarious and uplifting.
Christine's Mother Mimi is also a strong character in the book and I can imagine most reader's will have met a 'Mimi' at some point in their life.
I don't want to give the story away, however, I will add that I absolutely loved the ending, I would definitely love to see this story being made into a film.
This story has sadness, humour, revenge, courage, family issues, and beautiful friendships.
Christine's story is one that many women could relate to and is uplifting and inspirational, I think this book would be an excellent counselling tool for newly divorced women!
This is the first book I have read by this author but it definitely won't be the last. I could not put this book down from the first page right till the last page.
Five stars from me.
Becky Sherriff (The Kindle Book Review)
on November 11, 2012
I have to say I was surprised by this book. I got it as a freebie and often I start and delete the freebies.
This was quite a different experience.
The narrator of the tale is a woman whose marriage is seriously ill, but while she may know it, she doesn't acknowledge it. The reader knows it, given the opening of the story; but it seems our narrator is just not aware of how bad her marriage is. I won't ruin the opening scene, but it proves a point very well and sets a tone for the rest of the book.
This is a marriage-gone-wrong-on-to-the-new-normal trope with an overlay of hypochondria. It reads as fresh and thought provoking. The info says it is 258 pages, but it seemed much shorter than that to me. I did get a little bogged down a few times, but it read well. Unlike 95% of the freebies, this book is well written and well edited and the spelling, oh, the spelling is just fine. Yeah, there are a couple of typos, a couple of "wrong" words, a missing word, but not more than six or seven the whole book as opposed to six or seven a page.
There is blunt language, a NSFW opening scene and lots of opportunities for guilty giggles over our own hypochondriacal leanings. I found it good, if not necessarily clean, fun.