Thursday, February 12, 2009

Review- Zinna by Kira Chase

by Kira Chase
Contemporary/ Lesbian
360 pg. - $5.99


Buy it
eXtasy books

When artist Zinna Nolan abruptly leaves Rochester, New York, and her high school sweetheart Megan O'Neil, to pursue her artistic yearnings in New Orleans, she finds more than she bargained for as she settles into the French Quarter and waits for Megan to join her.

I don’t know why I keep reading Kira Chase’s books. For some reason her voice speaks to me, but to be honest, I don’t know why. This is the third book of hers that I’ve read and like her book Destiny, this one was one long emo book about two women who are pining over each other but who are not strong or mature enough to work things out while we the reader are waiting for something interesting to happen.

Zinna and Megan found each other during high school, a time when both were silently hiding the fact that they liked girls for fear of retribution. They finally tell their parents and while Zinna’s mother accepts her and Megan, Megan’s religiously oriented family disowns her. After high school, Zinna and Megan move in together in another, more open town. To Zinna, Megan is her life, the only woman she’s ever loved and will ever love but she’s got dreams.

Zinna has been dreaming of going to New Orleans and becoming a famous artist. But Megan wants to wait until they have enough money to go there so that they will have some security. Zinna, getting fed up with waiting and feeling like Megan is not taking her seriously, just takes off to New Orleans without telling Megan or her mother where she is. She immediately meets new friends and moves in with them and her life takes off. She gets a job straight away and magically, one of her roommates is connected to an artist/gallery owner who loves her work. Although this is Zinna’s choice, she’s so lonely for Megan and wants her, but she refuses to call her and let her know what’s up.

I have to say that there is really not much to this story. I almost cannot review it because once Zinna is in New Orleans and she is finally having some success, she tries to patch things up with Megan after basically treating her with complete disrespect. Megan blows her off being really hurt of course, and she also understands that Zinna has to have her success first, so she refuses to come to Zinna. That’s it, the whole story. Zinna for some reason just can’t understand why Megan would be so resistant to coming to her until her friends and her mother tell her what a shit she’s been. Can people really be that clueless?

So for one year Megan and Zinna talk on the phone whining to each other that neither understands the other and “why can’t we be together” and on and on and on and back and forth. Seriously, if that would have been me in such a relationship I would have slit my throat. I couldn’t understand why they just couldn’t work it out and just be together already or finish it and be done. The ending does make up for some of it although by that point, I was so tired of the wa, wa, wa that I didn’t care if they got together finally.

The rest of the characters were all so very nice. Outside of the dysfunctional relationship between Zinna and Megan for most of the book, the characters: a black man, a gay queen, an older woman, and a lesbian who Zinna mixes with in New Orleans, are all kind of one dimensional having two moods. Either they are all happy, happy or are sitting around being deep and aloof with their own emo stuff, which Zinna has to coax out of them because they had to do that for her. They are all so supportive of each other, just one big happy family.

I guess if you like sugary nice mixed with major angst then this book is for you. What I would have liked was to get more of Megan’s feelings in all of this. It’s basically all about Zinna and her side of the story although not told in first person. I think this book would have been so much better with a clearer picture of both the women trying to work out being together while having different dreams in life. Although that was done in Destiny and it went nowhere as well.

Knock off at least 100 pages of the back and forth phone whining between Megan and Zinna and this book would have been a good one for me. Once again though, and I really don’t know why, I will read some more of Kira Chase’s books. I think there is potential there but these stories, the second one now for me, of a character deliberately walking away from a love and then having all these expectations of being understood and being clueless about the other’s feelings, gets on my nerves.

Sex rating: Dry panties. There’s no sex in this book except some minor fondling.

Grade: C-


kirsten saell said...

Sounds tedious. I'm all for anguish, but not when its main source is selfishness or stupidity.

But I know what you mean about liking an author's style of prose enough to keep drinking the kool-aid, no matter how nauseous it made you last time. For me, bland, uninspiring narrative is probably the biggest sin an author can commit, no matter how lame or annoying or infuriating her stories are.

MB (Leah) said...

What I don't like with these books is that I can't find the first publishing date. I got this book at eXtasy publishing, but there is no published date to it. I found it on Amazon as a print that other bookstores are selling with a pub date of 2000, which means it's an earlier book. The Interview which I really liked shows as published on extasy in 2008, which means that the author is growing as an author and therefore I can be more lenient on earlier publications.

I like her style of writing, it's just the story itself is dragged out, which is something that I think authors learn over time, how to be more succinct.

But who knows really. I really do hate it though when a publisher doesn't post the original pub date. EC does that as well, they don't post the pub date. Dumb.