HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Call Waiting
Author: Michelle Cunnah
Cover Illustrator: Nadine Badalaty
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks, 2004
Related website(s): http://www.harpercollins.com (publisher)
Language level: 5
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: I would not suggest it for anyone
Rating: 0 stars
(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)
Category: Not recommended
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Cunnah, Michelle. Call Waiting (Published in 2004 by Avon Trade, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers Inc., 10 E. 53rd St., New York City, NY 10022). Emma Taylor, a Junior Accounts Manager in Advertising, lives in Hoboken, NJ, is turning 31, and hopes that her architect boyfriend Jack Brown will propose marriage to her. Emma’s parents are divorced. Her plastic surgeon father is married to Peri who is Jack’s older sister, and her Human-Rights lawyer mother Julia, who lives in England, is married to George. Emma and Jack’s circle of couples-friends include Rachel and Hugh, Sylvester and David, Tish and Rufus, and Katy and Tom. However, Emma becomes worried that Jack’s gorgeous, perfect, voluptuous boss Claire is after him. Is Jack the commitment-phobe that she fears? Will he actually go ahead and propose? Or does Claire succeed in breaking them up? I picked this book up in our library’s book sale room because the blurb on the back made it sound interesting.
Call Waiting and its predecessor 32AA, which introduced Emma Taylor, are referred to as “chick lit.” Now, I don’t mind reading a good, clean romance novel, ala Grace Livingston Hill or the “Love Inspired” series. But this book is not about true romance; it’s just about plain, old sex, pure and simple. In the very beginning, as Emma introduces Jack to the readers as her new boyfriend of eight months, she says, “Honestly, I’m the one sleeping with him so have insider information!” I thought about throwing it away then, but I continued reading to see if it got any better. It didn’t. It ends with Jack and Emma not married yet but in bed together; she is “tugging at his zipper” and says that “his hands are doing wicked things to—certain parts of my anatomy.” There are several other references to various erogenous body parts and specific sexual encounters.
In fact, the whole book is totally amoral from beginning to end and borders on pornography. Besides Jack and Emma’s fornication, among their friends, Katy and Tom are married, but Rachel and Hugh are living together with plans to marry when she becomes pregnant, Sylvester and David are a homosexual couple, and Tish had seduced Rufus to get him to start dating her. In addition, a lot of imbibing alcoholic beverages occurs, and besides a great deal of cursing and profanity, the “s” and “f” words are frequently used, along with other vulgar terms. It seems as if the hormone-laden Rachel can’t complete a sentence without dropping the “f” bomb. I really could not recommend this book to anyone. A friend of mine once noted that if something is for “mature audiences only,” it usually isn’t fit for the dogs.