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Sammy's Hill by Kristin Gore

Sammy's Hill (2004)

by Kristin Gore

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Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
Comparisons to Bridget Jones are unfair to this book. ( )
  elsiereads | Jan 2, 2014 |
It's nice to read a book where the main character has a great job, but is still totally insane. ( )
  melissarochelle | Apr 14, 2013 |
This was good beach reading -- generally light and frivolous but also an interesting insider's look at Washington polics and campaigning. The heroine is genuinely smart and idealistic but also neurotic & funny. I'm not in a rush to read the sequel, but I also wouldn't mind. Parts of it were predictable -- I figured out pretty quickly who the protagonist would ultimately end up with romantically. ( )
  JillKB | Apr 4, 2013 |
I really grew attached to this character. It was a quick read and intelligent. I wasn't quite sure what to expect from the younger Gore, but I really liked it. I'm excited to read Sammy's House... ( )
  pam.enser | Apr 1, 2013 |
This is another one of those books that fall into the category of “It’s really good when I first read it, but…ehh.” The problem here is that the set-up does make for a pretty engaging story—chick lit set on Capitol Hill—but it falls victim to so many different clichés and the narration drags.

Our main character, Sammy, is one of the big offenders. She’s not really much of a character, and more of bundle of neuroses and quirks with a healthy dose of idealism and klutziness for good measure. I really wouldn’t mind this in a main character, but there’s nothing that defines who Sammy is. The quirks feel more like a gimmick, if only for the sheer number of them—she’s a hypochondriac, she celebrates mundane anniversaries, she keeps betta fish, she practices animal defense moves, she makes friends with telemarketers, etc. Barely any of this has any impact on the plot, and what does contribute to the plotline, the event in question is over in two pages and doesn’t really have a lasting impact on the story. And without the quirks, Sammy is a very rote chick-lit character. There’s really nothing new that Kristen Gore does here. There’s very little that I like about Sammy; most of the time I read her misfortunes and faults as “Yes, we get it, she’s clumsy, and always says the wrong thing.”

The big problem with the book is that it’s long. My copy runs at 570 pages, for a mass market, so by the time the book starts getting interesting in the last third, I’m wondering when will this end. And it’s because Sammy digresses all of the time, and again, they don’t contribute anything to the plot. There’s only one insistence that applies something to the plot line, and that’s it. Also, the arbitrary details aren’t limited to Sammy—every character has to get a long description of their quirks, many of which don’t show up at all in text except when Sammy has to make a point. The worst offender is the revelation of the Wrong Boyfriend Aaron: It’s not enough that he’s a two-timer and cheats on Sammy. Oh no, he’s also a plagiarizing, gambling and coke addict. These last two details are NEVER alluded to in text. Sammy tries to explain the gambling, but risk taking does not necessarily equal gambling addict.

The romance also doesn’t work with me. Aside from Aaron, Sammy ends up with two other guys within the course of the book. There’s very little chemistry with any of the three. Aaron is so blatantly the Wrong Guy for Sammy, and the one she ultimately ends up with, they have no chemistry and only hook up in the last three pages. I actually liked Sammy with her rebound guy; it seemed like he actually cared about her, but oh no, he’s almost 40. (Sammy is 26, for the comparison.) And, the whole “OMG he’s with another girl I can’t easily identify! He must be cheating/slept with her once/flirting and she’s evil!” PLEASE. DIE. It doesn’t help in this book where EVERY woman onscreen (aside from the Designated Best Friend and family members) falls into this category. Because, again, men and women can’t be professional and friends.

The political angle of the book is the only thing that does work in this. Knowing Gore’s background makes it very evident that she knows what she’s talking about in this. I like the fast-paced, almost steam-of-consciousness that’s used whenever Sammy describes stumping across states. The presidential race that serves as a background to the book is actually very intriguing and makes you want to know what happens the next. The only problem here is that it is kind of hard to divorce the real-life from the expys Gore uses, but you could argue that’s baggage the reader brings as well. (I don’t obsessively follow politics, but some of the political figures are barely veiled representations.) I wanted to have more of the politics, and in fact, many of Sammy’s better scenes are dealing with Sentorial bills and juggling her workload.

It’s a book that had potential, but it ultimately fails. When I first picked it up, it was because “Oh, Kristen Gore wrote for Futurama, awesome,” so I was a little familiar with her writing. The problem is that it relies on rote characterization and never does anything different with the ideas present. There’s some good things, but I think that this could have been so much better than it was.
( )
  princess-starr | Mar 31, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 140135971X, Paperback)

In her debut novel Sammy's Hill, Kristin Gore treats readers to an insider's view of life and love on Capitol Hill. In fact, the view couldn't get much more inside the Beltway, especially coming from former Vice President Al Gore's daughter. Still, Sammy's Hill is witty and engaging enough to prove that it's not always who you know, but sometimes how well you tell their stories.

Samantha Joyce, Gore's heroine, is a 26-year-old self-deprecating health-care policy advisor to Robert Gary, a well-respected senator from her home state of Ohio. Between endless work days, a grueling campaign schedule, and frequent trips to the pet store where she seeks advice on caring for her listless Japanese fighting fish, Sammy finds time to obsess over her new boyfriend, sexy speechwriter Aaron Driver. As things heat up with Aaron, Sammy's work schedule takes on a new intensity when Gary becomes the Democratic candidate for vice president. Along the way, scandal clouds both her personal and professional life, and our heroine discovers the often salacious underbelly of life on the hill.

Gore is best-known for her work as a writer on television shows such as Saturday Night Live and Futurama, and her comedic talents certainly shine through in this first effort. While at times the banter is overly constructed, and Sammy's neuroses can become grating at best ("...a sore throat was never just a sore throat--it was much more lively the beginning stages of Ebola, rickets, or wasting disease."), Gore does a good job of creating a protagonist who becomes ever more likeable as the book progresses. Thrown into the mix is a delicious sprinkling of hilarious Blackberry exchanges that round out this clever contemporary political adventure. --Gisele Toueg

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:30 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A mildly hypochondriac but sweet young senatorial aide takes everything mean old Washington can throw at her while giving her all to a possible national program to lower prescription costs for senior citizens.

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