Bad Habits: A Love Story

Cristy C. Road, Author . Soft Skull $15.95 (214p) ISBN 978-1-59376-215-5

Illustrator Road's overwrought debut novel chronicles the life of Carmencita Gutierrez Alonzo, a young bisexual Cuban-American punk rocker living a life of grungy hedonism in New York City, who traffics in head-scratching asides like, “The world as we knew it tried our toxicity, but in our loose pockets we often broke out a malevolent champagne.” The plot is sparse; instead, readers are hit with a barrage of vignettes of bar life, parties, drug binges and mostly ill-fated romances. Far better than the text are Road's illustrations, found on nearly every page. Displaying a cinematic eye for composition, Road adorns her novel with memorable illustrations, including a Miami sky full of gun-shaped clouds, and Carmencita and a lover embracing, a tattoo of Elizabeth Taylor visible on his arm. Less happily, the more than a dozen portraits of Carmencita reinforce the text's navel-gazing aspects. Regardless of whether Carmencita is hopelessly shallow or a wounded soul, Road's drawings deserve a better vehicle. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 08/25/2008
Release date: 09/01/2008
Genre: Fiction
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