Saturday, February 19, 2011

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥: Sex, Lies, and Soybeans by Rick Goeld

Sex, Lies, and Soybeans
Rick Goeld

Page Count: 272
Release Date: 1 October, 2010
Publisher: self-published
Source: Complimentary copy provided by author, via LibraryThing, in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you!)

Sex, Lies and Soybeans is a sexy techno-romp... with a message.

It takes place in a dystopian future where a variety of diseases have decimated most types of food animals. Soy has become the "go to" crop for protein, and the Soy Industry has become the world's most powerful food consortium. Their long-term goal: dominate the worldwide food market. Their interim goal: saturate the American fast food market. The influential state of Texas is their first target. Lobbyists introduce legislation that would allow the Soy Industry to dominate the Texas fast food market.

But Victoria Blackburn, Chairman of the Texas State Senate's Food and Drug Committee, blocks the legislation. Soy Industry attempts to influence her are unsuccessful, so Plan B is devised: Penetrate her family and twist a few arms—or worse—to change the Senator's mind. Her brother, William, a slacker with an overactive sex drive, is identified as the "weak link" in the family. Sex, Lies, and Soybeans is fast-paced entertainment that mixes outrageous sex, deception, technology, and screeching plot twists with a serious message: What will happen if we become too dependent on genetically-engineered food?

What Stephanie Thought:
Sex, Lies, and Soybeans is a novel about manipulation. Manipulation of humans by technology, genetically-enhanced food, and of course, sex. Set in a quasi-dystopian era where meat is scarce as a hen's tooth and paper is unheard of (that frighteningly doesn't seem too far from today), Rick Goeld uses human deception and error to convey an important message about risky fast-food choices.

Charles Ray is just a soy advocate. He wants soy to dominate, and he wants it bad. He's screwing his assistant, "Manta Ray" (haha, pun intended) who characters are led into thinking is his sister (yeah, ew), who's screwing uber-nerd, Blackie. Then there is the roadblock in Charles's ambitions: Victoria Blackburn, Blackie's older sister, who coincidentally is also screwing her assistant... as well as Manta (obviously, there's no penetration). So as you can tell, there is a lot of sex, sex at night, sex standing up, sex between women in a senator's office, going on. Charles thinks he can manipulate Victoria by kidnapping her, because after all, it's her vetoing vote that counts. But his plan does not go so swell because Blackie is clever enough to figure out his ploys before Victoria is severely harmed (though practically raped, would be another story).

The plot is weak and far-fetched, but the Goeld's writing style is easy. And his hidden, well-portrayed message is clear: the human obsession to have the latest and the trendiest can lead to demise. The soybeans (that eventually kill Charles) could represent trans fats. Aspartame. Palm oils.

I'm having a really hard time giving this book a definite rating. I enjoyed it as a quick read; it took me only about an hour and a half to complete. But I'm not sure if I would recommend it. I liked it, but it wasn't particularly good. Does that even make sense?  I want to give it ♥♥♥♥ because it is undeliverable (in terms of sharing with friends or commending as a novel), but I also want to give it ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ because of how well I read it. I can't even compromise because NO I wouldn't recommend it, and YES I would mind re-reading. I'm just giving it ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ but it actually means ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ which is really really weird and does not mean fifteen hearts (dear God no).

In essence, Sex, Lies, and Soybeans is a love story. An extremely sexified (is that a word? Well, it is now) love story that warns the reader of what we has flawed human beings, will go to just to have our ways.

Stephanie Loves: "How can you mend a broken heart?
The words, the title of a song by the Bee Gees, had been looping through Blackie's consciousness for days. He'd been wandering up and down sidewalks, staring at strangers, searching—no point denying it—the face of his girlfriend. Or ex-girlfriend."

Radical Rating: 
7 hearts: Not without flaws, but overall enjoyable. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥