Please excuse typos and any wording that feels clunky and weird, I am having a problem with WordPress where I am not able to go back in and edit a sentence with out it highlighting and ultimately deleting the other words around it. So this has been an exercise in free-writing
I hate the phrase “guilty pleasure”. I never feel guilty about liking something. Sonny and Cher? Crank that shit up, I’m going to sing it loudly and proudly (and if enough wine is involved I will sing both parts as Sonny and Cher)! Realty t.v.? Shas of Sunset all day, Give me those beautiful garbage angels! Soap Operas? Please Days of our Lives is where I learned the art of shipping (Bo and Hope forever y’all). There is too many shitty things in the world to feel guilty for feeling joy. I say this because I don’t want anyone to think I am judging you for liking the book (or similar books) I’m about to discuss. Just because I don’t like it doesn’t mean I think there is wrong with anyone who does. With that said, let’s go!
Recently I was in bed sick, I decided I should read a book. I have a to be read list longer then my arm, obviously the logical answer is get on Kindle Unlimited and borrow a new book. I wanted to find something silly and easy to read I wasn’t too invested in. I found this book, read the synopsis. I thought to myself “Hmm, I to am a 30 something introvert that needs to get out more, I think I can relate to this character”. It had 750 reviews on Amazon, 80% of them are 4 and 5 stars. It also is a trilogy, so I figured I’d be in for a good time, (I’m not going to post the title, being a writer myself I feel like I’m shit talking a co worker. I don’t like doing bad reviews because of my above guilty pleasure reasons) I was wrong. I ended up only reading 30% before just returning it.
I was able to suspend some disbelief, like a 32 year old who had never actually been on a date, and has lived in her parent’s basement for 10 years. I was able to look past the incredibly predictable plot, because that’s what I wanted something easy. It was the main character I had a problem with. She worked at a job she hated for 10 years at a software company. She thinks its a software company, she doesn’t actually know what they do. For 10 years she never found out what they actually do? She constantly talks about what gross nerds she works with, how disgusting they all are. She always talks about how shallow her only friend in the marketing department is, while judging everyone she works with. She decides that she wants to improve herself, move out of her parents house (sometimes. One page she talks about needing to move out and two pages later she doesn’t need to). Her plan for improvement is to get a new wardrobe and wear makeup. Somehow she starts to become a worse person during her “improvement”. She really gets into her “improvement” when her company hires a hot guy, that she was pretty sure he was gay because he likes gossip. But wait, he can’t be gay because he likes sports, so GAME ON!
I feel like this is an incredibly lazy writing with a real lack of knowledge and research. Its like the author just every stereotype of a “nerd” and “introvert” and smashed them into one book. She clearly had no thought to the bigger picture, was it too hard to research a bit about the technology industry and come up with a fake company to make it feel real? Did the main character’s personal growth have to be her make over and become worse of a person and employee? The entire thing felt very hacky and contrived. I tried to give the book some time and see if she had some growth, but no she literally is never once held responsible for her actions, she constantly screws off at work but because she bakes really good cupcakes people over-look it. She’s generally terrible to her family, her “bratty” little sister especially. But don’t worry, they bond over buying makeup. She refuses to pay rent to her parents, refuses to give up the basement so her sister who just got out of school can stay in there, despite having a stable job for the last 10 years. She acknowledges that she doesn’t pay rent, and still feels entitled to live there rent free. Now granted I only read 40% of the book before I gave up, maybe things will change but based off the predictability of it all I don’t think it will. I don’t think the writer sees the problem with her characters and plot. I hated these one dimensional characters so much that I couldn’t even stick it out to the end, which I usually do just to give it a fair shot (hello all 5 Twilight books).
That is the thing that baffles me, all those 4 and 5 star reviews. I mean, people wrote incredibly long detailed reviews praising this book. Honesty time, this isn’t the first time this has happened to me, see Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey. I read the entire series of both, because so many people I know loved them and it just left me confused. It’s like there is a pass to be badly written because of the genre of romance or chick lit. We can have romance and chick lit with good strong characters, and a well driven plot, they exist I’ve seen them. I don’t know, maybe its me. Maybe I need to relax and just let it be, but for some reason this book really struck a nerve with me.