I very much enjoyed this book. I find most of the complaints entirely valid -- the plot was predictable, it was designed to be a snot-fest from the ge...moreI very much enjoyed this book. I find most of the complaints entirely valid -- the plot was predictable, it was designed to be a snot-fest from the get -go, the idea that life as a quad is worthless, etc. -- but I loved it anyway. It was tremendously engaging, the writing excellent and the characters were wonderful without being caricatures. I just loved it, and yep, sobbed like a baby at the end. Oh well. (less)
Oh dear. I am so disappointed in this book. What a BUMMER, because I think Moriarty is so talented. The main issue here was that all of the characters...moreOh dear. I am so disappointed in this book. What a BUMMER, because I think Moriarty is so talented. The main issue here was that all of the characters were genuinely awful people. Awful. And if you're going to have awful characters, you have to make the story compelling enough to move them along (Gone Girl comes to mind) and that didn't happen here. The story was almost compelling, but instead, it was one sucker-punch of sadness and disgust after another. BOOM! This person's a jerk and they did this jerky thing. BOOM! This other person had an opportunity NOT to be a jerk, but they didn't take it, so here! Have some sadness. BOOM!
It make me feel a little yucky and that bums me out. (less)
I . . okay, this was the oddest book I have ever read, legitimately, and I have read a lot of odd books. But let me j...moreI'm sorry. I'm sorry! I'm SORRY.
I . . okay, this was the oddest book I have ever read, legitimately, and I have read a lot of odd books. But let me just enumerate the things that make me twitch:
1) Daddy. HE MAKES HER CALL HIM DADDY IN THE SACK. NOPE. NOPE. NOPE. NOPE. NOPE, LET ME THINK ABOUT THAT AGAIN, NOPE.
2) I suspect Kristin Ashley is, uh, tremendously sheltered when it comes to race. Black people are "homeys" and I'm fairly certain she had the black maintenance guy speak in . . . in . . . ebonics. The black characters (and there are more than you'd expect!) are caricatures. I . . . KRISTIN. Unshelter yourself. HOMEYS. HOMEYS. HOMEYS. HOMEYS, OH MY GOD, HOMEYS. I want to die for her, and also smack her in the face. Quit being stupid, Kristin.
3) Multiple-page descriptions of sumptuous real estate. This is not real estate porn, this is erotica. I don't want to know how long the hallways are or what kind of lacquered tile he used. Paint me a picture, then get out. PAGES of this. Pages of things like, "The hallway then turned to two bathrooms, one across the hall from the other. The moulding was white and looked rich." SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP. MOULDING NOT RELEVANT.
4) Punctuation is optional! Who knew? Hire a copy editor, Kristin! Or should I call you Mommy? (KILL ME NOWWWW)
5) Knight. Knight requires a fuckin' TRANSLATOR (see what I did there?). He drops his r's, uses 'fuck' every other word, and I literally had to read every paragraph of his dialogue twice, maybe three times. What? What?
6) He owns a brothel. This is taken in stride, because he's rich and good in the sack and also, Anya ends up sort of working for him with her spa dream (I can't even with this part) and I keep thinking when the government SEIZES HIS OPERATION and he ends up in prison, she's going to be waxing at the nail salon near Smashburger.
7) The hottest nightclub in . . . Denver. Does Denver have a big club scene? DENVER.
8) She keeps having Knight say he isn't into kink. Hey, heads up! Power play, safe words, spanking. That's kink. (less)
First, a word about the author and the process. Winn Scotch self-published this, and one of the reasons she did so was to be able to set her own price...moreFirst, a word about the author and the process. Winn Scotch self-published this, and one of the reasons she did so was to be able to set her own price to make it affordable for readers. It is tempting to see this as disingenuous, because another benefit to self-publishing is that she doesn't have to pay much overhead to anyone, and that, too, might be true. However, I've been friendly with AWS for a few years now, and have read her blogs/Q&As/seen her interact with people on Twitter and elsewhere and the price decision just . . . fits her. You'd be hard-pressed to find a more gracious person in terms of giving back to her readers and to the writing community. She's generous with advice to new writers, is incredibly down-to-earth and just . . . she's nice. That sticks with me, both as a reader and a person, and as a result, I'll always be rooting for her.
All that being said, this book was a quick, enjoyable read, which was exactly what I wanted. I enjoyed it and read it in record time, which usually means I'm having fun. I can see, quite easily, how the film rights got picked up so easily -- you can practically see Ginnifer Goodwin in her adorable little pixie playing Willa and some bland, likable dude playing Shawn and shit, I'm imagining that guy from Something Borrowed, and no, you can't just steal the cast of that movie, Jonna. I did get frustrated with Willa at times -- her apathy was just SO IRRITATING. I mean, sometimes she didn't do ANYTHING, which is, I imagine, the point. It's who she is, and how she got there, but oh my God, sometimes I wanted to jump in the book, take her by her hair and just say listen, lady. Open your MOUTH. (Again, that's the ... point, so I think it was done well.) I wished for a little more background on Theo/Willa to make their relationship a little more dimensional to counterpoint the detail we got about Shilla, if only to make the ending a little more satisfying.
The brightest spot, for me, was Willa's family -- her father, mother, brother and sister are a set to rival Marian Keyes' Walsh sisters (and their parents) and frankly, I am hoping for a spinoff on each of them, for the potential is pretty rich. They're a hoot, all of them, truly, and even if the rest of the book sucked (and it didn't), it would be worth it for them alone.
So there you have it. A good book written by someone who strikes me as a genuinely good person. Win.
*Also, it's $2.99 on Amazon. $3. Pretty sure I have that in quarters in my couch cushions right now. (less)
This was the kind of YA I dislike -- it was written exactly to its targeted demographic, never challenges, and it never gets below the surface. Cather...moreThis was the kind of YA I dislike -- it was written exactly to its targeted demographic, never challenges, and it never gets below the surface. Cather's family is a mess -- her father is bipolar, Wren is a messy alcoholic and her mother is emotionally unavailable and abandoned them when they were very young. But somehow, none of that really matters beyond some superficial plot points. Wren goes home every month and goes to AA! Her mom just vanishes after a lot of attempts to reconnect with the girls! Their father, who needed looking after their entire life is just FIXED! Cather, who was emotionally unavailable and completely boring as hell (sorry, Cath), found a boy to love her for who she is, except that who is kind of a bitch and really boring, even on the inside. OH BOY, it was all fixed with . . . a boyfriend. Wren is suddenly NOT an alcoholic anymore.
We're never given a lot of insight into the messiest bits, where all the growth happens. The one bright spot for me was Reagan. I thought she was the kind of person I'd like to read about, frankly. Cath was just . . . not there, and Rowell never let me get there. She kept it too smooth and easy. Cather made a lot of mistakes, and she never truly paid for any of them.
I had high hopes, and I wanted to be impressed, and I wasn't. The fanfic parts were actually far better than the real story. She should have written that.(less)