3.5 stars. I'm all over the place about this epistolary novel. There's so much it does well and then there's...
Gena and Finn are self-proclaimed fangi3.5 stars. I'm all over the place about this epistolary novel. There's so much it does well and then there's...
Gena and Finn are self-proclaimed fangirls who bond via email and text over their love for the show "Up Below." (Fairly obviously based on the "Supernatural" fandom.) Everything that has to do with fandom and internet friendships in the story is utterly true to life and just about perfect. Sincere, heartfelt, utterly convincing -- I literally cried over a character from an fictional show based on a show I don't like.
I especially loved that Gena's fanfiction (Finn does fanart) is not sexual in nature. Not because there's anything wrong with slash or with shipping, but because of the stereotype that all fanfiction is erotica. It's great to see other aspects represented.
But it's a really complicated story. Finn is out of work and ambivalent about her boyfriend. Gena is mentally ill. Gena and Finn are (view spoiler)[ maybe in love (hide spoiler)]. None of these plot points were resolved satisfactorily. I understand that life is complicated and messy, but that's why I read fiction; I need some kind of closure. If you go into the story with expectations based on the title, you'll be especially disappointed.
Even with its limitations, I'd recommend this to those who enjoying reading about the fandom experience. But I can't quite put it up there with How to Repair a Mechanical Heart or Fangirl.
(Review based on an e-arc provided by NetGalley)["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
3.5 stars. I've enjoyed previous Anders books as over-the-top angst fests, in the classic style epitomiz(reviewed from an e-arc provided by NetGalley)
3.5 stars. I've enjoyed previous Anders books as over-the-top angst fests, in the classic style epitomized by Harlequin Presents. A Ruthless Proposition has many of the typical elements of such a story -- astonishingly cruel hero, misunderstood heroine, boss/assistant fling, unexpected pregnancy, deep hurting -- but it also has more depth and more realistic character arcs. The result shows the author's growth as a writer, though it might not be quite as much unalloyed fun. ...more
If you've read any of Stuart's "Ice" series, you know pretty much what to expect here. Ruthless hero, in(Reviewed from an e-arc provided by NetGalley)
If you've read any of Stuart's "Ice" series, you know pretty much what to expect here. Ruthless hero, innocent but feisty heroine who steals his heart very much against his will, lots of bad guys doing bad things. There's a particularly sad tinge to this story though, because the heroine loses so much.
The "white sheep" of a family of powerful racketeers, Jenny Parker tries to serve justice and help the helpless as a lawyer. But she finds herself unexpectedly on the wrong side when she tries to protect her younger brother from what she's sure is an innocent mistake. The other side is Matthew Ryder, a member of the super secret "Committee" (American branch) who has no compunctions about doing anything he has to do to get information out of Jenny... or has he?
As often happens in Stuart's books, the line between good and evil can get so thin as to disappear. As the heroine of Ice Storm once thought about, "In their life there was no such thing as good guys and bag guys. He was still a monster. He was simply the same kind of monster she was." Be warned: Ryder is not just your standard romance asshole; he literally tortures Jenny to get information out of her. Readers may or may not feel he's adequately redeemed for this. (Though I actually think, in Stuart's strongest books, redemption is pretty much besides the point.)
I enjoyed this, yet didn't feel there was anything special about it to make it rise above its formula. Since it's one of my favorite formulas, I didn't mind that much. But I would have liked to see a bond between the main characters based on more than sexual attraction with a huge dollop of romance style Stockholm Syndrome (made even more pronounced by Jenny's overall suffering) and also fewer repetitions of thoughts/ideas. ...more