Alison's Reviews > One Small Thing

One Small Thing by Piper Vaughn
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Jul 20, 12

bookshelves: 2012, fiction, male-male-romance, romance
Read in July, 2012

** spoiler alert ** Let me get this out of the way. For the most part, I liked this book. I thought Rue was cute (mostly), I thought Erik was adorable, and I felt that Alice was a great maguffin to get them together.

HOWEVER, I felt that the author made a few missteps that really kept me from completely enjoying this read properly.

1) Erik is introduced as having serious anxiety issues. He is asked to become a many to a NEWBORN baby, of which he has NO EXPERIENCE with, and suddenly, his anxiety isn't an issue, at least not with her.

REALLY? This guy that has to sit in a chair so he can rub his fingers over the arm obsessively, must place things in an EXACT position or he freaks out, who has to put Star Wars on the TV to calm himself down- this guy is just suddenly okay with a BABY?

It felt to me like the anxiety issue was there so that in the "black moment" of the story, Erik could have a GIANT freak out, regressing back to who he was before Alice and Rue came into his life.

Basically, I felt like the anxiety issue was dealt with in a realistic way, doing a disservice to people who actually have anxiety issues.

2) How much money is Rue making that he's struggling but can find an extra $600 a month to pay for a babysitter? He's attending school, which costs money, he pays for an apartment, he apparently has a car (which means the assorted costs) and his only job is working at a bar.

Honestly? I am not buying it. Either he's making a TON of money at the bar, or the author hasn't REALLY thought this one through. I found it weird that sometimes we got specific money values but other times, it was all hand waved away.

Look, if a major part of your story is that there are money issues, then you need to really address them in your work, otherwise, why make it a major plot point?

3) Rue, baby, you are a snob. You kind of get over it, but you are a snob. It's the Age of the Geek, baby, and it's frustrating and difficult to like you when you are so dismissive re: Erik's love of all things geeky.

4) Where's the colic? Where's the midnight fever and the emergency ER run? Where is all the built in drama that comes with a new baby that would have created any number of natural plot devices to get Erik and Rue together. I wanted more with the baby, more interactions that were less perfect than what we got. I can only hope that my baby will be as perfect and trouble free as Alice in real life, but man, did I want some real DRAMA with Alice in this novel.

5) I could not believe that Erik had NO ANXIETY issues when he finally starts having sex with Rue. COULD NOT BELIEVE IT. Again, this comes back to my problems with the portrayal of Erik's anxiety issues.

6) Erik's portrayal as a character is really inconsistent. On the physical side, we're expected to believe that he NEVER goes outside, apparently doesn't work out or exercise, only eats crap, and YET still has a six pack (as it's referred to on one page) and then it's retconned a bit later to say that while he doesn't actually have a six-pack, he's pretty close and his body is hot.

REALLY? No, I don't think so.

And then, we've got anxiety!Erik when we're in his POV, but when we see Erik from RUE'S POV, he's much more confidant. He's able to be the physical aggressor after a certain point- I don't understand how that happened. How did anxious!Erik and virgin!Erik suddenly become alpha!Erik? If there was a progression, then it wasn't clear to me.

All in all, I didn't really buy any of it and it wasn't the kind of disbelief that's fun and what I was expecting. It was the kind of annoying handwaving that you end up asking questions like "But what about…?" and "But didn't he just..?" through the whole thing. It felt like the kind of story where the authors were asking you to just forgive them for not researching or not making it realistic enough, until they made it super realistic, which just made the unrealistic stuff stand out even more.

On the one hand, this was a cute story. I did like the characters and I felt that the premise was fun and worth checking out. However, the execution left much (IMHO) to be desired and I felt like it really did a disservice to the characters.
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