wow. a lot of people on here did not like this book. but i did. what can account for this?
1) i have a rarefied sense of humor, and all the haters are just mouthbreathers who didn’t get it.
2) i myself am the mouthbreather and all the haters have a collective rarified sense of humor, so i don’t get why this is garbage
3) the people who are critical of this are probably actually fans of the new adult genre, and it’s hard for some people to see the things they love get made fun of.
i suspect it’s a little bit of two and a little bit of three.
i’ve only read the one new adult book, Beautiful Disaster, for my book club, but i have read many many reviews of new adult titles, and i also read Fifty Shades of Grey, which is also addressed in this parody. so while i am not the new adult audience, and i don’t have as much familiarity with the genre as some, i feel like i understand it. i get the appeal, and while it is not my kind of thing, i have read enough by people who love it and people who are critical of it to have a moderately well-informed opinion.
and my opinion?? this book is fucking hilarious.
any book with this many goodreads in-jokes about GR policy and review culture and GIF-overloads and also a live, purple sparkly unicorn has got my undivided attention.
does the humor get broad at times?? you bet your sweet smacked ass it does. this book is a complete range of comedic stylings from stupid slapstick lowbrow humor to pretty sly commentary on the stereotypical roles of gender and race in romance novels, celebrity culture and temper tantrums.
is the book kind of a mess, playing for laughs sometimes at the expense of a cohesive narrative? yeah, naturally. this is a parody, this is pastiche. and the object of its poking is a genre that is itself rife with continuity difficulties.
see, new adult is a genre in which authors publish books sometimes as often as every couple of months. this fever for new adult, like any trending genre, will die out quickly and irrevocably, but for now, the iron is hot, and the authors are striking, and that’s fantastic for the fans – to have this much new material constantly at the ready. but it means that some attention to detail must necessarily be sacrificed. like, say, editing. and when you write a parody of something that is itself kind of a mess, the result is going to be a mess. it’s longer than it needs to be, and loses momentum towards the end, and a lot of it is silly, and repetitive. but it does do a really good job of getting all meta- on itself, addressing its own lack of continuity, exposition shortcuts, character inconsistencies, genre tropes, as well as getting some good cheap laughs out of fanfic, social media addiction, and goodreads. so my five star rating isn’t because it is some masterwork of great literature that everyone should read because it really speaks to the human condition and blah blah blah. i gave it five
stars cats because it made me laugh. not an allie brosh lol-laugh, but a head-laugh. an appreciative laugh.
i might play with this review a little more in the coming days, but right now it is christmas eve, and i have some serious wrapping ahead of me. so for now, i will just leave you with a couple of my favorite quotes:
–I may knock Enid, but I wish I had more of her confidence. I’d totally deploy it without looking like such a whore.
–I should probably tell you this now,” I say apologetically. “I’m a complete grammar geek, even though my actions suggest that my intellect is severely questionable.”
–“But he’s nice to me,” I point out. “It makes me feel…superior to other women. Which is, ultimately, what I think I really want.”
–“God damn my unpredictably violent and possessive tendencies.” His voice cracks. “Damn them to hell.”
–One of the things I love most about Hunter is his ability to hint at his dark past without actually revealing what it is. It lulls me into a false sense of security about our future together.
–I love it when Archer talks like Chaucer. It’s so hot. If only he was less normal, and more emotionally damaged.
–“Please tell me you’ve heard of Rabies Maddox.”
“Er… should I have?
“It would be really weird if you hadn’t…The whole campus is unconvincingly preoccupied with his reputation.”
–I’m slightly concerned that you’re nineteen and you’ve never had an orgasm. If you were ugly or something, I’d get it, but you’re at that convenient level of attractiveness between unthreatening and aspirational.”
–“Don’t worry,” he whispers.
I love that you’re a virgin. It means I can tell you a bunch of stuff is normal when it’s actually a grave cause for concern.”