Graeme Simsion * St. Martin’s Press * May 2, 2017 * 320 Pages
Adam Sharp is in a ho-hum relationship with Claire, his live-in girlfriend for over a decade. He’s doing okay, but he’s also bored, overweight, and feeling lonely. Life gets a little brighter, though, when Adam’s ex-lover, famous actress Angelina Brown, sends him an email with just one little word: hi. Suddenly Adam doesn’t feel so glum. As Claire works longer hours at her hectic job, Adam finds himself more and more captivated by Angelina. He can’t help but wonder what his life would have been like had he just had the cojones to lock it down with her way back when. Lucky for him, he might get a second chance to see what could have been.
Oh dear Lord, I hated this book. It’s one of the worst books I’ve read in a while. Don’t get me wrong: the writing is fine, and I have to admit that I was always curious to know what was going to happen next. But I loathed the main female character. (MINOR SPOILER ALERT…) I don’t want to give the story away, but Adam’s interactions with this woman later on in the novel are beyond annoying and madonna-whore cliche: “Oh, Adam, I’m just so nervous in front of you…EXCEPT WHEN I’M RIDING YOU REVERSE COWGIRL WHILE MAKING EYE CONTACT WITH THIS OTHER DUDE WHO IS WATCHING US HAVE CRAZY WILD PERFECTO SEX!!!” I mean, what?! And it goes on like this for hundreds of pages.
The shy little sex kitten angle is shallow and lazy. Women are sexual creatures, we are. But we can be sexual creatures who have brains and who also know who we are and what we want. I hated that some of the female characters in this book were so dumb and fake innocent and always TAKEN WITH THEIR MEN, SWOON. Ugh. Just, no.
And the men are ridiculous, too, by the way–always in complete emotional control and quick with the cool one-liners. Even when they’re scoundrels, somehow they come off as saints. It’s nauseating. I think I may have legit pulled my eye muscle after all the involuntary eye-rolls I experienced.
I’ve never read any of this author’s other books, but I know that The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect were bestsellers. I can accept that maybe Graeme Simsion has a huge following by a target audience who loves his work…but yikes, I am not a part of that group. My two cents: do yourself a solid, and skip the hell out of this one.
Advanced Reader Copy provided through Net Galley.