My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Greer Bennett wants college to be a fresh starts for her. Having been a bit of a chubby, overlooked girl in high school, she sees it as an opportunity to be a whole new person. After meeting John Cunningham, her straight edge, naive out look on like is thrown for a loop.
There is a lot needed to be said about this book. I wanted to like this book more than I can actually say, and I read all the way through hoping it out get better, which it didn’t. I kept waiting for something to actually happen , I don’t know how to explain that. I mean, the book seemed to be written as an attempt at one of those Friday night teen dramas that used to air on Fox or something, but it didn’t work in the book setting. Perhaps with the right background music and pretty actors, this story, exactly as it is, would have worked. It felt like an attempt to cross Freaks and Geeks and Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist , and it didn’t succeed. A big part of what drew me into the book was the mention of pop culture in the synopsis. A few mentions of popular books and movies, and a few musical artist doesn’t really hit the “pop culture” nail on the head.
Greer, as a character, was completely unlikable to me. She was overly shallow and skanky. I mean, the whole book was laced with her essentially being attached to John and making out with other guys, plus, she would get mad at him for even getting a phone call from his ex-girlfriend. I mean, that is a bad thing, but her guilt over the situations she got herself into was almost non existent. I get that when you’re in college you want to explore the world and yourself and, you know, the whole self-discovery thing, but you don’t get attached to someone right off the bat if you want to do that. Plus her attitude towards her dorm mate, Molly, was completely unnecessary. She would refer to Molly as a “nightmare” and a bad roommate, but it really sounded like Greer was in need of a reality check. The dorm mate didn’t do a damn thing to anybody.
There was a big emphasis made on the dorm mate at the beginning and she was mentioned here and there, but I felt like with the lack of the dorm mate in the actually bulk of the story, it wasn’t worth building up who she was, or really even having scenes with her. She felt more like a filler than anything else.
The relationship between John and Greer was forced, at best. It wasn’t believable in the slightest. Yes, she thinks he’s “cute” but they had so little in common. I understand that he was her first boyfriend but the back and forth, the mistrust, and all of that seemed more like something to fill 200 pages than to make an actual story. This is where the feeling of Freaks and Geeks comes in. It felt like the author was attempting for a very “Lindsay and Nick” type of relationship, but it fell flat.
The other side of that is Greer’s inability to have an orgasm, a la Nick and Norah . While every woman experiences this at some point, and it is mentioned in the blurb, it didn’t make sense. I mean, not in the way Greer handled it. There was a big to-do about it after her and John’s first time, but then it was a forced mention through out the story.
The editing and formatting issues were the icing on the cake. As a self-published author, I understand that it’s hard to find someone to help you edit, or beta read, but friends could have gotten involved or something. Heck reading back to yourself helps a lot. There are free formatting programs out there as well. I don’t like leaning on “oh they’re self published” as an excuse to not take the time with your book that it needs. I did that, and my book suffered, so I recently had to re-release my book because it was just bad. So I don’t think that any self-published author should let their book lack in the editing and formatting department. We have to work 10 times harder to make a book readable and well put together because we do it all ourselves.
All in all, I picked up this book because I wanted to read it, but I was extremely disappointed.