CW: emotional cheating

I have no idea how this ended up as a nominee for Best Romance Books of the year. Honestly, it’s one of those intensely misogynistic romance books that somehow someone thought would be a good idea. The fundamental idea of the book (two people who have to help plan a wedding) has nothing wrong with it; it’s the characters that are the issue. How people thought this was “so cute” and “charming” I’ll never understand. Maybe I’m just not in the right mindset for it?

What is it exactly about objectification that people find some fascinating? She tells him to stop staring and he keeps going. Also this line is within the first 2 percent “She was feisty. A little too cute to scare me though.” *barfs into a trash can*. Also what’s the whole deal with “men are trained to do this and men are trained to do that”? How about maybe just being a considerate person. It’s like when people elbow each other and are all, “the ole ball and chain.” Like if it’s such a prison for you to be married WHY ARE YOU? This isn’t the Middle Ages, divorce isn’t against the law. People didn’t suffer in loveless marriages so you could abuse the freedom to divorce people you don’t like. Judas Priest.

We get some charming lines from Josh including but not limited to:

  • “Kristin tried to look mad, but I could tell she took the compliment.”
  • “It had been my experience that all women, even the ones you’re only having sex with, are on some level exhausting.”
  • “Eh, I’ll be all right. Besides, women like that are too much work. The better looking they are, the crazier they are.”

Josh not only objectifies her but about 15 percent into the book we run into this paragraph, “What I had sitting next to me was the “cool girl.” That rare woman who was gorgeous without being nuts. The girl in high school who hung out with all the guys, but she never dated any of them because none of them was mature enough for her. … She could beat you at beer pong and had a football team who would kick your ass for saying one wrong word to her, but she’d never let them because she could handle herself.” Josh might be the one to think it in his head, but we have no assurances that Kristin would take issue with how Josh thinks about her. Like

This whole thing is very icky to me. There’s numerous “I’m not that kind of girl” references through the first quarter of the book (I’m estimating that’s about 75 pages or so). There’s this constant dismissal of women unless you’re the “right” kind of woman. I think there’s this kind of dismissal when it comes to women. Like women who want you to be emotionally mature and want give AND take in a relationship are “work”. Of course it’s going to be fucking work, you cotton-headed idiot.

Maybe it’s because the people I’m attracted to are just so fundamentally different than Josh, I just seriously don’t see why anyone would be with an asshat like him. Anyway… onto Kristin.

Kristin was just as much of a part of internalized misogny. I just have less examples of it. The biggest gripe I have with Kristin is that she’s fundamentally a bad friend. She constantly does things that made Sloan, her best friend of 10 plus years, feel uncomfortable. She is emotionally stunted and has no concept of boundaries. At one point she comes up with the idea for her and Josh to TP her friend’s house (apparently they’ve been friends since FOREVER, so I guess that makes it OK?). She engages in the the most complex mental gymnastics I’ve seen since reading Someday Maybe by Colleen Hoover so that she can convince herself she’s not emotionally cheating on Tyler, the deployed Marine she’s dating (and will be moving in with in 2 weeks time). She constantly wants to talk to Josh instead of Tyler, has to convince herself that if Tyler would just come home everything would go away. She imagines Josh doing push-ups dry humping her, asks Josh to zip up her dress (how exactly did you put this dress on without someone else there?), who knows what else happen before poor Tyler is cut loose. I didn’t stick around to find out. All this happens in the first 23 percent of the book. You understand why I dropped it.

I mean if I have anything nice to say about this book at all, it’s that I really enjoyed the tone of the writing. It’s fun and free and very easy to fall into. That’s partly what allowed me to read as much as I did. But DNF at 23%, I refused to subject myself to anymore of it.