Monday, July 31, 2017

Book Review: The Dating Bender by Christina Julian

Here I am, on my knees in front of the Trevi Fountain, hoping like hell the legend is true. That the fountain gives you solace and love by a mere toss of a coin.

Why am I here, exactly? Let's see...

It started with my parents telling me to get married. Of course, being the good Catholic girl I am, I did.

Needless to say, that marriage nosedived, and my parents weren't exactly happy about it.

Newly ditched and shamefully disowned, I decided to follow the advice of Babs, a tart-of-a-mentor, who offered me a job in Colorado.

Her advice? Sex...and lots of it.

The temptation of freedom, to do whatever--whoever--I wanted was too damn strong for me to say no.

And that's how it all started. The men, the sex, the journey...

The dating bender.

Because everybody deserves a do-over.


You know how when you're driving down the road and you see an accident off to the side and you tell yourself not to be one of those annoying rubberneckers and then you find yourself looking anyway as you drive past? That accident is this book for me. I knew I shouldn't finish it but I'm no quitter and I just had to see if it could redeem itself. To put it nicely, it did not. This review is going to be rough and I'm going to try super hard to behave and be constructive with my criticism. But it will be difficult.

I was approached by someone to read this book ... it wasn't the author and I'm not entirely sure who she was ... the author's rep or a PR rep or something. Anyway, I was intrigued when I first read the blurb and I wanted to know more. But I'm going to be super honest right now and tell you I don't know where in the blue bloody blazes this blurb has come from because it doesn't even sound like the main character, Samantha and part of it doesn't go with the book. As I was getting this review together, I reread the blurb and what the hell ... I had to double check that I had the right book info because it did not match up to the book ... I mean seriously, W.T.F. Let's go to the 3rd sentence in this blurb ... it talks about the parents telling Samantha she needed to get married ... um ... in the book, it is made VERY clear in the VERY beginning that Samantha is getting married to ESCAPE her parents. That is really said quite a few times and I remember zero times that her parents were on her ass to get married. I could be wrong. Maybe her parents harped on her over and over but all I remember is the parents being uncaring douchecanoes and telling her they were going to disown her if she didn't do exactly what they wanted.

So she goes from that super healthy relationship with her parents saying ugly things to her constantly and immediately jumps into a super healthy marriage with a dude that I don't even think she knew well. Which would be fine, IF THAT WAS EXPLAINED. She seemed in love with him and totally sure about marrying him. Sheldon seemed like a nice dude and then he stops talking to her for months and treats her horribly? I mean come on. Unless the dude you're marrying is a sociopath, they wouldn't change THAT much after you get married. Yes, people change after they get comfortable in a relationship but to pull the stuff that this donkey, Sheldon, did? No. I doubt it. But then again, Samantha and Sheldon barely had a relationship at all. Not that you get the chance to find out that they didn't have a relationship with the way this book's timeline jumps around.

That's another thing. A distinguishable timeline is absolutely non-existent with this book. The author skips days, weeks and even months. And then the reasoning for the jumps from the main character are as flimsy as her marriage. There needs to be a REASON to skip 6 months. Hell, there should be a reason to skip even a week. Readers don't want stuff skipped over unless there is a payoff in the end from that skip. If the story is enriched by the skip, I'll take that. I'll even take it if the character slipped on her brother's cousin's dog's uncle's hat and she was in a coma for a month because she landed on a stack of Harry Potter books and knocked her head on a Monopoly box. I don't care what the darn reason is, just give one the readers a reason that does justice to the storyline. 

This is the last thing I'm going to say and then I'll get off my soap box and the lovers of this book can take a moment to go grab their voodoo dolls and name them after me ... this main character ... Samantha ... I'm 98% sure she has never had an original thought in her entire life. She quotes magazine articles and tv shows like they are the damn bible and she worships them at an alter in her garage. I don't know if Samantha spouting off every five seconds what some nobody wrote on the pages of Cosmo or some other nonsense magazine is supposed to be endearing but it wasn't. It was irritating. It made me want to light my Kindle on fire. 

I don't know why this book has enraged me so much. Maybe it's because the time I invested in what I thought would be a good book ... but this isn't the first time ... maybe it was the relationships or the lack of entertainment I found in the book. Who knows. It is probably a combination of things. I should ask someone at Cosmo why I didn't like this book. Or write in to Dr. Oz. What am I thinking, Oprah probably knows ... I bet she'd tell me why I didn't like this book and why I prefer the outside of the TicTac to the inside.

*I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *

Available: August 22nd, 2017

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