Thursday, May 16, 2013

Book Rant: LOVE, IRRESISTIBLY by Julie James

love irresistibly cover

Two beautiful people with awesome jobs meet and fall in love. But will they be able to juggle both their awesome jobs, gorgeous apartments, and awesome selves when they have Intimacy Issues???

I hesitate to call this a review. It's more of a rant. I will say, first of all, that Love, Irresistibly is better than Julie James' previous book, About That Night, because it does have a plot. -Ish. It doesn't take full advantage of said plot, but it does have one. So that's an improvement!

However, I still had some major issues with it. For example...

  • Love, Irresistibly would not pass the Bechdel Test. To catch y'all up on the Bechdel Test if you haven't heard of it, it's when a book or movie has 1. a female character, who 2. talks with another female character about 3. something other than a man. It's meant measure how fully developed female characters are in media. Now, I will tell you the part that annoyed me about Love, Irresistibly: there is one female character, the heroine. She has friends but THEY ARE ALL MEN. Um, seriously? She is the only female who makes an appearance during the entire course of this book other than waitresses, secretaries, and the heroines from other books in the series who show up to underscore the fact that they're making babies like proper uterus-bearing human beings. I've read public domain books that did a better job of passing the Bechdel Test than this! Dear 21st century authors, if your novel novel is less feminist than something published before women were granted the right to vote, UR DOIN IT WRONG.
  • The characters open champagne bottles with a corkscrew. UGH WHY. And this happens multiple times, so it is NOT just a silly error. I can only conclude that the author, her editor, and every other person who looked at this manuscript between writing and publication has never opened a bottle of champagne, seen a bottle of champagne opened either in person or on TV, or even LOOKED at a bottle of champagne. Keep in mind this is from a woman who wrote a book about someone who sold wine!!! WHAT. THE. FUCK. If the axiom write what you know is true, it is glaringly obvious James knows shit about champagne. Perhaps she should have picked some other celebratory drink. Which is loosely related to my third point...
  • The writing is so lazy, you guys! Like there's no thought put into how best to tell the story. For example, when the hero and heroine first meet, we're infodumped with a lot of back story about the legal case the hero's working on, right before he meets with the heroine to tell her why he needs her help. So instead of telling us, through dialog, about what he's working on, we're instead treated to pages of boring exposition about it. Fun times, fun times.
  • Masculinity--I gave James some slack for how she treated masculinity in A Lot Like Love, but Love, Irresistibly is kind of worse. As in, the guys are always mentioning they have penises. As in, "I'm a guy, I don't do that." ORLLY? I wouldn't have noticed if it happened once but it's a constant throughout the book. At least A Lot Like Love questioned what masculinity was; Love, Irresistibly treats masculinity as an iconoclast notion of sports and father issues with no leeway to femininity or the influence of mothers, sister, girlfriends, or friends on the male characters' lives.
  • In addition to infodumping and exposition, the writing is repetitive repetitive (to quote Don't Make Fun of Renowned Author Dan Brown) and everything is explained multiple times, even the things anyone capable of reading should be able to figure out on their own. I got so annoyed at one point I said, "NO SHIT." Aloud. To a book. With no one else in the room.

If possible, this summary of Love, Irresistibly made me dislike it even more. Not to mention the title is like something that came from a publisher's grab bag of nouns and adverbs and has no bearing on the actual book. But you know, aside from all those things that really annoyed me, it wasn't an awful novel. I did finish it.

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