Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Don't Waste Your Money! The Dumpster: One Woman's Search for Love

I scanned through other reviews of this book before applying to review it.  I just knew I'd like it.  Yet, I'm so underwhelmed by this book, I'm not sure where to start.  I'll do my best to provide a coherent review.

The book starts out with Nicole preparing for a Valentine's Day party where her latest boyfriend (sex-buddy) will finally (after two whole weeks) meet her friends.

The writing and characterization both seemed more suited to a teen or tween storyline, and even then, I would have been disappointed.  I pushed on, continuing the story, even when I would have preferred to just dump this book in the story's literal dumpster.  Nicole actually meets her One True Love early in the book, and his status is telegraphed so strongly, the author could have just said, "And they lived happily ever after.  The end."  The chapters are short and sentences are shorter.  The ideas behind the writing are good, but the writing itself is choppy and the story is poorly-paced.

Nicole's lack of self-esteem, her chunky physical body and her search for Mr Right all combine to create what should have been a great story.  It's an uncommon and pretty close look at what characters are really thinking and feeling.

Unfortunately, Nicole's emotional age is far less than her chronological age (early 20's), and her friends are right there with her.  One friend, during a little slightly drunken raid on the no-show guest of honor's car, sat on the pavement and peed herself.  More than one of Nicole's friends walk to the bathroom with her hand over her crotch in public restaurants and other places, because she "has to go."  Grown women.  Uh-huh.  Nicole has indiscriminate sex with a merry-go-round of "boyfriends" and has shallow and unfulfilling relationships with her female friends.  Yes, this could have been the story of my life.

I was reaching the close of the story, and wondered when, exactly, Nicole would begin showing growth and change.  One of her friends was married to a nice man, and the other had a fiance, and yet Nicole was still stuck in her destructive personal habits. Nicole had started sleeping with Rick (in chapter 12 of 28), her parents had decided to reboot their relationship (this particular storyline was the most impressive, character-wise), and she had started walking for exercise.  I reached the last chapter.

In less than three pages, twelve paragraphs, Nicole suddenly and magically resolved her self-esteem issues, lost a significant amount of weight, understood the symbolism of the "garden" Rick created for her where the dumpster used to be, and determined that Rick was the guy for her.  The final words of the book are "She knew Rick was the one."

I cannot recommend reading this book, whether you are looking for a light summer read, or looking for insight into the behavior of a sex addict.  It's just not worth your time.

I received a PDF copy of this book from the author's representative, for the purposes of reviewing this book.  I'm truly sorry I couldn't give a more positive review.  The ideas behind the book really deserve a great book to convey them.