Saturday, January 9, 2016

Book: A Mess of Reason by A. Wilding Wells

I received a digital copy of this book via Netgalley for the purposes of providing a review.

A Mess of Reason got off to a great start, storywise. Our two protagonists, Tess Harlow and Scout Steele, best friends since high school, are in love with each other. They just haven't bothered to tell each other. Ever. They've said "I love you" but never clarified it out loud. I am a hardcore friends-to-lovers fan, so this seemed tailor-made for my reading interests.

The foundation of their deep friendship was well laid. Once they started exploring their feelings for each other - still without actually say "I'm in love with you" to each other - the book takes a dive for me, though.

A bit past the halfway mark, I made a note that I was sick of the whole we can't/we won't/but I want to/we can't dance. Each character was being an asshole in his or her own way, and the inner monologues were just too much: hyperbolic stars and hearts and flowers and UGH. Even the dude. Just no.

Things come to a head soon after that when the day of the wedding actually comes. Stuff happens and Scout takes an angry Tess away. He's described as driving down the highway with her in his lap. I noped out at that point and couldn't recapture any connection to the story.

Tess kept wanting to get with Scout - have sex - but without sharing what her issue was. And I get it - it's a biggie - but gods, woman, he's your best frakking friend. I got so tired of her inner monologue about that.

Scout kept pushing Tess too hard, too fast, and setting boundaries they quickly ran right over with a bulldozer. He was bossy as all get-out, but no follow-through.

Tess overhears something and takes it completely out of context, but does she bother to actually talk to her "best friend" about what she heard? Of course not. Good cow, the communication issues in this relationship. They're only talking with their genitalia apparently, and their genitalia aren't fluent in plain English.

I noped out even harder when Scout ended up in the hospital after an accident and NO ONE BOTHERED TO TELL TESS. Um, what?

I finished reading it anyway, but A Mess of Reason wasn't a winner for me. By the end of it, I was just so frakking glad it was over, and I went to find my favorite f-to-l fanfic to fix the bad taste in my brain. Gah.

Aside from my issues with the story, there were numerous missing words - mostly articles, a few pronouns - frequently enough to keep pulling me out of the story. Sloppy editing on someone's part, detracting even further from my enjoyment of the book. I know those things don't matter for some people, but they do for me.

Your mileage may vary, obviously.