Romantic Comedy/Contemporary Romance
Publication date: 10/22/2019
Kindle Unlimited: Yes
This is probably one of those cases of "it's not you, it's me"...
Plot Overview: Ava lets her brother's best friend move into her spare room even though they "hate" each other. I say hate in quotes like that because they've both been secretly in love with each other for years. But that doesn't stop them from fighting and pulling stupid pranks on each other. Immaturity and annoyance ensues. (Their immaturity, my annoyance)
Look, I'm fully willing to admit that I'm a grumpy old lady. I'm finding it harder and harder these days to find romantic comedies that don't make me stabby. The sheer number of unfunny rom coms I've read lately leads me to believe that the problem is not with the books, but with me. And while there were some decent things about this book (the hero has a pet hedgehog which is kinda cute, and the dialogue is all pretty solid), I was annoyed more than I was amused while reading. Here's what didn't work for me:
If you're in love with someone you feel like you can't have and it makes you grumpy and hateful, why invite them to live in your spare room? It's not like Ethan (the hero) was jobless, friendless, parentless, and living in his car before she offered to help. He has a job, plenty of friends and family, and could probably stay in a hotel or something until he finds an apartment. I saw no real reason for Ava to offer up her spare room, except that it was a super convenient plot contrivance to bring these two crazy kids together. I have very little patience these days for convenient plot contrivances.
If someone offers you their spare room, you have to tell them you have a pet. That's just good manners. You also have to not treat them like crap, even if their quirks annoy you. The point is, the apartment belongs to Ava. Ethan should've treated her and her stuff with a little more respect, even if some of her demands were odd.
People who are 27 and steal each other's socks and shoe insoles to "get even" with each other for perceived slights? Maybe it would've been funny when I was 27, but I don't think so. It was just ridiculous to me.
The reason neither of these two acted on their feelings for each other for so long was the good old "bro code". But the bro in this scenario couldn't have cared less. He even said, early on in the story, that he realized they had feelings for each other. So really, there was NO reason for these two not to act on their attraction. Again, it just felt like a convenient plot contrivance.
Can we (in fiction) stop blaming our periods for aspects of our usual behavior that we don't like? Ava blamed her period for her grumpiness when in fact, she was always grumpy. There's nothing wrong with that. I don't mind grumpy heroines at all. But she was NOT grumpy because of her period. Grumpy was just her baseline personality.
All in all, this wasn't a terrible read. I've definitely read worse. It just wasn't for me. I guess I'm just looking for more mature characters these days.
Does this book contribute to or help crush the romance stigma?
It's well-written and not stigma-y. But it wasn't my cuppa.