Sparkling water fanatic. Lover of random crap. Goodreads member curious to see if the grass really is greener on the other side.
"Time's up, Grace. Are you in or out?"
(here's the place where the review gets bumped down because I have an image and even when I resize it on BL, it still doesn't fit, no matter how tiny I make it)
Doesn't quite have the same ring as "Pretty Woman," does it?
2.75 stars. Consider Unsticky to be 1 part Chick Lit and 2 parts dramatic Contemporary Romance. Confused yet? I would have sworn this was straight chick lit...up until it wasn't. And I wasn't a fan of that weird transition. Right down to the last 100 pages, I was sure I would end up going with a 2 star rating, but I truly loved some of the character interactions/conversations which took place near the end, even though I hated how I never attached to the characters before they got to the "growth" point.
Grace is no Julia Roberts, that's for sure. Even though Ms. Roberts has never been my personal standard for beauty, I will hand it to her that her performance of that infamous hooker is a role which has stayed with me.
You see, this book...it could have been a fun take on the Pretty Woman theme. At first, I sort of had a Don and Megan mental picture for Grace and Vaughn...she's younger and still learning who she is. He's older and little bit cranky-slash-mysterious-slash-amusing. Their first couple of times spent together were super awkward.
I saw it starting like this...
And ending up like this...
And it kind of did. But not really. Vaughn wants to buy Grace to be his mistress/companion, JUST LIKE IN PRETTY WOMAN. EPIC, right?
Not so much.
Instead, it was fashion, flubs, and the manifestation of inner demons.
Grace wasn't a quirky hooker who talked like a guy and knew how to work on cars.
Nope. She worked in the fashion industry and obsessed over clothes.
Grace didn't want to know how much she'd spent and actually she didn't really care. She just wanted to fill up the gaping chasm inside her with pretty things.
Buy a pretty vibrator for your gaping chasm. It's cheaper.
I like to put on cute clothes as much as the next girl, but I don't want to actually READ about name brands and fashion as the base of a story unless we're getting some down and dirty info about the fashion industry or something.
Vaughn is too obsessed with sweets.
She could taste vanilla ice cream and expectation.
Vaughn was already pulling the bowl closer. "Are you sure?" he asked. Grace didn't even have time to nod before he brought the spoon to his mouth. Every time he swallowed, Vaughn would close his eyes and purse his lips, like he was having these tiny moments of rapture.
Can I erase that image from my brain, the thought of a man having a mini-orgasm over ice cream? What's next, does he put on sweats and cry over chick flicks?
IT'S JUST NOT AS GOOD LIKE THIS. Office talk and fashion rambling? No. No. No. I ran into exact the same problem again that I usually do with chick lit. Instead of it being funny or kitschy to me, the vibe generally comes across as shallow and whiny.
OH, but wait...both of Grace and Vaughn's mentioned hang-ups tied back to the revelation of their inner demons later in the story. Wanna know something I absolutely hate to read in books? Hint : it has to do with people self-diagnosing themselves. Watching Grace wax poetic about why her compulsive shopping was a problem was painful. I'd rather stick to Vaughn being the jackass Captain Obvious and have him point out Grace's issues instead, like he was doing anyway.
Speaking of Vaughn's jackassery - by the time we get to the whole "I own you because I paid for you" part of the story, Vaughn quit being mysterious in a good way and started being creepy, secretive, deceptive, insulting and controlling instead.
HIGH FIVE, VAUGHN. You're sure to win that douche of the year award after that adrenaline shot scene.
But the point is that screwed-up characters generally change into better people, right? Isn't that the buildup of the story, to show character growth?
...yes? But I don't like when I don't care if the characters even change or not, which is where I was at before any changing happened.
However, even though I had complaints, I mostly blame the problem on me, again. I should have known better, no matter how much the Pretty Woman theme was calling out. Most romance bordering on chick lit is usually more of a miss than a hit with me, so I might be the random dissenter in a crowd of people who would genuinely like the book.
So if you like dramatic contemporary romance or chick lit (or a combo of both, which this seems to be), you will probably enjoy Unsticky much more than I did.