Playing Patience by Tabatha Vargo

Playing Patience - Tabatha Vargo
“So, that chick Megan is coming out Friday to watch us play. I hope she wears that tight-ass schoolgirl uniform.” He made a growling noise in the back of his throat. “Dude, that shit is fucking hot. Hey, maybe she’ll bring your girl with her. You know the blonde. If she can stay sober long enough maybe you’ll get lucky,” he joked.

“Please. That chick’s as straight as they come. I’d have to drug her, too, to get her to put out.” We laughed.

Please explain to me how this kind of guy has become the norm in New Adult literature. Where did the decent guys go? Because despite this disturbing turn I still believe they are out there somewhere. And where did the girls who recognized disturbing behavior when they see it? They too seem to have disappeared. Our heroine in this particular book, Patience, can claim that Zeke is "not a nice guy, but a good guy" all the fuck she wants, it doesn't change the fact that he sounds like a rapist.

“Please. That chick’s as straight as they come. I’d have to drug her, too, to get her to put out.”

"I’d never asked a female permission for anything in my life,"

"I’d never denied myself a woman when I wanted her ..."

Tell me how that does not sound at least a little bit disturbing. I dare you.

Okay, I'll simply state right away that this book is full of misogynic crap, both from our hero Zeke and our Snowflake Patience. (Yes, he does give her the nickname Snowflake because she is so unique, except that he thinks she's your standard rich girl.) And I'll leave it at that. There's the words slut and trash whenever speaking of women, especially girls close to Zeke, and not when referring to Patience or her friend Megan (who, if we're honest, acts very much like the other girls, but still isn't referred to this). To make things clear, I don't think it's okay to call any girl that, I'm simply pointing out the hypocricity.

But the terrible view on women is not the most terrible part of this New Adult gem. The story focuses on Patience and Zeke, both broken people. Zeke's suffering under the hand of his alcoholic father ever since his mother died in cancer. They're coming from the poor part of town and lives in the trailer park. Zeke finds relief in drugs, sex, and music, especially with his band Blow Hole. Patience on the other hand suffers abuse from her father who is raping her, and have been for a long while. She stays in the hope of saving her younger sister from suffering the same abuse. When Patience's friend Megan drags Patience along to a party where Zeke's band plays, they are thrown into different circumstances that forces them together.

Let me tell you this. This story is not about the events that broke these people. It is not about the abuse they are suffering. It's not about the psychological damage of being abused for years or the hard work to make themselves whole again. It's about their love that somehow can mend these broken people rather simple whereas in the real world these kind of backgrounds would require years of professional help and support from loved ones. I'm not sure what to call this. It's not a love story either, because this romance, if it is one, is so dysfunctional it makes Travis and Abby from Beautiful Disaster look like the ideal couple. And maybe that's the bigger problem, that the focus is on the romance rather than the tough subjects that should be dealt with sensitivity. These topics, the abuse and sexual violence, is, in a way, romanticized by making them less important than the romance. For example, Patience claims that seeing Zeke with another woman is more painful than what her father does to her. I don't know, but it is just so disturbing and unrealistic.

And the writing. Dear God, the writing. The alternating POVs... Here's the deal, when one chapter ends, the next chapter starts with the same scene(s) from the last part of the previous chapter but told from a different POV. This is frustrating to read, because it feels like telling the reader he/she is not smart enough to understand. And even when this switch offers no new information the reader didn't get the first time reading it, it's still there. I'm sorry, but that's just poor storytelling. Otherwise, the writing in itself was okay, sometimes even good. Too bad a terrible story ruined it.