Sometimes I wonder if I've lost my ability to sympathize with characters in the New Adult genre. All of them are traumatized, and I do not make light of that and the issues they have. They all have some past that needs to be hidden or they need to run from them. Yet, at the end of the book, I find myself not caring for them at all, hence me wondering about my ability to sympathize with them. I'll say it again. I do not make light of the issues and past they all seem to have. They are indeed topics that needs to be treated as the difficult topics they are.That's when I realize that, no, I have not lost my ability for sympathy. I feel sorry for the characters. I truly do. The problem it seems, is that authors in this genre don't. And being "healed" by falling in love with an equally damaged partner, is making fun of the severity of their traumas.Since the characters often lack in the personality department, my lack of sympathy is due to the fact that these issues are not treated as they should, therefore making the characters seem not damaged at all despite their pasts since they are so easily "healed".
Moving on to the book in question. The Coincidence of Callie & Kayden is another in a long row of New Adult books that trivializes topics such as rape and abuse. It suffers from a condition "love saves the day". We have Callie who was raped by her brother's best friend, and we have Kayden who is abused by his father. After Callie on a coincidence walks in on Kayden's father abuse, she manages to avert the man's focus so that he leaves, thereby "saving" Kayden. They later literally stumble into each other when at college. Kayden then wants to thank Callie, and then get to know her.
By the first chapter I understood this would be another melodramatic story that hopes to manipulate me into feeling for these characters. (I did, for a while, until every hard issue became trivialized.) Because when Callie "saves" Kayden from his father, it's made a big point of how Callie is different from everyone else in the world for stepping in for Kayden. But I must say, from my own experiences, many people will step in when the abuse is directed toward someone you know (even so little), and in their own house at a crowded party. Continuously throughout this novel, it is shoved down my throat how different Callie is. She's a good girl. She's innocent. She's kind. She's perfect. She's not a slut. At the same time, I was reminded on every page how damaged she is, trying to manipulate me to feel for her. Still, I felt sorry for what happened to her, but I could not for the life of me care for Callie the person. Especially not when the typical slut-shaming became apparent.
Kayden on the other hand. Yes, I felt for him and his past as well, but not him as a person. He, as well, don't really have a personality. Why? Because without his pasts, there is not really anything to his persona. Neither did he grow on me considering his contempt toward women who have a sexuality. And he sure as hell did not grow any more to me when he completely dismisses a girl in class on women's studies. While Kayden is not the worst hero in New Adult, he's not a good one either.
And here's the point where I mention the plot, but I will have to skip that. Again, why? Because there is none. The Coincidence of Callie & Kayden is one long melodramatic string of events falling like dominoes, trying to keep my interest. The moment someone tries a grab at happiness something will happen that push these characters back into their shells. While I don't have anything against angst – come on, these are people in high school/college, there is going to be angst – it's not enough to qualify for a plot or replace one.
Maybe this one picks up in the following books. It certainly does its best to persuade me to read the by ending on a dramatic cliffhanger, but I won't know, since I won't even try reading them.
New Adult Tropes The List.
Items ticked off: 19