'Once I’m inside you, you’re mine.'
Flashback to 99% of all the New Adult books I've read.
Sadly, lately it feels as if I rate New Adult books based on if they offend/insult me or not. One Week Girlfriend fortunately falls in the latter. It was a sweet story, albeit a predictable one. Fable – yes, that's the heroine's name – is a struggling waitress trying to keep her family afloat since her father has been absent all her life, her mother prefers alcohol and drugs rather than her own children, and Fable's younger brother Owen is starting to get into trouble. Then we have Drew. A young man who resents going back home. Which he is doing for Thanksgiving. Due to Fable's reputation among his friends, he offers her three thousand dollars to pretend to be his girlfriend for a week as he goes home to shock his parents. But Drew has his reasons to resent his parents, or in this case, his stepmother, Adele.
I said One Week Girlfriend didn't offend me, and that's always a good start with NA. But it did not blow me away or win me over either. While I enjoyed Drew immensely more than his counter male heroes in NA as he wasn't yelling and hitting things or being a general douche, in general all the characters were flat and the story overall missed character development.
The real problem though, or problems should I say is:
1. The lack of editing.
2. The child molesting
I'll deal with the second first, because this was only touched upon in the book. Which, actually, is the problem. Maybe it's a spoiler, but it's not really a secret after the first few chapters. Drew has this "secret" hinted at almost consistently that has to do with his stepmother, and he keeps hinting on having troubles with intimacy (both emotional and physical), so it's not a big secret, really. He and his stepmother had an affair when he was younger, and now he feels disgusted by it. However, all this is revealed in text by the last chapters and it's more or less brushed off because Drew says he wanted it then. Okay, child molesting is no light topic, and the simplistic writing didn't make it seem like the serious issue it is. Neither did it a good work portraying it in extent. Fable is smart enough to realize he needs professional help, but that is left for the sequel. Adding in the "plot twist" in the last pages as well, only trivialized the entire abuse.
The editing then. Poor, poor editing indeed. Missing words, wrong words, no difference between the different POVs.
'Keeping it all bottled up inside isn’t healthy.'
Where else would you keep something bottled up? Outside?
I try to laugh, flicking the ash of my cigarette over the railing, noticing his undisguised look of disgust.
So. The usual look of disgust then?
The writing didn't do this story any favors as it offered little intimacy to the characters thoughts despite being told from first person point of view. And it's so many phrases repeated. I see what the author tried to do with the plot, and it was a good thought, but it was poorly executed, making the serious issues seem like minor troubles. It also left no explanation to how these people find themselves falling in love after four days together. (I'm counting this as instalove, by the way, because Drew starts thinking Fable is different and she stirs emotions he hasn't had in years by being around him about one day.) Instead they go from all right, I know who you are in theory to "Slowly but surely I am and if I don’t stop it soon, my heart will become so entwined with his, I know I will literally bleed if we’re ever separated." (actual quote taken from the book) in a time frame of two or so days.
All in all, it was a good idea that lacked execution and didn't deal with the issues in a sensitive way, making it seem as if lust love heals everything.
New Adult Tropes The List
Items ticked off: 13