The Consequence of Loving Colton by Rachel Van Dyken

The Consequence of Loving Colton - Rachel Van Dyken

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Items ticked off: 13

This book and I are not friends. I'll say that right away. Because The Consequence of Loving Colton might be a perfectly good book it isn't. It might be a perfectly funny it's not, it tries too hard. It might be a perfectly nice romance both MCs are twelve year old morons. It might be original it's not, it's every parody you've ever seen. This book disturbed me. For several reasons. If you're uncomfortable reading about sexual assault, stay away from this review. More important, stay away from this book.

You see, while I didn't like the typical story about girl returns home for brother's wedding, wishing her old crush will fall for her, that's nowhere near as big of a problem as how this book approaches sexual assault. I'll take a short moment about the book. It's nothing new. Typical virgin heroine who's a little bit insecure and has been pining for her brother's best friend since forever. Milo was an awful heroine. She's violent, insecure, insensitive, and downright rude all the time. Her crush isn't much better. And yes, I disliked him for several reasons. One of them being this:

I sure as hell didn’t want her to think I had a thing for Luke Skywalker or—God forbid—for robots.

Apart from him trivializing more or less every sexuality there is, he's also continuously sexist and isn't ashamed of it. He's also violent, judgmental, and a complete moron. Okay, all characters are complete morons. Milo and her best friend Max decide to make Colton (the hero) jealous. Max puts on a play and pretends he and Milo are engaged. When Colton finds out, instead of calling Milo on the bluff and tell her he loves her and that they can be together, his first reaction is to give her hell and revenge.

Mature people? No. People above the age of twenty? Fuck no.Twelve year olds? Sure. Most of all, morons. All over the place.

So no, this story didn't do it to me. It tries too hard to be funny. It tries so hard that it actually attempts to make sexual assault comical relief.

Please take a moment to let that sink in. This book uses sexual assault as comical relief. And that should be impossible. Yet, someone thought that sexual assault could be made funny.

I vomit a little writing that alone.

Do you think I'm too harsh? I'm not. Take a look at this paragraph:

“Then they . . .” Max rubbed his arms. “They touched me, ripped my shirt open, said that I was the only one who understood them, that I wasn’t like those other men and then . . .” His eyes found mine. “They kissed me, like seven of them, all bridesmaids. A few were married. I tried to pull away but they have claws masquerading as acrylic nails. They dug into my skin, and the crazy part, when I tried to run—they liked it!”

If you still don't understand what I want to say, replace Max with a woman. Not many would hesitate to call that sexual assault (maybe even rape).

But, because it's happening to a man, it's supposed to be funny. (Yes, I vomit a little writing that too.) Reality check: sexual abuse/assault happens to all genders. Men and women alike. It is not fun. It's not comical. It's serious. About as serious as it gets.

In The Consequence of Loving Colton it is comical relief. The reactions to his statement is humor. The characters ridicule this kind of behavior. They laugh. They joke about it. Repeatedly. None of them mention how serious this is (considering one of them is a cop, that just makes it worse).

“He was also taken advantage of by women today—women!” Jason laughed.

BTW, Jason's the cop.

And no, this is not the only instance. Because we also have a sex-crazed grandma who several times attempts to practically rape Max's brother. This is not funny. The book wants it to be. Hell, it even wants Reid (Max's brother) to be assaulted. It tries to force him to simply accept it.

“Walk away from the light, Reid!” Jason shouted up at him. “It’s not worth it, just, just let her—you know—and then it will all be over with.”

And it doesn't get better. We continue with rape jokes. (Maybe it wasn't a joke, but heck if I give a damn anymore.)

I swear—I just saw tears rolling down the poor kid’s face. I was willing to break into a pharmacy just so I could get him drugs.
But they didn’t sell those kinds of drugs.
The ones that made you forget.
Unless he was lucky enough to get a roofie.

I don't understand this. I don't understand who thought it was a good idea to trivialize these subjects in such a manner. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the offensive shit it says. There's tons of sexism, shaming, and misogyny. But the most important thing to say about this book is this: joking about sexual abuse/harassment/violence is not acceptable.

End of rant.