Review: Tangled by Emma Chase

Tangled - Emma Chase

I should have stopped reading the first time this book pissed me off. How long did that take? Lest than one precent into it. The single reason for continuing was my fascination with how certain books can get an average rating over 4.5 stars and even with over a couple of hundreds and thousands  of ratings.

The first thing that got to me was how Drew, our narrator, generalizes men. He says every guy would fall on his feet for "... every big-boy toy you can think of: surround sound, satellite speakers, and a big-screen plasma..." and that a decor that is mostly stainless steel and black immediately means there is a guy living in this apartment. Yes, I am aware many guys do appreciate these things and that it's rather common for guys to do so. However, I know several guys that would do just as good without these things. I also know girls that would much rather have their apartment in black and stainless steel just as much. These things might not mean anything to you, and you might wonder why this is such a big deal to me. These things mean a thing to me as this is how Drew sees the world. Stereotypical. And since the story is told so that Drew tells us what happens, it gave me the first glimpse of how this book would sound. And yes, I hated Drew with a passion.

Since this book currently has a average rating of 5 stars, I had to see what those handing them thought was the good parts of the story. Mostly, it's Drew's wit and humor. I can see why his humor appeals to some, I do. It's the same reason people watching How I Met Your Mother loves Barney. I understand the humor. I can laugh at it sometimes when it's so ridiculous it's a joke in itself. But Drew's voice telling me these jokes, generalizations, and assumptions made me want to punch the wall several times. Because his statements are the reason feminism needs to be taught at schools. Or at least what equality means. 

Which leads me to the next thing. You might wonder why I should have any say in about the portrayal of men in this book, I'm a woman, right? Well, here's the thing. I'm both a feminist, but most of my friends are still guys. Why? Because the women around me in school is more interested in gossiping about each other. Not really my thing. That leaves me with a group of guys, and let me tell you this. These guys are open with me. Now, just a few days ago, we sat in school and one of the guys came across a tumblr post saying something like this: a true gentleman holds the door open then he smacks her ass. This lead to most of the guys shaking their heads, and a few others laughed. Let's just say those who laughed are now under reconsideration for my friendship status. Anyway, these laughs made a discussion break out as those who didn't laugh thought this to be ridiculous. This lead to them asking me what I thought. And well, I would most likely ask the guy doing this what the heck he was doing. You might now think, they just said what I wanted to hear or something like that. Might be true, but I don't think so. These are guys that has come to me asking things about all kinds of things, yes, sex included. So no, I don't see why they would have lied there. My point with this long paragraph, is that the portrayal of men in this book made me nauseous. 

That point aside... I could have overlooked my dislike for Drew, but the story didn't do it well enough for me. This is probably mostly because the humor was lost on me most of the times. Because there were a lot of times when I was supposed to laugh. I won't quote all of them as it would probably take up about at least 40% of the whole book. Instead I'm going to explain one from around 6% into the book:

"Trust me, if she didn’t work for me, I’d hit that harder than Mohammed Ali."


Before you start, I see what he means. This is purely sex he's talking about. I'm fine with that. My problem here is this particular use of words. When Drew says he'd "hit that harder than Mohammed Ali" the picture that presented itself in my head was nothing sexy. It was quite the opposite. After all, Ali was a professional boxer. Boxer being the key word. Boxer actually hit each other. What they do is some controlled violence. Violence being the next key word. They hurt each other. It might be only me, but this statement made me see red as the picture that came to me was of a man beating the shit out of her. Had he chosen another word, I wouldn't have gotten upset, but the fact is he did compare it to boxing. To perform physical violence. So sue me if this didn't come of as sexy to me.

Back to the actual story. I see how the main focus is on Drew's narrative and not so much character development. Of course Drew gets the girl, I mean this is the whole point of the book. How does she get the girl? Well, they fight over a presentation at work like seven years. This was not so amusing to me, neither did it give me any understanding how this lead to them wanting to rip each other's clothes off. Okay, I they were attracted to each other from the start that much I understood. But when they actually get together, it's sex for a whole weekend where Drew realizes he loves this girl. Why? He keeps on going how they are alike, stubborn and determined. Maybe. I'm not sure, because we don't get to see much of Katherine's personality. If this is the reason, it's a rather loose one considering the little character development on any of the characters, including the secondary.

Besides these issues, I never enjoyed the way it's written. The narrative where Drew tells us the story somehow managed to sound like long info-dump. Needless to say, I'm not into reading over 200 hundred pages of info-dumping. I can at times be so frustrated with info-dumping paragraphs that are more than a few pages. It's telling, not much showing. However, I can see some interesting details in the story that makes me think I might read something else by the author, just nothing related to this series!