Review: A Beautiful Mess by T.K. Leigh

A Beautiful Mess  - T.K. Leigh

I'm aware that this is the author's debut novel, the first in a series as I understand it. The blurb made it seem interesting enough to give it a shot, and, of course, the raving reviews of how amazing it was and how great the author's work is. Why not, I thought after checking in on the author's page and also seeing this book had received notice in The Guardian. Book like that ought to be at least good, right?

Well, I'm sorry, but this was boring

Boring as in I wanted to crawl up the walls, vacuum every part of my home, and just do a faceplant in my sofa. Yes, this is how boring this book was, at least the last two thirds. For the first third I was crawling up the walls because of all the stupidity of the hero's actions, among other things. I'll just start breaking up the two parts and explain my issues within them.

So, for the first third, everything is just wrong, or it came off so to me. We're introduced to Olivia, a girl with major issues after her parent's death in her youth, leaving her to be afraid of longterm relationships with both friends and lovers. She doesn't do relationships. She fuck 'em and leave 'em (like most heroes in NA does). Yet. she has something close to a boyfriend, who she admittedly wants to get rid off since he is beginning to become a little too close for her liking. Either way, her "boyfriend", Simon, then attempts to assault/rape her when she wants to break up, and he does this in an alley where she's trying to come inside her apartment building. Luck for her, Olivia manages to escape out on the street, in Boston I might add, which is deserted in the night. Our hero is introduced since he, Alexander, saves Olivia from Simon. 

Here is where things goes downhill. Immediately Olivia is attracted to Alexander like she has never been before. A few minutes after she is almost raped, she is thinking how bad she wants to do Alexander. Of course Alexander reciprocate these feelings, for a girl he just saved from being assaulted. Alexander takes it one step further the same night, after Olivia has spoken to the police, and hits on her. Again, on a girl he saved from being raped.

I do not care if they in their thoughts remind themselves of how big assholes they are for doing/thinking these things. It doesn't make them any better as people.

The second thing in the first third is the attraction/affection they feel for each other that makes both of them abandon their old ways of hooking up and don't do relationships. Within a very short time they are dating, admitting to each other that they don't usually do monogamy. It is a bit explained on Alexander's part, but not nearly for making the story without holes. There is a reason behind their attraction toward each other, but as it is never any deeper diving into this water, this attraction didn't make much sense to me. Therefore I couldn't shrug this off and just deal with it.

So the first third is full of them diving into this new relationship, but the rest of the book is what makes it excruciatingly boring. Nothing happens. Absolutely nothing. Sure, there are some issues they deal with, but they are in nearly every NA book lately, so they didn't keep my interest for even a second. These two people in their late twenties were so immature at times I yawned and kept on checking how many pages were left. 

The genre is romantic suspense, but I felt neither. Alexander and Olivia could use with some more character development, and I'd prefer some extra secondary characters since those few that were in it was too very immature. Although Olivia was rather immature too with her gasping to every crude thing Alexander would say. For a girl who is used to one night stands, I would believe she'd at least heard a few pick up lines, and not react this strongly to Alexander, rather weak, lines. For the suspense thing, there are hints thrown in here and there, a few times you are even invited to read from the "bad guy's" POV. It didn't add much to the story, especially since they never actually did anything that came through to Olivia's life. Perhaps this will be more prominent in the next book, but I don't think I have to go through it if the pacing is as slow as it was in the first installment.