Is another novel that has come to light as a result of Wattpad, that rancid nest of One Direction wank fantasies and low-grade Twilight offripping. And much like its fellow Wattpad stablemate The Dark Heroine it's by a teenager, this time one who glories in the name of Beth Reekles.
That's not actually her name, her real name is Beth Reeks. I bet she got bullied at school. Yes. Beth Reeks. And so does this novel, which manages to make Mills & Boon look profound. Seriously. As such, given that it originated on Wattpad, was pushed in The Times recently and had a synopsis which invited comparisons to Beautiful Disaster, not to mention was by an English person yet was about a high school romance in California.
None of this bodes well, of course, so I think I'd best warn you lot about why you shouldn't read it or buy it for your offspring.
Batten down the hatches, we've got a Category 5 cliché tornado incoming!
A bit more detail, if you wouldn't mind?
Our heroine this time is a certain Rochelle. Who goes to a high school in a monied part of California, it's never explained which. She has a male best friend called Lee Flynn and he in turn has a brother called Noah Flynn. Noah Flynn is The Big Jock. He is chiselled, has an eight pack, is ungodly smart, gets straight A's, and has spent the recent past porking his way round the school. Allegedly he also has problems with anger management and is a bit tasty with his fists but other than punching some guy in a car park because he looked at Rochelle the wrong way this is an informed ability. He also has some rather unpleasant stalky tendencies, following Rochelle around although thankfully he doesn't watch her sleep. Everyone wants to be him or be with him according to sex. Best make sure those storm windows are nice and tight, people!
Rochelle, on the other hand, is just hopeless. She has no personality whatsoever. And she's as wet as an otter's pocket. Especially when Noah Flynn hoves into view. Quite frankly I have no idea what the arse he sees in her because she spends her time doing the following things:
- Describing what she's wearing and fretting about how she doesn't look good enough.
- Maundering about why she doesn't have a boy friend.
- Pining after Noah Flynn.
- Hanging out with Lee.
- Fretting about what she's going to wear for (insert social occasion here.)
- Generally being very, very, annoying.
Christ on a bike, if this is what your average teenage girl is like - and judging by the millions of reads on Wattpad and poorly spelt gushing on Goodreads, there must be a lot of them who can identify with this nesh bint - then I'm glad that I was a STANDARD NERD when I was a teenager. Yes, I am aware that this reduced my options. But hey, there's nothing wrong with wanking, right? After all, it's sex with someone I love!
But then there's Noah Flynn. He's supposed to be some sort of bad boy... but we only know this because he occasionally punches someone and rides a motorbike. It's more like informed violent tendencies. In all fairness he comes over as a moody, grumpy woe-is-me asshat. Oh yes. He also likes Linkin Park. He's actually about as dangerous as a soufflé really. Yet everyone goes on about how troubled he is. But he has a perfectly peachy home life and no reason to be such. Just an act, really, isn't it. And he is, of course, super attractive.
Fuck, the cliché shelter's sprung a leak! Quick, pass me some old rubbish to plug the gap before we all drown! (Actually, this book should do.)
Right. Ahem. On with the review. Speaking of being super attractive, we are treated at glorious detail to how everyone in this novel is a perfect ten and what they're wearing. There's surely more to people than what they look like. The fact that there is not makes Rochelle come over as a bit shallow really. Where are the freaks, geeks, and casualties? Granted, I've never been to California but then again neither has the author. She prefers to use more detail about peoples' looks and their clothes in lieu of actually giving them personalities. Characters appear and disappear at the drop of a hat without any reason for them to exist. All we end up with it constant maundering. By the end of the novel when Noah Flynn had revealed his sweet romantic side, or more correctly, what the author thought was a sweet, romantic side, I was throwing up in my mouth almost every page. I just wanted to leap into the page, bang their heads together, and slap them round the face until they quit being so cloying.
Oh yes. I almost forgot, the title of the novel comes from the fact that they meet when Rochelle gets volunteered to run the kissing booth at some sort of social event and ends up getting a smooch of Noah Flynn and just then she knew, right there and then, that he was The One.
PASS THE SICKBAGS.
Yes, I know it was written by a teenager. No, I don't care and will not give her any leeway for it. A turd is a turd no matter who shat it. And I'll repeat again what I've said before - teenagers cannot generate believable characters; they lack the life experiences so to do properly.
To sum up, this novel is nothing. It really is. It has absolutely no substance to it on any level at all. It has a plot that's ripped from every teenaged wank fantasy extant. It has nothing original to bring to the table. The characters are all mawkish stereotypes. The author completely drops the ball when Lee (Noah's brother and Rochelle's BFF) discovers she's been tupping his elder brother and he is totally cool with it, as opposed to being awash with consternation like a normal human being. Absolutely nothing happens of any real substance or honesty. And yet... people read this dross. They willingly stare at a page and concentrate on it. And it's surely not because it's manufactured, PR-friendly stuff thrust at people by publishers, this is what real people, actually, themselves, given the choice, would write. Yes, we have now come to a stage at which in the absence of vapid mass-market drivel, people will go and generate it without meddling by the Powers That Be.
Meanwhile, people who generate stuff that is honest and meaningful and carefully crafted with actual character development and (gasp!) a plot, find themselves totally without anyone interested in it.
In short, the existence of this novel is conclusive proof that people are idiots who deserve to be mocked.