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Coed Paperback – January 29, 2017
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Coed is a romantic comedy about a man and woman who invests in a barber-beauty shop business called Coed. In a scene reminiscent to the movie Barber Shop, men cut hair on one side and the women do hair on the other. Owners Travis “Trap” Barber and Sade Styles are best friends whose friendship is put to the test when Sade’s lease is up and she moves in with Travis. Mind you, Sade has a boyfriend but she doesn't move in with him. She moves in with Trap. Being “besties” is one thing but can Trap and Sade maintain a platonic relationship while living under the same roof? The novel seeks to answer this question in a hilarious way.
I loved this book mostly because the author had me rolling. Make me laugh like that and you’re a winner in my book. When Sade moves in with Trap, they each fight to control the feelings they have for one another like Sidney and Dre from the movie Brown Sugar. It is obvious they are attracted to each other on multiple levels but Sade has a man and Trap’s a playboy. Eventually, Sade breaks it off with her boyfriend and Trap insists on attending Myrtle Beach with her to see Lalah Hathaway. What he doesn’t know is how deeply the trip would impact them both. I'll leave it there.
While Coed is funny, I enjoyed the important messages throughout the novel as well and how it took on a more serious feel toward the end. We get to understand more deeply about the past of the main characters and what contributed to them being the way that they are. It was refreshing and I appreciated this because it is not something we often think about in relationships period. That is, why do people do the things that they do? What makes them tick? So, they are exhibiting off behavior, but why? Have we sought to understand or did we write them off? Instead of casting one another off, see people through the eyes of love. Usually, when someone is being nasty it’s because they are going through something. If we thought of this more, I think the world would be in a much better position.
My least favorite part was that there were instances where the author inserted himself into the narrative. I found this distracting and unnecessary. I also think the “He Said, “She Said” at the beginning of the Chapters wasn't needed. The author is talented enough to capture whose perspective we are reading without it.
However, none of these took away from the story. At the end of the day I was still laughing my butt off and Trap and Sade’s past revealed was really the final touch this novel needed to bring it on home. I stayed up late just to see what would happen. If you’re a fan of movies Brown Sugar, Barbershop, and The Best Man, you’ll want to read this book.
I recommend it for lovers of romance, comedy and drama. It has it all.
It is always interesting to see different takes on relationships and gender roles. After all, I did take a few college courses in sociology and gender studies. I've also taken a few courses in the school of life and I am always glad to glean information from a variety of sources. Romance novels are no exception and this particular romance novel was, indeed, valuable to me. Though I'm not typically big on romance novels, I can say that I enjoyed this one.
The things I did not enjoy: the setup for a couple of scenes felt predictable. There were parts of the story where the stars aligned so well to create those “awkward moments” between Travis aka Trap and Sade, so I felt I just knew what was about to happen next. However, what I did enjoy far outweighed what I did not.
There were a few things I could relate to in some way. The first being the initial platonic relationship between Trap and Sade. I remember there being some gossip that went on in the workplace about me and a male coworker because we had become friends. Some of the banter in the fictional barbershop CoEd gave me a little insight as to what that gossip about my friend and I entailed.
The next thing that piqued my interest was seeing how Sade and Trap handled their living situation. Having been involved with someone who had a female roommate with whom he had previously been intimate with, I wanted to know, even in a fictional setting, what could go on in the minds of roommates who are attracted to each other.
I wouldn't say that this book is action-packed or over-the-top drama because it isn't either of those things. It is more of a character study. Since it was so obvious that there was an attraction between the two main characters, what the heck was taking them so long to make a move on one another? What were their insecurities? What made them tick? What motivated them to continue on in a lifestyle where they both evaded and involved one another? I felt that Fant did a good job of answering those questions as the book progressed.
One scenario that particularly stood out to me was when Trap and Sade finally decided to take a major step in their relationship only for Trap to make a choice to potentially ruin it forever. This scene was the most eye-opening and thought-provoking for me because it gave me a perspective about a question that I've had for years. What question is that, you ask? Why do people (and by people I mean men) do things that seem (and often are) utterly ridiculous and then say that they did it for your own good? Then not only do they end up hurting you, but also other people. Actually seeing the thought process of Trap before, during and after he made that choice made it make a little bit of sense, though my being a woman and thinking the way many would probably expect a woman to think will probably keep me from ever fully understanding. I think I'm a little bit closer now.
CoEd kept me entertained and it allowed me to view everyday life and relationships from a different angle. The effort that Fant put into it is evident and I can really appreciate the time and energy it took to produce this novel. I was able to understand both of the main characters respectively and their story together made sense. This is the first book that I've read by James Fant, but it won't be the last. I rate it a 4 out of 5 stars.
Most recent customer reviews
I liked it. It's pretty sexy, down to Earth, with a lot of characters and drama to go around.Read more
Sade. This book was really good, so much so I want more. I am so
hoping for a second book.Read more