on March 6, 2015
I love reading contemporary romance, but I especially love how well it works as palette cleansers between fantasy reads.
So when Amazon recommended the Off Campus series to me for only $4.99, it seemed like the perfect way to pass time, and leave me renewed for whatever Urban Fantasy or Fantasy book I decide to cross off my TBR next.
After I one-clicked, I saw that is was New Adult.*heavy sigh* I've learned to avoid NA, specifically NA Romance, b/c I'm almost always disappointed with the still new genre's offerings. Too much awkward or unbelievable sex. Too little plot. Too little character development. Too little everything.
For example, The Deal's plot is not only a tired trope, but it is also filled with stale clichÃ©s.
Like Hannah, our ever-pining heroine:
"He doesn't know I'm alive."
What? You say youâ€™ve read this story before? Feels like dÃ©jÃ vu, I know.
And not only do we find out that she's pining for some guy named Justin on the very first page, but a few short paragraphs later:
"In the five years since the rape, my heart has pounded for only two guys."
Iâ€™m sorry, whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? We are talking about rape and physical attraction in the same sentence. I get it, itâ€™s fiction and Iâ€™m suppose to suspend my disbelief which normally I can do, no problem. But in this case, I canâ€™t. It doesnâ€™t ring true, and it feels forced. It also feels as though the author took the topic of rape, sprinkled it in the story in an effort to make Hannah seem complex, but failed. Utterly. Mind you, itâ€™s not about the "rape." It could have been about "murder," "domestic violence," etc â€¦ get my drift? The book begins in the middle of Hannah's story, and being casually told about an event so essential to understanding her character . . . it wasnâ€™t believable. How can I believe sheâ€™s a survivor if I donâ€™t feel her struggle?
Which brings me to my next issue, the settingâ€¦
The story takes place on a college campus, but it felt more like high school because of the immaturity of all the characters, and I wonâ€™t even get into the villainous father. Garrett, our fearless hero, needs Hannah to tutor him so he can continue to play hockey and not get benched for the season. He tells her that by dating him, it will increase her popularity on campus.
â€œHannah Wells is into a football player.â€
I mean, I just donâ€™t even have the words for that one, but since sheâ€™s pining for Justin, he promises that he can help her get his attention by hanging out together.
Then we meet Cass, who is the thorn in Hannahâ€™s side. Heâ€™s the quasi villain who tells Hannah what note to sing in for their recital. This was just painful to read about. His presence in the story isnâ€™t tremendous, but heâ€™s there, I suppose, to create some sort of complexity.
Back to Hannah and Garretâ€¦one fateful night *cue dramatic music* Hannah has too much to drink and gets wasted, but Garret, her protector, makes sure sheâ€™s safe once he sees that another player has dragged her on the dance floor.
â€œHannah hadnâ€™t been moving suggestively when sheâ€™d belted out Lady Gaga earlier, but she sure as s*** moving suggestively now. Sheâ€™s gone from Disney Channel Miley Cyrus to Full-on Twerk Mode Miley.â€
And as our hero grabs our rape survivor off the dance floorâ€¦
She pouts. â€œIâ€™m dancing.â€
At this point I wanted to put the book down, but I couldnâ€™t because I believed that the book had to get better, and, also, I have this issue that after I pay for a book I feel the need to finish it.
Fast forward to the next chapter, our hero and heroine--shockingly--develop feelings towards one another, and she miraculously asks Garrett to have sex with her. He, however, is not so certain until he hears her profound statementâ€¦
I let out a shaky breath. â€œIâ€™m broken, and I wanted you to fix me.â€ Alarm widens his eye.
Yes ladies and gents, he ultimately wants to fix her and does by having the most amazing sex ever. *rolls eyes*
But this quote is the mother of all quotes that everyone loves and I mean, seriously loveâ€¦
â€œAre you taking human growth hormones or something?â€ I snatch my hand back, fighting another rush of nervousness. â€œThereâ€™s no way that huge man monster is fitting inside me!â€
This story fell flat for me, and originally I had it at a 2 star rating, but after looking at my notes, it was a one star read for sure. All the characters are two-dimensional, the writing is subpar at best, and like I said, itâ€™s filled endless clichÃ©s. I clearly read a different book than the entire Goodreads universe.