A Girl's Guide to Moving On (New Beginnings #2) by Debbie Macomber
As for the characters… I hate them all, but surprisingly the ‘villains’ of the novel aren’t the worst in my eyes.
As for the characters… I hate them all, but surprisingly the ‘villains’ of the novel aren’t the worst in my eyes. Leanne’s ex-husband Sean is a huge asshole but he dies in the end so he gets redeemed by default. Nichole’s ex-husband, Jake, is a dick the whole way through until right at the end he magically grows as a character and becomes a good person. Nichole and Leanne are okay, if a bit tedious at times, but it’s their friends and love interests I despise the most.
Nichole’s storyline starts with her meeting Rocco, the hunky tattooed tow truck driver (a trope I can’t say I’m familiar with), and then paying for her tow by finding his daughter a dress for the dance. I’m not even going to touch the weirdness of that bit. Rocco turns out to be one great step for Nichole’s attempt to move on from her husband, and one huge step back for womankind. The whole premise makes me mad - he’s the typical “daughter no go out dressed like hooker” grumbling Neanderthal father we’re all familiar with from movies. It might even be fine if it stopped there (his daughter, after all, is only fifteen) but it goes so much further. He and his bulging muscles (which are described in great detail) treat Nichole like he’s the only one who wants to have sex and that he’s doing them both some huge favour by not giving in to his brutish desires. Give me a break!
Then there’s Nichole’s client-cum-friend Shawntelle. She, I believe, is meant to act as the comic relief by evoking the image of a sassy black woman. I’m very sure there are sassy black women out there, but why does essentially the only minority character in the book have to stink of stereotyping? I don’t even think it’s actually mentioned that she’s black, I’m just going off of her name and the way she is described. I guess that makes me a racist too. Thanks Debbie Macomber, your book has made me racist. Anyways, Shawntelle starts going on about how she met this guy and they’ve been out a few times but she hasn’t ‘given it up’ yet. She’s very proud of herself. I just don’t get this. Is this story set on some bizarre planet where it’s 2016 but women don’t enjoy sex? Like yeah, be plenty proud of yourself if you haven’t given up your social security number after a few dates. I wouldn’t give out your Netflix password until at least the fourth. If you want to have sex though, for the love of God just have some goddamn sex. You’re both adults. Jake, too, ends up in a new, happy, sexless relationship at the end. If you’re taking notes, what we’ve learned so far is that all black people are wonderfully sassy sidekicks and if you have sex in your loving relationship you’re doing something wrong.
There isn’t really a climax (pun definitely intended). Jake is a dick and then he stops being a dick. Then offstage Rocco and Nichole have sex. Presumably, anyways. She’s pregnant in the end but for all I know it could be an immaculate conception. Because nobody has sex. Because sex is bad. All this book did was make me angry and hungry. Angry because it’s frustrating watching these cardboard characters rattle through their dialogue without any interesting plot development. Hungry because there’s so much bread everywhere and it’s probably the only thing in the novel that gets a proper description. All in all I’d give it a ⅕ instead of a 0 because at least my rage kept me from falling asleep.