Today on UnPlugged, I've got a Book Review. I read this book for a Book Tour last year, and luckily I liked it enough to give it 3 Roses, and post the review for the tour. It always sucks when I sign up to review a book for a tour, and end up not liking it. Oh well, what can ya do?
This book is called The Girl's Guide to the Apocalypse - sounds like it could be cool, right? Kind of a modern, possibly satirical comedy, common with any "guide" that is fictional and not actually a guide for anything.
Well, that's where my amusement with this book ended. If you're unfamiliar with this blog, it is an UnPlugged space, more like a book group than a professional review arena. This post will have spoilers, and will be a more honest, laid back look at my opinion of this book. If you'd like to see my "official, professional" PluggedIn review, see my original blog post here.
You've been warned.
Ok, so here we go.
~Released: August 11th, 2015
~Length: 218 Pages
~Publisher: Booktrope Publishing
~Genres: New Adult, Post-Apocalyptic
Welcome to the Apocalypse. Your forecast includes acid rain, roving gangs and misplaced priorities, in this comedic take on the end of the world as we know it, from debut author Daphne Lamb. As a self-entitled, self-involved, and ill equipped millennial, Verdell probably wouldn’t have ranked very high on the list of those most likely to survive the end of the world, but here she is anyway. Add in travelling with her work addicted boss, her boyfriend who she has “meh” feelings for, and a handful of others who had no businesses surviving as long as they have, and things aren’t exactly going as planned. But despite threats of cannibalism, infected water supplies, and possibly even mutants, Verdell is willing to put in as little effort as she can get away with to survive.
(2 1/2 Roses if I'm being completely honest, but I always round up if I can, so we'll settle on three)
The start was rocky, at best. I could tell the author was going for the kind of humor you'd find in a modern chick-flick comedy. Problem is, she went a little too far with it, and didn't fill in the slightly immature writing with substance. It wasn't put together well, and seemed disjointed. My mind felt whip-lashed every few paragraphs, making the story difficult to follow. Perhaps that was part of the point, being a story focusing on the topic of the end of civilization as we know it.
The first few chapters, after the main chick and her ass-hole boyfriend are put on buses headed for quarantine, things seemed to get a little better. There were colored bracelets, talk of relevant T.V. shows, and A-list celebrities to add some thin modern relatability to the story.
Then came the bathroom. The damn bathroom. What. The. Frick.
I read pages upon pages about the main chick obsessing with the bathroom, all the sudden. All I could think was "why are we still reading about the bathroom, everyone is obsessed!" Even the security people, for goodness sake!
Now, don't get me wrong - having to go when you're not able to sucks, no doubt. Nothing else seems to matter much, when you're in "I've gotta go" mode.
Her obsession was out of no where though. Like, chilling chilling chilling BAM! Bathroom Drama!
With everything else going on, it just seemed odd. As in, the world has flipped upside down, there are tons of things to explain to the reader and explore about this world you've created, and we've spent several pages, obsessing over a bathroom...distract the character or something! I just kept waiting for it to end, and it took me out of the story completely. There didn't seem to be a point, and the motion of the story slowed to a grinding, painful halt. It fit with the rest of the disjointed, random story thus far, but that's not really a good thing.
Okay, now, her boyfriend. I mentioned before that he's an ass-hole. Well, he is. Disrespectful, piggish, and a complete dick. Can we smack him, please? Anyone? I'll volunteer. Yuck.
I honestly don't want to talk much more about him, because I detested his character with a passion. So much so, that it made me want to stop reading entirely.
The rest of the book was just as random, awkward and fumbled multiple times. It felt like a train being derailed every few chapters.
Basically, the writing very much felt like someone in a creative writing class, who hadn't really ever written anything seriously before. It wasn't completely terrible or anything, but it wasn't "wow" by any means. With more work, she has the potential to be a decent writer.
This particular story could be really entertaining with some work to smooth out the wrinkles, and pull it all together. Perhaps it was a first draft, and she was excited to publish? I'm not sure. Either way, it has potential, which is why I don't entirely detest it (except the boyfriend...he needs to get hit by a bus...), and still am comfortable with three roses.
If it sounds interesting, I wouldn't say stay away, but be warned - it needs work.
*I received a complimentary eCopy of this book, from the author via Xpresso Book Tours, to read in exchange for an honest review.
Have you read any good post-apocalyptic books lately? Let me know in the comments below!
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