I read this book twice already since I bought it. It’s just that good. (It’s also only about 50+ pages, so it’s pretty short.) It’s one of those novellas that feels rather timeless. You don’t really know how old anyone is, what they do, what they look like or where they belong outside this one snapshot of time. But they’re real people that could fit in as anyone.
Mallory is going on vacation with her friends, James and Lucy. James invited Mallory’s arch nemesis, Artie. Artie makes it pretty clear that he doesn’t like Mallory, and she’s gearing herself up for a lousy vacation. By the end of the book, you think there might have been a little bit of matchmaking goes on, but you just can’t be sure.
Mallory is outspoken, knows what she likes and can have a really filthy mouth. She’s fun and flirty and she catches on to things pretty quickly. I love seeing things from her point of view. She starts out being oblivious, but quickly catches on to everything that’s going on around her.
Artie turns out to be really repressed. He doesn’t think he’s normal and he definitely doesn’t know how to deal with being attracted to someone. In this story, it plays out sexually, but the idea is so universally functional. He feels uncomfortable showing anyone who he is under his “proper” mask. It takes Mallory’s flair for the overly spontaneous personality for him to see that nothing bad happens when you let yourself go after what you want.
This story is very short, but it felt complete on it’s own. You\’re not given a full-novel, now we’re married with kids happy ending, but there’s the promise at the end that they’ve worked out their problems. I believed that they were meant to be together.
Some of the lines were definitely laugh inducing. Like: “Unless he snuck into my room when I wasn’t looking, and banged a gong he doesn’t have, I’m not really sure how he has anything to be worried about.” Now I will constantly picture people walking into rooms to wake people up by banging gongs.
If there’s one thing that pulls me out of this story, it’s the British use of the word “jumper”. Especially considering that Artie went to Bible College, “jumper” makes me think of this: http://thingshomeschoolerslike.wordpress.com/2011/08/24/1-jumpers/, but that’s definitely not what is being referred to in this book (or in Charlotte Stein’s other books) and I always have to remind myself of that.
This book is hot and graphic and shows Charlotte Stein’s trademark ability to turn just about any set of words into an amazing piece of art. Even descriptions of people that you would think are completely yucky, turn in to masterpieces of attraction and glimpses into the human psyche.
Xcite Books – New Reviews