Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Review: The Hazards of Skinny Dipping by Alyssa Rose Ivy

Goodreads * Amazon

248 pages, Published May 17th 2013 by CreateSpace 

Goodreads synopsis:

"This isn't a deep book about first loves or self-discovery. If you want a book like that, I'd be happy to recommend one, but I don't have that kind of story to tell. Instead my story is about rash decisions and finding out that your dream guy is bad in bed. It's the story of when I finally went skinny dipping, and how my life was never the same again. Oh, and it's also the story of my freshman year of college and realizing Mr. Right might have been there all along."

3 stars

I admit this book was a guilty pleasure to read. I got a kick out of it even though the main character, Juliet, did a few ridiculous things that made me want to scream. Granted, the synopsis is brutally honest about this from the get-go so I really can't complain.

Juliet is in her first year of college and her cousin Amy gives her a list:

"Juliet's Must-Do Before College List"

There are five items: Get drunk, go to a bar, wear something that would give her father a heart attack, kiss a random guy, and go skinny dipping. Juliet jumps right into the skinny dipping one as per the title and while swimming in her own pool one evening, her big time crush Dylan shows up and for some reason (who cares why, right?) he starts talking to her, figures out she's naked, and gets in the pool with her. Instead of ordering him to leave, Juliet makes out with him and they get out of the pool to go have sex. Which turns out to be terrible because Dylan stinks in bed. The scene is a little bit comical and sad. I have a feeling this sort of encounter has happened to more women than they want to admit! Just because you have the hots for a guy doesn't mean he's actually worth all that attention.

The thing that bugged me was how Juliet started dating Dylan even though he was so lousy in bed and really didn't even treat her well. She was so willing to put up with crap. (The character reminded me of the fantastic book/move Girl starring Dominique Swain. In Girl, Andrea is crazy about rock star Todd Sparrow and after having a quickie after a concert in the stall of a stable we see her emerge from the "roll in the hay" with bits of well, hay in her hair and looking disheveled. She tells us in voiceover, "I felt like a princess!") Juliet reminded me of Andrea in that Dylan was not good for her, but she hung onto him, anyway. I thought for sure she'd dump him after that first encounter, but no. I had to read a few more encounters, each one just as bad as the ones before. (Dylan really didn't learn anything.)

Dylan Bradley creeps me out, honestly. He's not just bad in bed, would that be his only deficiency. He's also a complete creeper without even trying. From wandering into Juliet's backyard uninvited to taking off his clothes uninvited and moving to making out and sex while being so weird and creepy -- I just kept telling myself, "Juliet is blinded by his pretty face! This makes sense, sadly. Many women DO THIS!" When Juliet should have been calling the cops, she was anxiously allowing him to make his advances. Not cool.

Reed, the much more normal human male, treats Juliet so much better but I was still unsatisfied with him somehow. Maybe all that Dylan action was just too much for me. (Especially the handcuff scene which was pretty funny.)

Sounds like I didn't like the book, eh? Well no, I wouldn't say that. The character did frustrating things and I wanted to reach into the book and shake her a bit, but it was well written and had good pacing. Juliet does get a happy ending, but I guess on the road to finding happy endings we sometimes stay too long with the wrong guys.

I read the Kindle edition that had a preview of The Hazards of a One Night Stand by the same author and I jumped right into that book, too. One small complaint is that the two books seemed very similar when it came to word choice and descriptions but I haven't finished it so I can't give a full opinion yet.

On a completely irrelevant note, I love the author's name including not one but TWO flower names. I love flower names!

NOTE: I gave this 3 stars as per my own ratings policy which equates to an enjoyable, but flawed book. Sometimes the flaws can be it just doesn't connect with me personally but it still could connect with you. Three stars is by no means a bad rating, I just hold onto those 4's and 5's for things that really hit me.

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