Patty: Serendipity, I tell ya. The fact that we are reviewing a book on Superbowl Sunday – a book where the hero is a professional football player – is prophetic.
Warning: I am aware of football; I understand the general gist of what all is supposed to happen, but I am not a fan nor do I really agree with the purported logic behind the game. Katie hails from one of those states where it’s like a religion, so she might have to clarify some NFLisms or just flat out tell me to STFU. I mean, I didn’t understand 99.9% of the football meme jokes I found (AT ALL) so don’t expect a whole lot from me on that front.
Katie: Just to clarify: I’m from Baton Rouge, and the entire city lives and breathes LSU Tiger football. We like the Saints, and were excited when they won the big game, but SEC football is what it is all about. The LSU campus is the third largest city in Louisiana on Game Days in the fall. #geauxtigers #NickSabanisthedevil
And, honestly, most of what I know about football I learned from Friday Night Lights. #texasforever
Patty: Vanessa Mazur is the personal assistant for Adrian “The Wall of Winnipeg” Graves, a football player for a fictional Texas-based football team. Adrian is one of the ones that knocks the guys on the other team down, don’t remember his exact position.
Katie: I remember that it was a defensive position. I think. Vanessa is also an aspiring graphic artist with a crushing amount of student loan debt. That aside, both characters have some… personality quirks that are probably at least somewhat attributable to terrible childhood experiences.
Patty: Adrian hails from Canada (hence the Winnipeg reference in his nickname) and has been residing stateside on a work visa. Problem is, if he leaves the team, bye-bye visa. He needs to establish permanent residency/citizenship in order to be the quarterback of his destiny, so to speak. Enter Vanessa, his erstwhile and devoted assistant, and her massive debt. Sure, he could have married any of his frothing fan girls, but see, one of his personality quirks consists of him being devoid of tolerance for anyone or anything that isn’t directly related to his success. This man gives zero fucks about the world at large: he is his biggest priority. And not like he thinks he’s God’s gift, he simply believes no one cares about him like he does and he cannot trust anyone but himself.
Katie: This dude is like a jacked up Baby Goose – he can dance like no one is watching.
Patty: Adrian was a self-absorbed turd. Adrian did not magically stop being a self-absorbed turd, he had to learn and work at de-turdifying himself. Adrian’s past turdiness was not forgiven after one smoldering exchange nor did Vanessa just sweep the turd under the rug and excuse it because ~feelings~. It was realistic in that sense: hurt feelings didn’t disappear with a flash of abs and some heavy petting. Both characters had to deal and grow and it was not quick or easy.
Katie: I liked that some of the messiness of their lives didn’t really have a resolution. That seemed pretty true to life. And that she came to realize how much he had her back, even if it hadn’t always been that way.
Patty: Much like today, this book was ENDLESS.
Y’all: the TV has been on since about noon. The game just started a few minutes ago, SIX HOURS LATER. Pre-game, more pre-game; interviews, player profiles, commentary, bla, bla, bla. A WHOLE lot of buildup for a few minutes of excitement. Sure, there are the funny commercials/interesting secondary characters and perhaps we are a little too used to instant gratification, but LORD, SOMEONE SCORE ALREADY.
Katie: She’s not wrong. This book makes Kulti seem short. And I was at least halfway through before Adrian did anything resembling sympathetic. It’s hard to enjoy a romance when you actively dislike the leading man. Zapata did manage to turn that around, but she could really use an editor.
Katie: While I did come to like the book and care about the couple, collectively and individually, I feel like I had to work too hard to get to those points. I also found it weird that no one seemed to realize or acknowledge that the hero probably falls somewhere on the autism spectrum, or has some sort of disorder that makes it difficult to communicate with him. There is also a great deal of female ogling the male athletic body, so I guess it’s nice that the shoe is on the other foot?
Patty: I think he was just kind of, I don’t know, self-contained. He didn’t suffer fools gladly and was unapologetic about it. Unfortunately, that made him kind of obliviously rude, but he does eventually figure it out and try to make amends.
And there is something to be said about having to wait. for. it. Too often in this genre we complain about insta-love and how unlikely it would be for two ‘real’ people to fall all over each other in that “You had me at crooked smirk” way.
Katie: Two things: according to the book, this dude has not had sex since high school. I call bullshit. Also, while I agree with you about the insta-love problem, 600 pages before they seal the deal? Nope.
Patty: OH, YEAH. No. I had read in some reviews that the field goal doesn’t make it in until the 94% marker. I didn’t believe it. I also didn’t believe the Patriots could suck, so there you go. I thought that Tom Brady guy was supposed to be the second coming.*
*Edited because this game is INTERMINABLE and now they are tied because of course they are.
Katie: If you liked Kulti, you may like this one, too. Possibly. It just takes a lot of patience to get there.
Patty: I liked it the first time, I really liked it after the second read. I think that knowing the outcome killed my impatience.
Katie: This is a side note from me that is completely unrelated, but if you are a fan of the human spirit, I highly recommend Gleason. It is available to watch on Amazon Prime, and is the story of a Saint and NOLA hero, Steve Gleason. #nowhiteflags #ALS
Katie: Watch Friday Night Lights and Gleason, then get back to me.
Patty: UGH. More football. Fine. It’s bad enough I’m a faux football mom. (Translation: Girl plays and I attend games and cheer when everyone else is cheering. No clue why. I just holler “RUN!” a lot.)
Katie: FNL is about so much more than football. WATCH IT. I want to be Mrs. Coach when I grow up.