I read this a few months ago and am just now reviewing it for CBR10 Bingo. I think it fits best in the ‘Brain Candy’ slot, as I quite like reading psychological thrillers for the ‘escapism’ value–I read them fast and enjoy them then forget about them. This one also fits best under ‘candy’ because it requires no intelligent thought to read.
The basic premise is thus:
Laura is super posh and a super ‘devoted’ (read: overbearing) mother to her son Daniel, whose only personality trait is ‘nice’. She clings to him even more in the face of her collapsing marriage. But Laura’s comfortable(?) life is threatened when the eponymous girlfriend comes on the scene. Her name is Cherry, and she is, of course, a golddigger. What’s more, she’s from the wrong side of the tracks! Gosh, how terrible for poor Laura! What’s even more terrible is that Cherry is not only poor and conniving, but she’s apparently a psychopath to boot.
This book was sincerely terrible. It is predictable, thrill-less, and devoid of any interesting or even vaguely sympathetic characters. I have no idea how it has 3.9/4.2 stars on Goodreads/Amazon. Some of the plot threads, like Cherry’s being less posh than Laura and Daniel, were probably meant to point out Laura’s own flaws, but this is undermined by making Cherry a genuinely horrible person. There are no twists to this plot. Everything is as subtle as a freight train, even the ‘twist’ ending (because in this sort of book, there’s always a twist).
What’s more, the writing is so difficult to slog through. The worst sin is that Frances jumps between POV characters every paragraph or so. Not only is this exhausting and confusing, but it relieves the book of any tension whatsoever. Laura wonders what Cherry is thinking–so Frances switches POV to tell us exactly what Cherry is thinking. Again, this was probably done to make Cherry more sympathetic, but it only succeeded in making me yawn.
It’s not often that I give a 1 star rating, but I can’t think of any book more deserving that I’ve read recently.
CBR Bingo Category: Brain Candy
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