Pretty sure I bought this due to enjoying Hill’s work on Cracked but I’m hard pressed to remember which articles inspired adding this to the “I’ll buy you when I have money” Amazon black hole, in part because it stayed there a LONG time. And at first I was really wondering what the heck I was thinking. Not to be that guy, but it’s self published and that alone made me skeptical. The actual story doesn’t invite too much promise either. Our protagonist is kind of a jerk. He is shallow and falls into a relationship with a girl out of a misunderstanding, is too cowardly and hormonal to not continue a relationship he doesn’t want and breaks up with her in cowardly fashion. And this is all prelude to the main story before we meet the girl he’s trying to impress who actually drives the main character to burn down his school to keep her from attending another one without him. She’s your typical manic pixie dream girl, to borrow a phrase from another website I once read obsessively. Sarcastic, amused by the main character, slightly damaged; I was basically expecting a John Hughes movie with more dick jokes and eye rolling insensitivity.
I can’t explain why my expectations were subverted without spoilers so…
HERE THERE BE SPOILERS
The good news is that Hill saves it somewhat by making April, said MPDG, appalled that that’s what she is to him. She points out his bad qualities, she isn’t amused by the arson, she points out that he doesn’t really know her as well as he seems to think he does, and that he acted jealous of others while not actually asking her out and taking the risk. That she had issues that were hinted at by the MPDG flaw of drinking too much, but that our hero never asked about. I wish there had been more ground work laid for this, but we’re limited by the protagonist’s perspective. This was imperfect, but I’m interested in more from Hill.