Monday, September 9, 2013

Tough to Love

Tough to Love:  Saving Avery:  A Novella
by Ava Catori
Ava Catori Books, 2013
Reviewed from NetGalley
Format:  eBook
Audience:  College and Up
ISBN: 9781301230877
Publication Date:  May 28, 2013

Avery is tough because she has to be.  She was raped by her step-brother, but her family doesn't believe her and know she is the underage bartender at a seedy bar while she tries to finish community college.  Her life is terrible until Steel Brickman walks into her bar and sees a damaged soul just like him.  Can this newly minted professional quarterback save and protect a girl from herself?

It's all too much!

No really, it's too much.  This blessedly short novella brings all the drama and steam of approximately 18 Nora Roberts novels.  First, there's Avery who is practically a runaway and the first character that I encountered that needs therapy.  Yes, she's been raped and disowned, but now she's bartending and living in a trashy apartment.  It just seems like she could go somewhere else for help.

Next, Steel Brickman.  Let me say that again.  STEEL BRICKMAN!  Gosh, what could the author being trying to say about this character?  That's he's tough, reliable, steady, etc. etc.?  Please, beat me over the head some more about how rugged this man is.  Oh, that's right, his also a brand new professional football player.  That's even more rugged.  Does he happen to be a lumberjack in his spare time?  Also, he's been pulled up from playing college ball in the middle of the season-that does not happen-ever!  I know that's a small thing, but it's the little things that kill.

Steel also has a little sister that he has grown up protecting.  She was in an abusive relationship and he nearly killed the man that did it to her.  So Steel has some anger issues.  Are you sure he shouldn't have been an O-linemen?  Those guys are terrifying, although not usually hunky, so quarterback it is.  

Steel does try to protect Avery by controlling her, which is abuse in and of itself, and yes Avery does tell him to cut it and be a man, but she just goes back to him!  Totally dysfunctional!  Not okay!  Red flags everywhere.

But let's talk about some of the finer points of the novella.  If the tone of this book were a color, it would be the deep dark black that you get when you darkened your TV almost all the way, but can barely make out moving images.  The tone is so dark you can barely make out the action.  Well unless it is sexual action, which is everywhere.  Page one and Avery is already commenting that Steel makes her wet.  You didn't even buy me dinner first, Ava, I'm not that easy.  

Let's put this book that I obviously have disdain for to the Girls and Readability Test.  

On the Girls scale, not really.  Avery is on her own, but with no coping skills she is just surviving.  Part of being on your own is navigating the greater world and she cannot do that.  Fans of Girls, pass on this one.

As for readability, there's barely a plot.  Take out all the sex and you have two paper-thin characters that don't like each other or themselves much that are in some type of messed up codependent relationship.  No one wants to read that story, so the only reason why anyone would want to read this is for the sex.

Thank goodness I didn't pay for this book, and the fact that it was so short.  Since New Adult is such a new category so many of the books being marketed like this are poorly written, self-published, fan-fiction-esque dribble.  And this novella exemplifies that perfectly!

My NA Round-Up is not off to a great start, but I will be back with more tomorrow.  And isn't kinda fun to read reviews of really bad books?  I always think so!

Happy Reading!

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