Sunday, June 24, 2012
The Rock Star in Seat 3A
So after reading Gillian Flynn's mental mind fuck of a book, Gone Girl, I really needed something breezy. My husband was supposed to pick me up on Friday to drive down to Chinatown for an appointment so I should have had about twenty minutes to browse my wish list and pick something out. I was narrowing down to two choices when he called to tell me to take the subway instead so I went for the book that had the better reviews. Next time, I should just get a sample of each.
Seriously, I rolled my eyes throughout this book. I'd bought it and since it was only 200 pages, I figured I should just finish it but I really didn't like it.
Here's the premise: Hazel is a "gamer girl", who works for a company eloquently named "Badass Games" in NYC. She lives with her boyfriend, a promising chef named Wylie (stupid name #1), who she learns early on in the book wants to marry her (although he doesn't know that she saw his star sticker on the ceiling proposal). She freaks out a bit and goes on a work trip to LA without saying anything to him. In an earlier scene, she had been at a dinner party with friends where each character shared their celebrity crush. Hazel's was a hard core rocker named Finn Schiller who she has been obsessed with for years. This sets up the inevitable plane encounter.
Hazel gets bumped up to first class. And who boards the plane right before it takes off? None other than our friend, Finn Schiller, rock star extraordinaire. Immediately he learns where she works and turns out he loves Badass' games. The flight is rocky as they go through a storm and the near death experience draws the two of them closer. She gets sick but he still is interested in getting to know her. Sparks fly. They are totally drawn to each other and she forgets a bit about Wylie. In LA, he takes her out to dinner, where she admits that she has a boyfriend. Finn takes a step back and lets her leave LA without trying to hook up with her, but he does let her use an old warehouse that he owns for the launch party that she is supposed to plan for her company's newest game.
I'm not going any further into the plot, but I did want to share somethings that I didn't like at all. First off, there were several inconsistencies that any good editor should have been able to pick up.
Inconsistency #1: Hazel tells Finn that she is visiting LA twice before the launch party. Once two weeks after she first met him and then two weeks after that. But then the second time she goes to LA, it's the weekend of the party. He had told her that he was going on tour in two weeks but that he would come to the party and I was totally confused on the whole timeline.
Inconsistency #2: Hazel asks her sister Kira if she remembered reading The Missing Piece (or maybe The Giving Tree - both are mentioned in the book and I can't remember which one was referenced in this part and I'm too lazy to go look it up). Kira says something like, yes, I just read it to Celeste. Who the hell is Celeste? Earlier in the chapter, Kira's daughters were named Iris and Maeve. Iris makes other appearances and Maeve vanishes... or maybe she is really Celeste. WHO IS CELESTE?!
Inconsistency #3: Finn mentions having a private plane. I guess it's not always that easy to use a private plane although that seems to defeat the purpose of having one. But anyway, if he did have a private plane, why was he on Hazel's plane to begin with? Ugh.
Inconsistency #4: When two characters have sex, there's definitely a comment about using a condom. However, after the deed is done, there is another conversation about sperm being on the woman's legs, which would NOT happen if a condom was used. That was just lazy.
Besides the inconsistencies, I hated the way everyone in the book talked. Hazel is supposed to be 30. I'm 30 now and this girl talked like a hipster idiot. She cursed non-stop for no particular reason. I'm really not a priss (I promise) and I do have moments where I curse but as a teacher, I'm pretty good at watching my language around people. I just feel like it lacks total class to curse in every other sentence and for no particular reason.
She also kept describing food as ambrosia, which got annoying. I get that food is supposed to be good, but pick another adjective! And she used really irritating words like "chunder" (vomit) and shizzle (are you twelve?). I found all of the dialogue in the book to be incredibly stupid.
Beyond that, things happened way too fast. Hazel never really has a good reason for either of the major decisions that she makes in the book. Finn also comes off as very light and fun but apparently he's all tortured and messed up but none of that comes across. Even when they talk about it, I still couldn't reconcile his self-description with the character throughout the whole book. There are also places where his awful song lyrics are printed in the book. The other characters in the book were totally one dimensional, so when she mentioned getting emails from "the old gang", I didn't care because she didn't make me want to care.
All in all, I should've gone with the book that was an update on Pygmalion... or something British. I'm all for fun and breezy but not stupid and poorly edited (there were various other errors throughout the book. In one instance Hazel used the term "blowj", and I don't know if that was one of her stupid expressions or just bad editing after the author forgot to add "ob" to the word). So not one I'd recommend.
Here are some more positive reviews than mine: Toothybooks, Woman Around Town. Here's one that was more in line with what I thought: Leeswammes.
Buy it at amazon or Barnes & Noble. Or don't. Ugh.