52 Book Challenge: Precious Thing by Colette McBeth

8 Jun

Precious Thing

{Proceed with caution, mid-level spoilers all up in this bitch}

I feel like I am constantly being tricked into reading chick-lit. I do not like chick-lit, I do not want to read it. But so often books that seem to skirt gently along the edges end up cannonballing head-first into the murky world of chick-lit with absolutely no warning. All the reviews are all “a dark thriller!” and “psychologically intense!” when it is really just chick-lit with an ever-so-sharpened edge.

Describing Precious Thing is quite hard. The core concept of having two characters who are both unreliable narrators with conflicting views of the same events is great. The execution of literally everything else in this book is shit. Imagine Gone Girl stuffed so full of WOW PLOT TWISTS it’s comical. Imagine flat, boring, cardboard cutout characters–the ugly duckling (Rachel) who grew into success (and, of course, BEAUTYYYY), the prettier but totes down to earth best friend (Clara), the drunk and abusive mom, the absent dad, the aunt who treated our protagonist like her own kid (why are these aunts always overweight and round in books? why?), the doting boyfriend, the male coworker who is always there for her cuz he secretly luuurvs her, the other male coworker with a grudge because ~ahh women don’t belong in this industry!~ but you so know she will pull one over on him because she is a ~strong female character.~

Smush those characters and way too many plot twists into a stale tale of revenge and bah-wam, it’s Precious Things! There is also a huge amount of misogyny (yes, in chick-lit, from a female author)–there is a constant focus on how skinny our main girl got, how she is now prettier than the girls in highschool who were mean to her (girls who, OF COURSE, are now fat with bad haircuts ugh).  Because losing weight means her life is an utter success! And there is also a large focus on having a man = doing well in life. Ahh, so progressive.

My main issue (you know, aside from all the other issues I just mentioned…) was the way McBeth framed Rachel and Clara’s friendship. It was supposed to be magnetic, super-close-right-away, might-as-well-be-sisters sort of thing, but the awkward, clunky writing made it come off as a romance. Rachel, the ugly ducking, is constantly going on and on about how beautiful and wonderful Clara is, and not in a “I wish I was like that” tone but in an “I wanna do her” tone. Given later plot twists, so creepy. I mean, if the actual twist was that she was in love with Clara the whole time–wow, I would have been right on board. Spoiler alter: that’s not what happens. Sigh.

Rating

Book 41 Precious Thing

LipstickRating1Half

 

 

I would give this book zero lipsticks if I could. I hate it that much.

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