I made a comment a little while ago while I was reading Until You by Bridie Blake that I didn’t know why I still bother to read books with this sort of premise anymore and every part of me wishes it wasn’t true. I have always, for some reason, found myself drawn to the “fake dating a celebrity to save his career” plot. Every single time I find myself disappointed because I am reading basically the exact same book. Yet somehow I always convince myself beforehand that this wont be true.
There’s nothing new about Until You, nothing that sets it apart from all the other books just like it. I’ll admit, the characters in this on were certainly a lot less annoying than the ones in the last one I read, I think largely due to just better overall writing this time around. But even with that, they were all poorly developed and followed the same typical set of events that all the other books do.
First they meet somehow (and this is about as original as this particular book gets), then they end up in a contract where the girl will fake date him for a while to help his image, then they start to fall for each other—and for some reason that is seriously beginning to infuriate me this always as an excessive amount of focus on how she looks as opposed to her personality—and then something happens, usually with one of his employees that causes a miscommunication that results in a big dramatic fight and resulting breakup that is eventually resolved in a flash forward a few weeks later. Sometimes these characters reveal their feelings prior to the intervening of aforementioned member of his staff and sometimes they reveal them after, but really, is that a good enough difference to make this sort of book interesting?
I don’t know why I ever expect there will be something new to these books.
But, wait. There was something new to Until You, something that became the primary reason for why I rated this book with two stars as opposed to three. The main character gets sexually assaulted. And literally no one does anything about it. She’s left in a booth in a club with a massively predatory celebrity who kisses her neck and reaches his way up her dress to her underwear. And then her fake boyfriend shows up, pulls her away, glares a bit and that’s the last we hear of it.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
I could’ve handled the poorly developed characters, the typical motivation, the plot that could literally be compared to a cooking recipe, but I cannot handle sexual assault not being addressed. We don’t live in a time period where that is acceptable anymore. Plain and simple. I know this book was published in 2017, but let’s be a bit more progressive than this. I was honestly so uncomfortable reading this scene and I can see it being exceedingly triggering for someone.
And I suppose the book could have some points for having some LGBTQ representation, but frankly it was so hidden and minimal and then only addressed in a couple of sentences that it was pretty pathetic, so I don’t even know if the book deserves credit for it. Needless to say, I’m pretty disappointed.
Overall, my complaints about the main bit of the story come down to the fact that no one ever seems to have any originality. Which, I suppose, if I’m reading a book that follows this plotline I should just start to expect so maybe I’ll be happily surprised one day? Had it not been for the problems regarding the sexual assault and the gay character, I might have given this book a three just for not being terrible in terms of writing quality. But…those portions of the novel were truly quite poorly handled.
Truth be told, I think a two star rating is being generous.
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.