I’ve been pondering a new segment of book reviews, wherein I explain simply why I didn’t want to finish a book. Normally, if I don’t finish it, I don’t review it. But after some Twitter discussion over the past few weeks, enough people wanted to know the reasoning behind why I didn’t finish a book that I figured I’d try to explain.
I didn’t finish With a Twist by Deirdre Martin because, while the hero was very interesting, smart, complex, and dedicated, the heroine was too irritating for me to tolerate. It wasn’t because she’s French, or that she has that innate Parisian skill of being brusque to the point of rudeness, or that she’s prickly and not at all impressed with the hero. She is all of those things, but that didn’t bug me much. I kinda liked her for that part of her character.
What pissed me off is the numerous mentions of the heroine’s financial irresponsibility. Natalie is a waitress in her sister’s bistro in Brooklyn, and given some of the conversations in early scenes of the book, it seem Le Nat has a shopping problem. She’s cut up her credit cards, she’s got piles of debt, she has a job and an apartment – and yet maintains an attitude that she is entitled to a rich, luxurious life merely because…she showed up. And she wants it so ergo she deserves it.
What sent me over the edge is that Nat is one of those people for whom it seems real consequences don’t apply. She wants to be a manager in a New York restaurant, in Manhattan because Brooklyn isn’t good enough, and she wants to live in Manhattan – though see above re: credit cards, debt, and job as waitress. But wait! A rich, connected older friend of the family will allow her to use his incredibly opulent, gorgeous, full furnished apartment in the UN neighborhood on the east side for…free? But of course. It is Natalie.
Financial irresponsibility is common, and a major problem. And it’s not an unforgivable sin, despite the American attitude toward poverty that if you’re poor, you did something morally to deserve it (omg don’t get me started on that. Rage, I has it like damn). But the blithe sense of entitlement that allowed Natalie to believe that everyone else had the problem, not her, and my increasing irritation that she really needed a good long Extreme Makeover: Attitude Edition, like NOW, coupled with her lack of self-knowledge or acting as if she might know better any time soon prevented me from reading further, despite my enjoyment of Martin’s other books.
I disliked her so much by the end of chapter 5 I didn’t think she could redeem herself. Moreover, I didn’t want the luscious hero to waste his time for her. So I moved on and started something else.