Things Good Girls Don’t Do, Codi Gary

Things Good Girls Don’t Do
Codi Gary
Published Date: Aug 27, 2013

Cheeseball rating: A lot of cheeseballs.
Authenticity of Spirit:  Bleh.
How hot is it: Not too much.
Hero: Chase. Age: 33.
Heroine: Katie. Age: 30.

I was really looking forward to this book since I love most books published by Avon Romance, but man, I could not finish this one. It started out okay. I mean, the girl talked about church and stuff in the beginning and I kind of got worried, but then it wasn’t brought up again so I kept going. I wanted to like it, and I did kind of like the main character, but it was all so cliche and boring. I’m sorry, but I just didn’t buy that this guy was bad. He was guilty of owning a tattoo parlor. I didn’t finish, but I don’t even think he even had a tattoo himself… He also wrote a popular comic books series. And yet, he was supposed to be this rough, hard character, but he just whined all the time and called his motorcycle a chopper, which like, just no one would ever call a bike because it’s ridiculous.

So here are some “things” good girls don’t do. And “things” is pretty much an indicator of just how creative and imaginative this book gets, by the way. But anyway, here are the things:

1. Not ask ridiculous rhetorical questions. After a really stupid argument with her best friend about how she is “changing”: “She might have overstepped in a major way, but they had been friends for a long time. Was she ready to just give up on that? No, she wasn’t. Not yet.” Oh, god, I nearly fell asleep writing that sentence. How good of friends are you really if you’re rethinking that friendship after just one argument?? Ugh.

2. Wear clothing that makes sense. At one point, she’s wearing sweatpants and a tank top. Who does this?? What weather requires winter on the bottom and summer on the top?? This is clearly not a big deal, and I’m sure lots of people wear sweatpants and tank tops, but it was just indicative of how little care and thought was put into this book.

3. Use insults from this century. Katie says to an old bat who is mean to her for no reason whatsoever since in real life so many people are, of course. “I am not going to apologize for speaking the truth, you insufferable boar.” I mean, honestly? And look, if I got the sense that this insult was supposed to be ironically funny or tongue-in-cheek, I wouldn’t have a problem with it, but I really did not get that.

4. Understand rebellion. In a fit of good girl rebellion, she buys a “rhinestone buckle that read ROCK.” Seriously? Seriously?? If I saw a human woman with a belt buckle that said ROCK on it, I mean, I probably wouldn’t do anything actually, but I would think she was decidedly un-ROCK-like. Again, not a big deal, but another illustration that I don’t think this author is in touch with, like, the reality of the world.

I don’t want to be a total hag, the book wasn’t totally irredeemable. It had cute moments, like when Katie says, “Who in the name of Brad Paisley is that?” He was from my hometown, so it’s always nice to see him get some play, but it kind of didn’t fit with the rest of the story. I mean, we didn’t know she listened to country music, I think they’re in Idaho, so I don’t naturally associate Idaho with country music so it was just random.

That said, there wasn’t enough good to make me finish it. Overall, it was just lame. Really, really lame. And that’s kind of saying a lot when talking about romance novels. It felt empty and cold, even though Katie was supposed to be so good and caring. Chase was seriously one-dimensional as well. Here’s the thing, characters aren’t automatically complex because you tell me he’s a bad guy tattoo artist, but also a sensitive comic book creator. You’ve just gotta show me something, you know, but all I got were lazy cliches and weird nicknames and forced humor. I’m not giving up on Avon or this author, but I’m definitely not coming back to finish this one anytime soon.


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