Charlie is down to her absolute. Total. Last. Resort.
Despite a thoroughly comprehensive list of potential cherry poppers, er…suitors, and careful plotting, Charlie is three weeks into her devirginization campaign, still untouched, and getting desperate. In the movie of her life, this aspiring screenwriter is giving herself a PG, for please, get some.
Her project goes into freeze frame when her mom checks herself into rehab and packs Charlie off to live with her estranged, or just plain strange, grandfather, Monty. How is she supposed to get a date when she has to go pick up his Depends?
Enter Eric, a hot rehab grad on the road to redemption, and the only one who can make Charlie rethink her strategy. The more she gets to know him, the more convinced she becomes that is the one, and not just another to add to the list of people who will abandon her.
Miss Riki’s Review:
This book has a sort of identity crisis going on. On one hand, it’s billed to be a fun romp through one girl’s adventure in taking control of her destiny and losing her virginity, and in reality is tends more towards the heartwarming with a coming-of-age family drama. Unfortunately, it never quite reached cruising speed with either intent.
The idea of Charlie’s list of boys to potentially lose her virginity to was intriguing, but it only makes up a small portion of the beginning of the book before coming back to haunt her in an odd twist in the ending. I was looking forward to more fun, quirky exploits on her path, but only a few are even mentioned, and they are written in an odd stylistic choice of showing a screenplay version of events. You see, Charlie is a writer who dreams of writing screenplays, and there are a few odd moments in the book where she describes things in movie-speak and screenplay format. It didn’t really work for me.
As for the character herself, Charlie is no doubt snarky and at times overly sarcastic, which makes for some really excellent one-liners and funny moments, but I found her constant cynicism to be exhausting and after awhile I just began to dislike her. It isn’t until near the end of the book that she starts to show some heart for the stressful family circumstances she is in and I began to see a fully sounded character emerge. All in all, too much snark- not enough heart.
I also wanted more explanation on the family element of the book. Charlie is sent to live with her grandfather when her mother goes into rehab, and it is mentioned that there is some tension there, but it is never fully explained. What caused this immense rift between the mother and the grandfather? Then, if there was this big issue, why was it so easy to send Charlie to live with him? Once Charlie is there, I would have liked to see more description of their everyday relationship and how they grow to like each other. In order for the melodrama that follows to really hit home, I needed more for their relationship.
All in all, this is a short book that could benefit from some more development, both in character and plot. It tried to hard to be funny and never quite hit home emotionally.