Justifications Aside: Lesser of Two Douches


This is my second post. Also I didn’t mention that the title of the book I’m reviewing is the title of the post before the colon in case that was confusing.
Background: This novel is written by Matilda F. Maxwell. I think this book is the last of trilogy, but I’m not completely sure as the other books are not mentioned and the reader is immediately thrown into an intense fight where background knowledge is assumed. The cover is a weird shade of brown with leaves on it and has nothing to do with the plot or really anything for that matter.

Plot: Our protagonist Maxine is caught in a love triangle between her current boyfriend, Mike who cheated on her and her ex boyfriend Tom with whom she had an open relationship. Throughout the novel, she goes back and forth between who she will pick as her main man.

Spoilers: During her think tank sessions, Max comes to terms with the fact that she is insecure, and that she needs to work through these insecurities. After debating which guy works better for her, Maxine chooses Mike. In the end they get married and have a baby shortly thereafter.

Passage: I both hoped that Mike had text me and dreaded the thought that Tom might. In part, because if there was a message from my former time-shared boyfriend, the insane response I would have drafted most likely would have probably embarrassed me at some point. But there was nothing. Just the blank screen of my cellphone staring back at me, or mocking me as it felt.

Opinion: As a romance novel, I think the plot works well. I was intrigued by the fact that the main character admitted to having flaws that drove her relationship to the ground, since most romance novels rely on breakups being caused by implausible misunderstandings rather than real world incompatibilities. The only part I did not like about this was the fact that she used her main flaw of neediness brought on by insecurity as a be-all end-all reason as to why Max was a bad person and deserved her first breakup with Mike when he cheated on her.
The two guys that Max is interested in are a bit douchey. For one, when the novel opens up we are thrown into a fight between the two men where they both comment on the fact that they both slept with the protagonist WHILE SHE IS STANDING IN FRONT OF THEM. I understand that emotions are running high, but for the love of Jesus you don’t use gross tent pitching analogies to assert your dominance when the “tent” is not even three feet away from you. As mentioned above, Mike cheated on Max, which caused their first breakup, and Tom had another girlfriend while dating Maxine although he was honest about their situation from the beginning. Neither guy seems like much of a catch from my perspective, and the entire time I was hoping she wouldn’t choose wither of them. She could use the time to actually work on her issues and find a guy that respects her enough to not refer to her as a piece of camping equipment.
The sex scenes are okay; they’re not gross but aren’t turn-on’s.
There were a surprising number of spelling and grammatical errors throughout the short novel. I swear that every chapter had at least a few, which is distracting. The writing style was easy to understand, and was neither good nor bad in any particular way.

Ratings: Since this is a romance novel here are the ratings for
Relationship drama: 8/10
Romantic Development: 6/10
Hot love interest: 3/10
Creativity: 7/10
Plot: 5/10
Overall I give this book a 6.5/10 for a romance novel. The unlikeable love interests and spelling errors are distracting, but the main character’s self evaluation is refreshing.

Citation: Maxwell, Matilda F (2014-01-14). Justifications Aside (Kindle Locations 507-510). . Kindle Edition.


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