My rating: 1 of 5 stars
This seems to be an unpopular opinion … but I really didn’t like this book. I hated the first 60-ish % and I despised Ruby the MC.
Now, I already thought the premise was a little bit on the silly side (divorcing your husband, whom you dearly love to protest marriage inequality? Aren’t there other ways you could do that?) but I thought it would be funny, quick and easy to read.
Oh boy, was I wrong!
“‘I think we should get a divorce.’
It is the double take of double takes. His eyes widen and he hits his head on the wall behind.
‘But I thought we were having a good time. Why? What did I do? It was a text, a couple of texts. I was trying to get rid of her. Have you been going through my phone? I mean what the hell, Ruby? I’d never do that to you.’
He stands up, drags his wallet out of his pocket and dumps a couple of hundreds on the table.
‘Wait’, I say.
‘I need to walk,’ he says. I’ll see you later.’
‘But. Wait. Wait. It’s not like that. Who’s her?'”
Is it only me who finds that a ridiculous reaction and overly dramatic? If it is going well why immediately freak out and leave instead of letting her answer your fucking questions?
But anyway, after that he agrees to divorce her to try and get same-sex couples the right to marry.
The only thing Ruby and I agree on is that it shouldn’t be a question and that anyone and everyone should be able to marry whoever the fuck they love.
She is doing this also for her sister Peta, who is the ex-wife of Mark, has a kid with him and is now in love with BJ and wants to marry her.
But Peta isn’t really appreciating this right off the bat, but more on that later.
To get a divorce they have to be separated for a year, so Mark will move back into his parent’s house who are conveniently on a world tour right now.
Okay and here comes the first scene I wanted to DNF this book, but since it’s only about 7% in I thought I have to give this more of a chance and continued on, but here is the scene. Mark and Ruby go grocery shopping together and Mark is a little passive aggressive and decides he has to practice buying groceries and gets his own trolley and gets what he wants.
They meet Ruby’s best friend and her husband.
‘Hey. Two trolleys? Are you having a party?’, Jus looks in mine. ‘Nope, not a party. Menstruation and housework. And Mark,’ she eyes his trolley, ‘a feast of bad breath and sleeping alone. What’s happening?
‘We’re getting a divorce.’
Justine looks about for somewhere to sit. There’s nowhere. She grips her trolley. Tears flow. Stuart is quick with an arm around her shoulder. It is the fastest meltdown in history.”
Again, is it only me or would no one really react that way? No ‘What? What happened? Why so suddenly?’ or ‘Are you kidding?’ Justine is Ruby’s best friend. I would be a bit more shocked and suspicious if my best friend told me out of the blue she is getting a divorce when she hasn’t mentioned having problems or anything.
This repeats itself throughout the book. Oh and not only are the characters very flat and two dimensional, they aren’t always consistent either. Justine, for example, isn’t shown to be this emotional ever again.
There is a sub-plot of Ruby being harassed, with phone calls and mail, that was at least a little bit more interesting. But I the reveal was cliche and eye-roll worthy!
Also, I’m not the biggest fan of describing all other people who don’t share Ruby’s viewpoint on marriage equality as bad people overall. Even though I completely agree with Ruby, I don’t think it’s that easy to have all the other people being jerks in all aspects of their life and to be vile and bitchy. People are more layered than that and I think it’s cheap to portray them this way.
Let’s take Charlene Hunter. She is anti-gay-marriage. Ruby and Charlene are in a morning talk show to discuss. Charlene is supposed to be a pro and ‘destroy’ other peoples arguments. But here is how it plays out:
“‘Look what you’ve done.’
She turns to me, puffed up like an angry cat or one of those fish that balloon up over your spear.
‘I have had this spot for years and never sworn’
‘Oh, did the big bad equality advocate make little Charlene swear?’
On the monitor I see it coming but I don’t have time to react. Charlene picks up the cushion behind her and swings it at my face. My head snaps back. She has another swing. I get a button to the eye. My eye is going to be black by sunset.
‘Charlene!’ Tommo is up but Charlene jumps on top of me and pushes me back onto the couch. She claws my cheek. Tommo tries to get her off me. She kicks. Straight to his groin and Tommo is down. I cover my face to keep her from clawing my eyes out […]”
Would a professional, a person who has been on countless ‘TV duels’ and always won the argument with words, really react like that?? I seriously doubt that.
Oh, and Tommo, the moderator is also portrayed as malicious and slightly dim. Oh and he’s getting it on with Charlene, whose clothes are btw not so classy … I rest my case.
They are countless more examples I could share (for example the time Ruby stalked a car just because it had an ‘Unmarryme’ sticker on its windshield or how she slapped Peta) but this review is already long as it is.
BUT I’m still glad that I pushed through and read the whole thing because the last ~25 % were a lot better. Now, still not enough to give a higher rating (for that the first 60% were too bad). But I could read that without stopping every other second to roll my eyes so that’s definitely an improvement.
Mr. and Mrs. P were cute. Justine was fine towards the end. Even though there was a lot of unnecessary drama, but I could cope with that.
All in all, not my book. Which is sad because even though I thought the whole unmarry me idea a bit weird I was still really interested.
I got a free review copy (netgalley) in exchange for an honest review.