Women’s Literature

Savvy Sheldon Feels Good as Hell

Savvy Sheldon Feels Good as Hell

By: Taj McCoy

Blurb:

A delicious debut rom-com about a plus-size sweetheart who gets a full-life makeover after a brutal breakup.

Savvy Sheldon spends a lot of time tiptoeing around the cracks in her life: her high-stress and low-thanks job, her clueless boyfriend and the falling-apart kitchen she inherited from her beloved grandma—who taught her how to cook and how to love people by feeding them. But when Savvy’s world starts to crash down around her, she knows it’s time for some renovations.

Starting from the outside in, Savvy tackles her crumbling kitchen, her relationship with her body, her work–life balance (or lack thereof) and, last but not least, her love life. The only thing that doesn’t seem to require effort is her ride-or-die squad of friends. But as any home-reno-show junkie can tell you, something always falls apart during renovations. First, Savvy passes out during hot yoga. Then it turns out that the contractor she hires is the same sexy stranger she unintentionally offended by judging based on appearances. Worst of all, Savvy can’t seem to go anywhere without tripping over her ex and his latest “upgrade.” Savvy begins to realize that maybe she should’ve started her renovations the other way around: beginning with how she sees herself before building a love that lasts.

Review:

I was really excited to read Savvy Sheldon. I like when a character gets to completely “fix” their lives while falling madly in love with someone. Sadly, this was not a romance, it is a book about a woman learning how to love herself, but not that way.

This is quickly becoming one of my most hated pet peeves. Women’s literature being marketed as romance. Just because there is some romance in a story does not mean it’s a romance book. It is abundantly clear this is what the publisher was going for too. You’ve got the illustrated cover which is the new trend in romance. You’ve got the blurb that talks about a sexy stranger and tackling her love life. There’s also the fact that it was recommended to me in marketing emails about romance books. Based on the reviews I’m not the only one that got pissed about that too.

Setting that aside, it’s clear that McCoy didn’t get the work reform email. Savvy starts out working a ton of hours. Works even more until she’s overwhelmed and screws something up. Then backs down to where she’s just working what she was originally working. I guess I’ve been reading too much reddit but I kept waiting for her to come to the realization that her job needed to hire more people and stop expecting her to do the work of an entire team. There was a team, but she was the only one doing the work. Her whole work situation ended with her getting a partial promotion after failing at a full one. She was basically given more work to do because she asked them to create a wellness plan to help promote work life balance and her boss is like sure, you do it and your old job. It was stupid.

Then there’s the whole wellness journey she goes on. At one point she’d been good enough at tennis to get a scholarship, but due to an accident and then her desire to kill herself by overwork she’d stopped exercising and gained weight. The first thing she does in her quest to get healthy is go on a leisurely 3-mile hike. That honestly struck me as ridiculous. Not the hiking, but how easy going on a 3-mile hike was for someone who was supposedly super out of shape. The whole wellness kick through the book was annoying. There were so many pages dedicated to tennis. Ugh.

Anyway. The romance. Savvy’s boyfriend dumps her and is a massive tool about the whole thing. She still spends a large portion of the book hung up on him because they’d been together so long. What starts her whole desire to shake things up is that he tells her he needs an upgrade, so she decides to get a revenge body. Which I thought was incredibly problematic and there should have been a lot more focus on her learning to love who she was then the sound of a tennis ball being hit.

Sorry. Anyway. The romance. A neighbor sets her up with a contractor to fix her kitchen. He’s hot but she wants to wait until they are no longer working on her kitchen, however her friends push things by getting her on Tinder and matching with him. Things seem to be going well, but he doesn’t stick around till the morning after the have sex which bothers her. She doesn’t say anything to him though and decides to go on another Tinder date as a sort of fuck you. When he sees her with the new date and then saves her from them trying to assault her, he’s completely understanding about her looking at the other fish available. However, when she sees him later with a woman, an ex he’s just driving to the airport, she gets furious at him. The double standard was strong.

If you removed the romance from Savvy Sheldon you’d still have a book. It’s not a romance. Be forewarned.

1.5/5

Beach Read

Beach Read

Beach Read

By: Emily Henry

Blurb:

Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.

They’re polar opposites.

In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block.

Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really.

Review:

Two writers decide to switch genres, one goes for romance the other literary fiction. The story is not really about that. It’s about January working through the death of her father and what she learned about him afterward. There’s a bit of romance thrown in as well. It’s more women’s literature than chick-lit, does that make sense?

January was depressed and had every reason to be, the book is filled with lots of memories of her dad, and her wondering if what she learned about him changed it all. The male lead, Gus, told her several times that she was sunshine and a princess because she always saw the good in people and things, but that is not the January that was in the book. It wasn’t easy to see that in her at all. She wrote romance novels with happy endings, and that was supposed to demonstrate that she was a happily ever after person.

Gus was a brooder. He had a shit life growing up, and didn’t believe he deserved someone as “carefree” as January. He was constantly getting in his own way by not communicating. January had to pry things out of him all the time.

Beach Read was very emotional, lots of tears, especially at the end. When January wasn’t processing all the stuff to do with her dad, she and Gus were interviewing cult survivors and visiting the burned down remains of the cult’s compound. The romance tried to lighten things up, but because of all the negative that was in their pasts, especially Gus’, it didn’t help that much. Beach Read very carefully rode the line between light and depressing.

3/5