Boycotts and Barflies
Author: Victoria Michaels
Publisher: Omnific Publishing
Format: Kindle Edition, 422 pages
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Read: February 2016
After an endless string of bad dates and a generally pathetic love life, Grace Park and her friends decide to boycott men for six weeks. With a fantastic pair of shoes on the line for the woman who makes it to the end without breaking any rules, the competition gets fierce. Sparks fly a few days into the bet when Grace and her friends cross paths with a sexy bartender named Michael Andris who happens to have a little bet of his own going with his friends….
In this hilarious debut novel, Victoria Michaels brings us a colorful and relatable cast of characters. She sends them on a sweet and sexy escapade as they sidestep one booby trap after another, manage the best of misguided intentions, and exert a whole lot of willpower and self control as they race down the path to true love.
Winning isn’t everything…or is it?
Plot – 1 out of 5 stars
Everything just got on my nerves. There were too many coincidences to be realistic, it was really cheesy and totally boring. There was a three times case of insta love! Not one, but three couples suffered. It was way too long and there was no real conflict driving the plot. Everything could’ve been resolved in the first 200 pages if they had wanted to.
Writing Style – 2 out of 5 stars
Maybe even more annoying than anything else because it was just so completely juvenile. There was bad grammar, bad transitions, no breaks between POVs. There was like one flashback and I didn’t notice there was a POV change and it was a flashback until the second paragraph after it started. There was a lot of telling instead of showing and it was all too cheesy and sappy.
Characters – 2 out of 5 stars
I don’t know which of these things are the worst, but I believe I hated the characters the most. There is little difference between these characters and their fanfiction inspirations. Grace was the epitome of an insecure girl. She had low self esteem, was so shy and completely immature and juvenile. She got completely on my nerves and was incredibly annoying. The male love interest was way too cookie cutter, perfect in every way, completely unrealistic, never going to find a guy like this one ever. Just like his counterpart. His intensity and charm was actually kind of annoying. All the other side characters are too perfect and there is practically no character development.
There are some great examples of when fanfictions are made into published novels, *cough* Wallbanger *cough*, but this is not one of them.
The plot was totally cheesy. We follow three girls who make a bet to boycott men (to win a pair of expensive shows and bragging rights) then fall in love with three men who’ve sworn off cheap girls. The entire “conflict”, if you can even call it that, is the prohibition of sex with guys you’re supposedly already in love with because you want to win the stupid bet! That’s it!! There is nothing else and it’s quite frustrating when you have this girl trying to thoroughly convince you about how much she loves this guy she just met a few days ago but it’s not enough of a love to give up a dumb pair of shoes for. It’s annoying and it makes no sense for adults to consent to something like that for more than 400 pages!! There are things that when they are in the format of a fanfiction, you can forgive. Why? Because you get one chapter a week, so the tension and the interest builds over time. When you have it all together in one book, there is no anticipation! Everyone can tell what’s going to happen and the whole time you sit there thinking, when are these idiots going to get their shit together? I’m going to be sharing a discussion inspired by this book and fanfictions later this month because I was so frustrated the entire time I read this. The whole thing was super cheesy and boring and filled to the brim with constant cliches. Halfway through, I started skimming because there was nothing happening except the day to day activities of these characters that meant absolutely nothing to me because there was no depth! Too many pages dedicated to a book with a pointless plot and a conflict which could’ve easily been resolved in a moment.
Grace is Bella Swan, there is literally no other way to describe this girl. She’s shy, quiet, completely insecure and has the lowest self esteem ever. IT WAS SO ANNOYING! I don’t care for a girl who spends time overly describing how gorgeous her friends are and how plain and ugly she is. I have no patience for this! But then everyone else in the world find her beautiful too. I wanted to gouge my eyes out, seriously! There was supposed to be growth and strength in her personality but there was nothing! All she realized was that she needed the love of a man to feel good about herself. AND THAT’S NOT TRUE! It’s so infuriating because the kind of messages this book is sending about women and their personalities is awful!
The side characters were literally just a repeat of all the Cullen siblings. Way too perfect and honestly, a little condescending. They treat Grace like a porcelain child who must not be bothered or disturbed but at the same time, want her to feel better about herself and be more secure. But not in an encouraging way no, by lying to her! Almost the entire time they were having these problems about the bet, the only people in it were Grace and Michael (who is like Edward personified by the way). All the other four side characters, yes you know who they are no need to tell you their names for this book, were getting together and making the biggest deal about the smallest things.
It’s so frustrating to find these kinds of books that basically give a bad name to published fanfictions. There’s a lot of great talent involved in fanfiction communities who put their effort into creating great works with someone else’s characters but also in developing those works beyond what they began. And these examples, as well as Fifty Shades of Grey in my opinion, just basically combine all their chapters and call it a book. That’s not the way it’s supposed to go. You have to adjust a lot more than just character names and places to create something that’s original. So please, don’t read this and if you do, don’t think this is the best fanfiction authors who are being published have to offer.
So that’s it for this review! Let me know if you’ve read this book and what you thought. Let me know your thoughts on fanfiction and fanfiction that is published. If you’ve read any that are good and well done, give me your recs below. Thanks so much for reading and I’ll see you on my next post!