Billionaires Make Bad Lovers
By: Andi Bryce
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Stars
The first meeting of the Sassy Sophisticates of Alabama commenced Tuesday night. Most of the conversation happens online or in passing at our other shared events such as Bunco or ladies nights, but this once a month meeting is the one night that is fully dedicated to focusing in and finding our final clarity on our books.
As far as the setting many of the girls were confused why these ladies were in Aspen if they all lived in Texas. It seemed that they were instead living in Colorado and that the houses in Texas could be left out considering it caused so much confusion amongst the group. Or perhaps the book would have held far more meaning if there was the personal connection to the settings and imagery were explored further by the author.
Billionaires Make Bad Lovers (BMBL) had created quite the hot topic amongst the ladies, mostly for their conflicted opinions on the books style, the characters, and the voice. Particularly at the beginning of the book where many of the ladies felt the author was dumbing down the story too much for the reader. Much seems to be over stated and over explained instead of illustrated.
The large amount of characters introduced all at once made for much confusion.
B: couldn’t follow it in the beginning so as a result the book was never finished.
M: Does anyone else feel like the author is talking at you instead of painting u a word picture? Also, the story setup in the first couple chapters was really lacking.
Many times when some hop into books they skip over the prologue, this a book where the prologue is incredibly necessary in order to follow the rest of the story.
BMBL was an incredibly hands down character driven story. The struggles we had unanimously was relating to these characters who were too over the top in their stereotypes and obnoxious flaws.
M: “Perhaps the author was trying to understand her own friends, and exploring the extremes of their actions while writing them into this book?”
Mary Beth: The most popular character in the group. It’s no wonder MB is our narrator’s best friend with her educated wit and extreme level headedness. The reader admires her sense of patience with this group of what seems like dim witted females who have never had a moment of self reliance in their life. This is the theme that drives the entire novel, and Mary Beth serves as that burst of fresh air, at first.
As the book continues though she turns from snarky bitch to raging bitch. It seems to be sparked by the first appearance of Glacier to the ladies weekly ritual of Martini Thursday when Mary Beth shows a severe hatred for this man’s presence. Mary Beth has her ghosts, and a mild annoyance at his arrival would be understandable, but this extreme leads the readers to want to know more about why she is behaving the way she is. You wait through the book for some sort of unpredictable run in she had had with this man before, or a past issue with men at this event. What exactly sparks it, we just want to know?
J: “…at a level her smart aleck apathetic live-free or die trying attitude would be incredibly alluring to me.”
Lucy: Our narrator, oddly we don’t really learn her name until a chapter or two into the novel. In our book talk the other night we wondered if perhaps the narrator was too limited in her articulations and global views to really serve as a strong narrator. Then we wondered if perhaps the story was more personal and our narrator may perhaps be a reflection of our author. This we felt would bring to light to the over explanation of feelings, and finding herself more consumed with overstating her own state of mind while ignoring the surroundings.
O: “Mary Beth’s mouth. Lucy’s take what’s mine attitude.”
L: “The story would be enjoyable told from MB’s perspective; Lucy is too shallow and obsessed with her own thoughts and feelings.
Cheyenne: Why? This character seems so out of place, and to have so very little to do with the plot to be such a prime character of the book. We want more of Cheyenne, this should have been the most relatable character to those of us with a more middle class background but instead we find the character lacking in depth.
There was a disagreement in the book talk on Cheyenne’s responses to her wealthy controlling boyfriend. “how did she let him have such control over her in such a short amount of time?”
- She is the image of a “gold digger” meaning it’s not about the relationship but just maintaining the privileged lifestyle.
- She was raised a victim of abuse, which perhaps made her react differently than most. Perhaps she was more prone to a sense of Stockholm.
C: “[on Cheyenne] she seems super chill which I need more of in my life”
Dallas: Kind, beautiful Dallas. Single mother, but dumb as a box of rocks. So much life and background was given about Dallas, which the group greatly appreciated. Next to Mary Beth, I think the majority of the group enjoyed Dallas’s sweet and hopeful nature.
The only real inconsistent character trait that stood out was a scene where our rugged Glacier Jones suggests that instead of dating around, perhaps Dallas develop a career for herself. Her and Lucy’s joint epiphany and surprise to this novel idea seemed to really irritate me, Mr. Jones should have then taken his thick leather bound book of answers and whacked them across their faces. What single mother raised by a single mother wouldn’t have some natural understanding some aspect of independence? Sure she can choose the road wayward from self-reliance but to suggest that she is too dim to understand how a job works is taking things a bit too far.
Glacier Jones: Our rugged secondary character that created a sense of wonder an mystery at the beginning, leading to a sea of sprouting spiritual knowledge.
M: Maybe because he reminds me of an old bf from college but his whole peace in the here n now thing is pissing me off! Like he knows the secret to the universe and is too pretentious and obnoxious to share it with the common folk!
In the end Mr. Jones is a character you walk away thinking you know more about than the four primary characters. This made him quite a center of conversation:
L: “…curious about his name. Because it obviously has some deep meaning we will eventually learn. Wondering if he constantly moves. At first it seems maybe only a little bit of him is at the surface, but then the reader realizes that’s an iceberg.”
J: “From first impressions in the coffee shop scene Mr. Jones came off in someway reformed from some sort of lifestyle. Was it drugs, alcohol, crime, or just a rough childhood? What was his changing moment? Where was his awakening? That is if he was reformed at all. When he’s not at the coffee shop I imagined him giving hiking tours in Aspen, leading outdoor yoga classes at the top of some mountain, or some manual labor profession like construction or mechanics.”
The Ending: *Spoilers*
L: “The ending was enjoyable, it was cliche but not predictable.”
In the end the author’s style in writing seems to really pick up steam. The imagery is on point, the ideas are no longer over stated and the flow of the words suddenly keep the reader captivated. Like this whole book was written for this very final couple of chapters.
At first when the ex-husband returns the reader takes a moment of panic, oh no, has this whole book been for nothing? But then the reader sees the renewed, stronger Lucy and realizes this was about a personal journey that had to happen for both the her and her ex husband to understand how to balance their love and their lives.
In conclusion, the read was enjoyable and quite the adventure. Go in with a mind ready to keep up with four major stereotypes of women and keep in mind that it is story about their growth. We all have faults and this book emphasizes theirs so that we can better understand their transitions.
This post is part of Eric’s Taboo Word Challenge
I encourage you to partake, and here’s how: