- Title: Exactly Where They’d Fall
- Author: Laura Rae Amos
- ASIN: B008OWGPI2
- Series: Stand Alone
- Published: July 20th 2012
- Format: eARC
- Genre: Literary Fiction
- Page Count: 254
- Source: Netgalley
- Rating: C
Jodie and Amelia were almost sisters once, before college degrees, careers, and grown-up love entered their lives. Before Jodie’s brother broke up with Amelia.
After so many disappointments, Amelia is finally happy. Or something like it. She’s given her love and trust to her best friend, Drew, who is sweet, sensitive, loyal, and everything she’s always wanted. She’s calculated the perfect path to inner peace and healing by surrounding herself with people who would never break her heart.
Jodie hates that all her friends are pairing up to begin their futures. She hates dating, hates romance in general. She hates that she can’t forget one night, a year ago, which Drew doesn’t seem to remember the same way. Everyone is moving on without her, but that’s fine, because she never needed anyone in her life.
“Never” has a way of proving itself wrong.
I have plebeian tastes, I admit it. In fact I would like to say I am eccentric but I think to have that distinction you have to be wealthy, which sadly I am not, otherwise I would have time for many more posts than I do at present so I believe in light of that the best term to describe me would be weird. While I am perfectly satisfied drinking Coors Light or the horror, a flavoured White Zinfandel. I am also equally happy to watch Blade: Trinity as I would be viewing The Lake House and probably get more enjoyment out of flicks like Wedding Crashers or Pineapple Express than my husband does, yet our mutual passion for South Park unites us against all comers. That being said I am not completely devoid of class and equally enjoy a number of classic films and am an admitted Anglophile. My reading preferences generally lean towards popular fiction rather than literary however I do enjoy it if the plot is captivating enough.
Unfortunately Exactly Where They’d Fall failed to captivate me, I finished this novel some time ago and still am not entirely sure that I liked it at all. It seemed to be the perfect choice to balance a lot of fun but somewhat forgettable fluffy reading I had been doing at the time. This is not an untried approach and has usually worked well in the past.
When I read the synopsis of Exactly Where They’d Fall I made a grave error, I made assumptions and we all know what they say about “assuming”. Though part of me wants to defensively retort that the blurb was misleading and that Jodie and Amelia were never “like sisters”. While Amelia did date Jodie’s brother neither character was what you would call warm and personable particularly with one another. It started out well enough I found identified strongly with Jodie’s character, which was in equal parts intriguing and disturbing as she is pretty much a cast iron bitch. Exactly Where They’d Fall takes place at that point in a person’s life when things are in transition. Jodie’s roommate Piper is moving out because she is going to be married and really is the only remaining link between Jodie and Amelia. Though Drew and Jodie are friends, their connection is through Amelia and it is clear that it is a relationship that is declining as well.
Jodie is not what you would call a people person, she is content with her own company, which mystifies those around her. Unwilling to accept that she is happy living alone and not dating, her friends put quite a bit of pressure on her to conform, her unresolved feelings for Drew further complicate matters. Amelia is completely bullied by her mother and truly doesn’t seem to feel much at all, not about her job, the men in her life, nothing seems to impact her. As appealing as Jodie’s irascible nature was Amelia is not likeable I found it difficult to empathize with her at all even when I should have. Drew’s character was particularly infuriating seemingly perfectly aware of Amelia’s ambivalence towards him he is willing to take whatever crumbs of affection she offers making him seem like a lovable doormat.
I think part of the reason I put off writing this review was because I felt that I should have liked it. Even after several weeks it is hard to articulate what was so very objectionable about it. I liked Laura Rae Amos’ style of writing even if I did find the majority of her characters pretentious and the plot lackluster. Determined to try again I bought All the Other Boys: A Short Story with it’s irreverent cover and appealing blurb I was certain that this time I would succeed. I didn’t, quite simply I was utterly bored and couldn’t even finish the short story! Exactly Where They’d Fall was reminiscent of one of those art house films where you spend 120 minutes watching actors meander around aimlessly and then at an arbitrary moment it all fades to black and afterward you can’t help but think what did that mean? Perhaps it is just that Exactly Where They’d Fall is like a bottle of 1999 Vosne Romanee (for those of you who don’t speak wine, a rare burgundy red) and I can only appreciate the bottle of seven dollar Port I picked up off the bottom shelf at the liquor store.
Disclaimer: ARC was kindly provided by the publisher for an honest review.
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