Thursday, 24 January 2013

Rameau Reviews: Losing it - Cora Carmack


The premise of this novel is really promising: A chance encounter that leads to a taboo relationship between a theatre student and her professor. It’s a shame that it was wasted on such a poor story about a naive little girl and a man whose only charm was his British accent.

As the title says Losing It is about Bliss Edward’s quest to lose her virginity at twenty two and before she graduates from college. She’s supposedly held on to it this far because she’s a control freak and not at all attracted to all the wannabe actors in her theatre school. The control makes her a good stage manager but it doesn’t exactly hinder her acting either, which is just a blatant contradiction. The head of the department points this out to Bliss:

”You’ve always been a bit too in your head, I suppose. Controlled. Careful. Mechanical, might be the best word for it. But in those auditions—you were living in the moment. You were feeling instead of thinking. I saw shades of emotion in you—strength and vulnerability, desire and disgust, hope and shame—that were quite simply captivating. I don’t know what you’re doing or what you’ve done, but please continue. You’re much better when you make bold choices.”

So, we’re told in Bliss’ narration and with the voice of an authority that she was controlled and careful, but we’re never actually shown it. Bliss is way too comfortable in her small group of friends to classify as socially awkward. She is at best a naive little girl who hasn’t fully embraced the risks and rewards of being an adult. She’s afraid and that fear is what spurs her into drinking herself silly, ignoring a lovely boy flirting with her at the bar, and falling all over a stranger with A BRITISH ACCENT. (I’m just typing as it was in the book.)

Maybe I’m being a little cruel, but from the start Garrick Taylor’s defining characteristic is his British accent, and that’s really not enough for me. I have this vague impression that Garrick had his sweet moments and that he was patient with Bliss when she was freaking out over nothing, but those possible good guy moments were overshadowed by the lack of chemistry between the couple and the sexist red flags that would have had me and any other woman with a speck common sense run away from him.

Let’s not forget the most important part, the great illicit love affair that never was. Garrick is in the know from the start. He knows he’s a teacher and he knows he lives in an area close to the school where college students might live. And yet when Bliss confesses living practically next door, he follows her and would have sex with her, if she didn’t grab the nearest flimsy excuse and run away from her apartment and the naked boy in her bed.  

That’s another thing, Kelsey, a supposed friend of Bliss’—what ever happened to her?—repeatedly calls Garrick a boy before they learn that he’s their new professor. The cover shows a boy, and I’m supposed to believe Garrick is an adult, a man? Umm, okay?

When the truth about their power dynamics comes out in chapter seven, it’s only a momentary disruption. Garrick soon decides it’s not enough to keep him away from Bliss. Neither of them really acts like they’re doing something they’re not supposed to be doing, although Bliss occasionally thinks she shouldn’t. There isn’t any of that delicious angst of a forbidden love and sexual tension building up between the main couple the blurb promises, and all the emotional stress is reserved for Bliss’ relationship with her friend Cade, who is quite unnecessarily in love with her.

It says a lot about the romance when I’m ready to cheer for two other minor characters to win the wishy-washy girl rather than the apparent love interest. In two words: It sucks. This book’s only saving grace is that it’s not romanticising an abusive psychopath—that’s because it hardly romanticises anything—but unfortunately for Carmack that’s no longer enough to inflate the rating. 

P.S. I really didn’t like how the gay character was portrayed.

1 star

Series: N/A
Pages: 204 (ebook)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Imprint: William Morrow
ISBN: 0988393506
Published: October 12th 2012
Source: Bought


36 comments:

  1. WOW! This doesn't sound like a very good read at all. Very fair and to the point review :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks. It wasn't for me, but sometimes even I must see what's the hype about.

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  2. DUh duh duh.... a one star read with an immature girl and a professor who is lame... I think I will pass.

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    Replies
    1. That's a wise choice. Aside from the bad writing, I was annoyed that the lure factor—the age gap—was unnecessarily mitigated with all the hints to his youthful looks. I bought the book *because* I wanted to read a taboo relationship romance... and I've only now realised I didn't mention it in my review and I'm instead ranting about it in the comments. Sorry.

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  3. That's too bad this disappointed. It sounds like it could have been great.

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    1. I wish I'd been in the place where I could have labelled this as "theory good, practice not" instead of "suckity suck" but I'm not.

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  4. Well from the start I had a problem with the synopsis so I don't think I would have read this one but I'm sorry you didn't like it....

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    Replies
    1. The premise isn't for everyone, I just happen to think this book isn't for anyone.

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  5. oooh you really didn't like this one lol

    I liked the beginning and thought it was funny but I thought the end got very convoluted - the illness thing was weird.

    I agree with the BRITISH BOY thing. I'm not sure why authors feel this explains everything we need to know.

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    Replies
    1. At the very beginning there were moments I thought this could be a decent, entertaining book but after she rejected the bartender it all went downhill from there. For me.

      I do like some accents but in a book, I need more than that.

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  6. I don't think I'd like this one either. The title and cover just didn't even grab me, but I'm glad that it didn't romanticize a psychopath because that is what I worried about.

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    1. I like the set up of the cover but the models look way too young for the story. Instead of romanticising an abuser this book just infantilised an authority figure.

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  7. Bleh I am boooored already. And yes the cover sucks and that boy is clearly that, a boy

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    Replies
    1. You poor thing, even my reviews can't keep you entertained any longer ;)

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    2. Lol, your review made it all worth while :) As for the book, god no

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  8. To me British accent is the same as saying New York Accent, since someone from the Bronx's sounds entirely different then someone from Manhattan. However, I imagine his accent to sound like a British actor I adore..and whose voice I think is smexy. I actually really enjoyed this and had a good laugh. So sorry you didn't enjoy this one, and I enjoyed reading your thoughts.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Looking at the ratings for it online shows that I'm in the minority.

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  9. A great review but you already know what I think of your reviews. :) And, having read the book myself, I completely agree with your assessment as well. British accent, pffffft...

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    Replies
    1. Thanks. Your review for this book was better.

      Delete
  10. Ugh. I think I will pass... Sorry that you didn't enjoy like you wanted to.
    Happy reading with <3, Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

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  11. Yikes! I'm sorry that you spent good money on this one. I am not a prude but I hate that cover!

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    Replies
    1. Many do. I mostly hate that it's misleading.

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  12. I'm sorry you weren't happy with this one. It doesn't sound like something I'd like.

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  13. Um, sorry? It's not my genre of read, but sorry it didn't work for you.

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    Replies
    1. Sorry works. I'm not yet at the point where I'd start avoiding New Adult books (even though I'm not sure what exactly that means) but a few more of these and I will.

      Delete
  14. Not really worth reading then I guess. Perhaps as an audio book the BRITISH ACCENT would be more important or persuading. Sorry you wasted your time with a book you cannot like.

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    1. I'd fear to listen to the audiobook. I really would. And I can't be sorry for reading a book, even a bad one, when I can at least rant about it online.

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  15. Thank you for the honest review.

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    Replies
    1. Honest, because lying takes too much effort.

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  16. And I sincerely thank you for sparing me a lot of wasted reading time!! Love you!!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. I'm glad I could warn you.

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  17. hmmm, doesn't sound like a great version of this type of story.

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    Replies
    1. It wasn't, and I was hoping to read something good.

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