Publication Date: October 17, 2017
Amber is tired of not getting what she deserves. She's tired of being looked down upon, even though she's beautiful and intelligent. When she meets the Parrishes, Amber decides that it's time for her to have what she wants.
Daphne is a beautiful socialite with two gorgeous daughters and a loving husband. She has the perfect life, and a new friend in Daphne. If only she knew what Amber was up to.
Date Read: January 8, 2019
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
I figured that this would be a quick audiobook to listen to before I started back in school. It was a book I had downloaded awhile ago from Audible, so it felt like it was time to listen to it.
When it started, I struggled a bit to get into the story. Amber's voice was really annoying from the moment she started narrating, so it was hard for me to settle into the story. I just could not get past the way she was talking about her life and how entitled she was. I will go more in depth into this a little later, but it was something that I wanted to mention early on.
The premise of the story is pretty straightforward. It's something I've come across before in other stories because it's relatively common and simple to set up. Jealous girl wants something or someone she can't have, so she cleverly devises a plan to get everything she has ever dreamed of and lives happily ever after because she's so smart and no one actually gets hurt.
I think that the reason I struggled so much with this is because I wasn't pleased with the execution of the story. I felt like I was thrown into the beginning of the story too abruptly, cause it took a lot of focused listening to the audiobook to try to get the gist of what was happening. It was like I was supposed to know immediately what was going on and who everyone was, but I was trying to understand how everything was being set up. That might just be me, but it felt too shocking to be thrown into the plot where Amber was constantly referencing things that I didn't care about at all.
One of the things that I think was done well is Amber being an unlikable main character. It worked because I hated her the entire time I was in her head. She was really entitled and selfish and horrible, so it made me feel better knowing that she's supposed to be unlikable. Her plan was clever, but the way she acted just made her so unbearable. Personally, I didn't think there was anything redeemable about her character, so that made it hard to be in her head for such a long time.
The book was long, and the fact that I already didn't like Amber's voice and her perspective made it kind of hard to get through the book. I did manage to finish it in three days, but it was so hard to listen to Amber talk about how clever she was and how entitled she felt to have all these things. And then when I thought things were ending, they didn't.
I'm not sure if we ever got enough of an explanation as to why Amber felt like she was so entitled to everything. I think there was some mention of it early in the book, but I don't recall enough to know what it was that made her feel like she needed to have the best of everything. She was also set up to be this gorgeous woman whose intellect is beyond what most people give her credit for, and that made her want more as well. But she was plain enough that most people could get through life without noticing her. It just felt like a poorly explained set-up for a trope that had so much potential.
Pacing was another issue that I had with this book. It just dragged so much for me, and I thought that it could have been more concise and had the same effect. The trajectory of the story needed something more, and it being paced so slowly led me to struggle with feeling for any of the characters or be interested in the plot.
Also, let me just say that the sex scenes were very...poorly written? I mean, they were the generic fade-to-black style, but it was just lacking. If someone is going to include sex scenes into a book, I feel like there should be some more detail than the mention of Amber going down on her knees pretty much every time she had sex. Especially in this age group, I think adults can handle it if sex described with the use of proper words, rather than strangely-worded implications.
The plot twist didn't come as a surprise to me. I thought it was pretty obvious considering everything that was happening in the book. It might have been more impactful to me if the book was shorter and the story was set at a faster pace. Perhaps if I hadn't read this trope before, it would have been less obvious to me as well. But it just felt like a really cheap attempt to redeem the book after it spent over 400 pages building up a plot that wasn't very interesting.
Unfortunately, the end of the book didn't do enough to redeem it for me. I wanted more from the book in general, and it didn't give me that. The cover was gorgeous and it drew me into the book, but the content just wasn't up to my expectations.
I found Amber really, really annoying. She had no well-explained reason for what she was doing, and she was so completely heartless in what she was doing. I felt bad for all the people around her because she used them and tossed them aside like they were trash. Amber was so entitled and snobby about everything, it made her unbearable.
Daphne was a nice foil to Amber's character, but she faded into the background far too much for someone who was such a crucial secondary character. I wanted to see her as more than a generic rich woman with a heart of gold, but she didn't really grow into herself until the last couple of chapters of the book.
I forget what Daphne's husband's name was, but I didn't like him. I thought he was really dumb and such a generic male character. Attractive, successful, great husband and father, good in bed. There was nothing interesting about him at all.
2.5 stars. I was disappointed that this book didn't work for me. Maybe I'm not the right target audience for this, but it was just way too much of a struggle to get through. I don't think it's worth picking up.