Thursday, September 2, 2010

Review -- Love is the Drug by Sarahbeth Purcell

Summary (via Goodreads): "Hello, my name is Tyler Tracer and I am falling apart. I am twenty-four years old, and I have no ability whatsoever to choose an occupation or a hair color."

 Meet Tyler, the singularly irresistible and straight-talking heroine of Sarahbeth Purcell's touching first novel. An incurable romantic, Tyler's chief obsessions include music, list-making - and David, the man who broke her heart. Despite an exhaustively detailed list of reasons for why she should just forget about David once and for all - including (but by no means limited to) chronic illness, terminal self-absorption, and geographical inaccessibility - Tyler remains hopelessly hooked on him. Hence the wild ride she embarks upon in the wake of her father's death, a ride that takes her from her hometown in Tennessee to sunny Los Angeles, all in hopes of saving David from his ominous take on life.

This hilarious and dark cross-country expedition finds our young heroine negotiating the universally perilous terrain of sex, love, and relationships with uncommon verve, wit, and more than a little recklessness. Along the way, Tyler discovers, among other things, the uniquely redemptive powers of roadkill, the fact that enduring love tends to blossom in the most unexpected and unlikeliest places, and, above all, that nothing can stop her from making her own rules and mapping out her own life. Not even herself.

Review: (Warning! Spoilers!)Tyler is “irresistible” huh?

Man, you've got to be kidding me.

I'm irritated. Seriously irritated. I had high hopes for Purcell's Love is the Drug. After reading books about straight-talking, strong and feisty female protagonists I thought maybe I should give this one a shot. I mean, what person hasn't been where Tyler's been? Who hasn't liked or loved a person who didn't necessarily reciprocate those feelings? Who hasn't sat around with their gallon of ice cream (or, let's be honest, bottle of wine) and mourned that for a little while. I know I have. The difference is for a little while.

Tyler has only known this guy for a couple of months and most of that is from the Internet. She leaves Nashville for California to spend a few weeks with this guy who, after the first glorious day or two, wants essentially nothing to do with her. The thrill is gone. So she leaves back for California, desolate and heart-broken.

(Btw: this guy is a LOSER. There is not one redeeming quality given to this character to make us understand why she 'loved' him in the first place.)

She returns back to CA and has to deal with her father dying and her supposedly dysfunctional family, who have made her the way she is. Even in these moments, she's still obsessed with David.It takes her father's last note to her, reminding her of all that she wanted to accomplish, to get her moving. So she does. She leaves Nashville...

With the goal of rescuing David from himself.

GIVE ME A BREAK. I mean it. I don't think I've been this disgusted with a character for a long time. It literally takes Purcell 117 pages of a 212 page book to show Tyler even considering somewhat of a change. Even when she works her way through the list of things she wants to accomplish, she's doing all of it with David in mind. Along the way, she meets another guy who makes it all better for awhile. Completely out of left field, it's a rock star who sweeps her off her feet.

Why couldn't this woman learn to stand on her own two feet?  Why would you automatically throw her into the arms of someone else right after SHE ATTEMPTS SUICIDE? ( Btw, the way she's cured from this suicide makes me want to kick someone in the teeth. I'll just say it involves an armadillo.)Why not have her get help? Where on earth are her FRIENDS (There are two mentioned and she only interacts with each once) to help her through this?

Tyler's low self-esteem and self-respect is allegedly the fault of her family. We're not given any evidence of this until the end of the book. Her family is mentioned several times but, even when she's living with them, there is very little interaction. Still, she must rid herself of this poison. She must walk away.

I don't know what I was supposed to come away with, what meesage I was supposed to get. I just know that I spent a little while with a woman who made me cringe. The last few pages of the book made me angry. This character showed no growth, (in my opinion) no depth and she, even though depressed and 'broken, evoked no sympathy.

Music lovers may love this book. She makes a lot of music references (Don't get excited...She's no Vinyl Princess) and uses them to influence many of her top ten lists, which I actually enjoyed. Too bad this wasn't a book of Top 10 lists.

LitSnit Grade: D

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