Friday, November 09, 2018

Pretty Toxic: Fight or Flight by Samantha Young

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Pretty Toxic: Fight or Flight by Samantha Young
Fight or Flight
Samantha Young
Genre: Contemporary, Rom Com
Publication date: October 9, 2018
by Berkley

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The universe is conspiring against Ava Breevort. As if flying back to Phoenix to bury a childhood friend wasn't hell enough, a cloud of volcanic ash traveling from overseas delayed her flight back home to Boston. Her last ditch attempt to salvage the trip was thwarted by an arrogant Scotsman, Caleb Scott, who steals a first class seat out from under her. Then over the course of their journey home, their antagonism somehow lands them in bed for the steamiest layover Ava's ever had. And that's all it was--until Caleb shows up on her doorstep.

When pure chance pulls Ava back into Caleb's orbit, he proposes they enjoy their physical connection while he's stranded in Boston. Ava agrees, knowing her heart's in no danger since a) she barely likes Caleb and b) his existence in her life is temporary. Not long thereafter Ava realizes she's made a terrible error because as it turns out Caleb Scott isn't quite so unlikeable after all. When his stay in Boston becomes permanent, Ava must decide whether to fight her feelings for him or give into them. But even if she does decide to risk her heart on Caleb, there is no guarantee her stubborn Scot will want to risk his heart on her....
-A copy was provided by Berkley for review-

Okay so we are diving right into this review because I have a lot to process and break down. Fight or Flight started off as a book that I didn’t expect too much from. I went it basically hoping I wouldn’t hate it and unfortunately, things didn’t turn out the way I had hoped. Let me back up here for a sec tho, for the first couple chapters I was NOT a fan but the book started growing on me a lot but then a THING happened and I ended up extremely disappointed and sad. I mean, the book wasn’t perfect aside from the thing but I was still enjoying it so it sucks. While keeping that in mind, I am breaking down this review into the good and the bad.

The Good

Ava’s relationships with the people around her. This is, hands down, the best thing about this book. Young has put in a lot of effort to develop these relationships and make them feel real.  In particular, I loved Ava’s relationship with Harper. I love that their friendship feels so genuine and that Harper is such a prominent part of the book. I love that we get to see Ava pause and check in on her friend, text her friend gushing and that Harper doesn’t exist only as a plot device. Ava also has really good relationships with her boss and clients! Anyway, it was just so refreshing to see a character, with the kind of sob story Ava has, have an actually good supportive circle.

The chemistry. Young knows how to write chemistry. There are practically sparks flying off of the pages of this book. Even when I wasn’t a fan of the characters, I was most definitely a fan of their chemistry.

The Bad

If you are the kind of person who has extremely strong feelings about spoilers, I suggest you stop reading RIGHT NOW. I’d use spoiler quotes in any other instance but I feel like these issues are too important to do so. I will try to be as vague as possible though.

ANYWAY. SO.

THE BIG THING THAT PISSED ME OFF.

The love interest has a sob story and it involves a bitchy lady (it always does, doesn’t it?) and you know the biggest reason she is a bitch according to this love interest? It’s because she chose to have an abortion. I am not even kidding. The thing that has broken this person’s ability to love a person is that his ex had an abortion, for a child she didn’t want and didn’t feel ready for, without consulting him. I should make it clear that I think it is valid for him to be sad but that doesn’t mean his ex is a selfish bitch. She wasn’t ready and that is that. A child is a lot of responsibility and she knew it and also knew she couldn’t handle it so END OF STORY. Honestly, just, the entire situation is framed in such a gross manner that I couldn’t stop seeing red for the last 25% of the book.

So. I was mad when I finished the book. Obviously. This crucial moment ruined the book for me. The big twist. YAY. But as I calmed down, I reflected more on the book and realized that it also constantly used violence (or the threat of) as a major plot device. Starting with Ava’s backstory, to how she and her love interest (I don’t want to name him because he is a disgusting person) meet, to the final scene that brings them together.

You know what’s the most ironic part about all this? Fight or Flight tries SO hard to be ‘feminist.’ Ava is constantly calling men out on their bullshit, she likes to dress up for herself (which was fun to read about!), she pays attention to her female friends and such. IDK. Like. What the fuck happened. I don’t know.

So. Anyway. This is less of a review and more of a ramble but I needed to do this SO for anyone who made it this far, thanks for reading. YOU ROCK. I owe you a cookie. If you have your eye on the book, I would definitely pass if any of the above mentioned makes you see red. If you’re still interested, just keep the issues in mind.

1.5 Stars

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