Thursday, May 23, 2013

(Review) The Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines

Title: The Vincent Boys
Author: Abbi Glines
Series: The Vincent Boys, #1
Published: October 30, 2012 (Simon Pulse)
Rating: Last Resort
Format: Paperback, borrowed from the library
Summary: Ashton is getting tired of being good, of impressing her parents and playing ideal girlfriend to Sawyer Vincent. Sawyer is perfect, a regular Prince Charming, but when he leaves town for the summer, it’s his cousin Beau who catches Ashton’s eye. Beau is the sexiest guy she’s ever seen, and even though he’s dangerous, Ashton is drawn to him.

Beau loves his cousin like a brother, so the last thing he wants to do is make a move on Sawyer’s girl. Ashton is off-limits, absolutely. That’s why he does his best to keep his distance, even though he’s been in love with her forever. When Ashton wants to rekindle their childhood friendship in Sawyer’s absence, Beau knows he should say no.

Ashton and Beau don’t want to hurt Sawyer. But the more they try to stay away from each other, the more intense their urges become. It’s getting way too hard to resist....
Oh, where to even start with this book?

If I read past the first 5 pages of a book, it is extremely unlikely that I will DNF it. I am eternally hopeful that things will improve. But I can 100% guarantee that I would have set this one down 80 pages in. I came this close to doing so, and the only thing that kept me going was that I was reading it for the Spring into Summer readalong. So I pushed through.

It didn't get better. In fact, it just kept getting worse. The writing was stilted and repetitive through the entire book. There was very little chemistry between the leads. I did not like a single one of the characters, even the minor ones.

First, there's Ashton. Ashton used to be a secret Bad Girl. She would sneak out at night and do bad things like stuffing frogs into mailboxes with Beau. But then Sawyer asked her out, and she became a Good Girl, squishing those Bad Girl urges down, down, down. Somehow, this means that Beau is the only one who knows that side of her (even though Sawyer used to be the one who bailed them out of trouble, which implies that both Sawyer and all the people who had ever caught her knew she had a Bad Side). Ashton is an idiot, basically. She wallows in her misery and vacillates and whines until she finally makes a the inevitable choice.

And then we have Beau, the Bad Boy with anger issues. Beau has "loved" (or obsessively fixated on, take your pick) Ashton for years, which is apparently his only redeeming quality. Beau is, somehow, the object of many girl's swoonage, and swoon away, if that's your taste. I just don't get it. I like Alphas. I do. I love it when fictional men are big and strong and have sexy, possessive growls and don't like the heroines hanging out with their attractive exes. But there's a line, and Beau was WAY on the other side of it.
I want to rip his damn arms off his body, Ash. Sawyer, who I'd do anything for. I want to hurt him. If he touches you again in front of me, I'm going to crack. I can't take this. ... Just try not to let him touch you. When he touches you, I see red. I can't take it. I don't want to see him or anyone else touch you. ... Staying with him. Letting him touch you, hold you, God. It's eating me alive.
That's right, Ash. How DARE you let your boyfriend touch you? Stay away from him, or I will morph into my Hulk self and go give him a concussion using only my extraordinarily violent fists (oh wait, that's not until later).

Their whole relationship was messed up. I never felt like I fully understood either character or why they were so desperate to be together. Yes, they were attracted each other. That's it. I also don't like how the book seemed to push the "sinning/bad girl" aspect moreso than being true to yourself. In Ashton's case, the two overlapped, but it was presented as much more of a rebellion. So Ashton wanted to give into her Bad Side. Yeah, everyone has bad urges. Guess what? It's not actually always a good idea to follow through on them. It's certainly not the way to start a healthy relationship. What happens when you're finally in that relationship? If the appeal of the relationship is the Bad Factor, then that factor is gone once you're in it. Do you go after the next guy you feel attracted to because that's giving into your Bad Side? Where does it end?

I was SO FREAKING EXCITED for this book. I like well-written cheating storylines. Which may make me a terrible person, but I do. I love forbidden romances and the self-denial aspect of the story. But if these two were "trying to resist," then I'm a monkey's uncle riding on a pig that is flying over a frozen hell. Because OH MY GOD, these two were all over each other from practically the very beginning of the story. Because they "couldn't resist." Okay, fine. But don't write a cover blurb all about "resisting" when the story doesn't involve that at all.

This book did have a few redeeming qualities. I liked the prologue. In the beginning, even though I was a little put off by their first interaction, I was swooning. I loved the idea of these two so much, and they had a few chemistry-laden moments. And HI, best image ever of sweaty guy with awesome abs mowing a lawn. I thought Beau's thoughts actually sounded like his character. I liked Ashton's interaction with her Grana. Aaand, that's all.

Oh, and bonus! This has nothing at all to do with the plot, but I could not review this book and fail to mention it because I CANNOT EVEN:
Spirit girls were girls the cheerleaders added to their numbers so every football player would have a girl to make him goodies on game day. Off the record, spirit girls also happened to help their players with their homework, order pizzas to be delivered to the school for their lunches, and do some unofficial things like back massages and other “hands-on” activities. The starters always picked their spirit girl first, then the rest of the players’ names went into a hat and the spirit girls drew them.
Yes, you read that right. Apparently the cheerleaders at the high school are basically running a fully sanctioned little slavery/prostitution ring under the name of "spirit girls." Each girl is assigned to two guys (because OF COURSE, the boys have a choice, but the girls have none) and then has to cater to their every whim. That is messed up.

I wanted to love this book. I wanted to lose my breath from the chemistry, my mind from being so wrapped up in these two, my heart from skipping so many beats. The premise promised the kind of story that would do that. Instead, all I lost was the time I wasted reading it.
There are some things you don’t expect to see, and Beau Vincent sauntering into church on a Sunday morning is one of them.

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