Tuesday, 19 March 2013

The Case Of The Missing Boyfriend


The Case Of The Missing Boyfriend
Paperback, 336 pages

Expected Publication: 1st March 2013 by Corvus Books

Shelves: books-i-own, arc-or-review, read-in-2013, realistic-fiction, not-for-me, lgbt-characters, chick-lit, adult-fiction
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Description via Goodreads:

A number 1 Ebook hit: grown-up, intelligent chick-lit offering a fresh take on the eternal quest for happiness.

Thirty-nine year old CC is living the urban dream: a high-powered job in advertising, a beautiful flat, and a wild bunch of gay friends to spend the weekends with. And yet she feels like the Titanic - slowly, inexorably, and against all expectation, sinking. 

The truth is, CC would rather be digging turnips on a remote farm than convincing the masses to buy a life-changing pair of double-zippered jeans - rather be snuggling at home with the Missing Boyfriend than playing star fag-hag in London's latest coke-spots. But sightings of men without weird fetishes or secret wives are rarer than an original metaphor, and CC fears that pursuing the Good Life alone will just leave her feeling even more isolated. 

Could her best friend's pop-psychology be right? Are the horrors of CC's past preventing her from moving on? And if CC finally does confront her demons, will she find the Missing Boyfriend? Or is it already too late?

I hadn't heard of this book or of the author, Nick Alexander, before picking this book up. Initially, I was in two minds about reading this book when I got the offer - whilst there were parts of the synopsis that sounded like they would be of interest  to me, I wasn't fully confident that I'd like it. However, as I looked through mostly positive reviews and even saw this book compared to one of my favourites, Bridget Jones's Diary, I decided that I would try it out.

As you'll see in this review, this book wasn't to my tastes, but I'll openly admit did actually warm to it as the book progressed. I haven't really read a book like this before, which is probably why it took me some time to adjust to it. Unfortunately, I didn't really like the way the characters were portrayed and so I didn't feel as though I could connect with them. The majority of the characters in this book are gay, something that the author obviously wanted to put across to the readers. Personally, I felt that the author put too much emphasis on the sexuality of these characters - we didn't get to see all that much of the personalities of the men, and  when we did, a lot of the characteristics were that of your stereotypical gay man. I think that the portrayal would have been so much more effective if other aspects of the characters were also explored, rather than just objectifying homosexuality - it's important to realise that people are not all the same and that they are not just their sexuality. Of course, some people may disagree with my feelings and they may find the portrayal to be similar to their experiences - I just didn't think it was the best depiction and it didn't seem realistic. 

Our heterosexual protagonist, CC, takes the back-seat for quite a lot of the first half of the book, where we see her interact with her friends and learn a little about the several sub-characters and her way of life, rather than her personality. I think that was the main weakness of the book for me, as when we did start to learn more about CC, I found myself enjoying the book much more - it was nice to have the one main focus. As the book progressed, I did find myself liking CC more than I did at first and easier to empathise with, despite not having all that much in common with her. If this book started by focusing on CC and carried on with that focus the whole way through, I think it would have been a lot more enjoyable. 

The start of the book is mainly focused on the setting and CC's way of life. During the second half of the book several very gritty and difficult subjects are tackled. I love reading about real life issues and although they could have been explored in more depth, I thought that they were handled well and gave some dignity to the book. Despite the darker subjects, the book never really weighs you down as Alexander does a good job of keeping a sense of humour in the story, too.

Overall, I did end up finding this book reasonably enjoyable, but unfortunately it took me too long to feel that way about it. There are so many positive reviews for this book and so I can see that a lot of people genuinely enjoyed it, so I wouldn't simply tell people to skip over this one. I think that the main reason why I didn't like this book is simply because it wasn't to my tastes - I didn't find it funny, I didn't find it exciting or full of suspense and it took me too long to like the characters. I will admit that I am a little tempted to read the follow up book to this as hopefully CC will develop even more but I do think that there is other reading material that I would enjoy more.

3 comments:

  1. aww sorry you didn't love it throughout. thanks for the honest and good review, though.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sounds like the pace and the plot were a little uneven and that can certainly make for a less-than-stellar reading experience.

    But parts of this sound like something very enjoyable. :)
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    ReplyDelete

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