Theresa Weir, $12.00, 978-1492729815
Contemporary Romance, 2013
Theresa Weir’s Come as You Are was recommended to me by a friend who stated that this book doesn’t follow new adult romance tropes to a tiresome degree. And with the author being Theresa Weir, the prose is most likely going to be above average. Still, this book languished in my TBR pile until the TBR Challenge of this month dictated that I use my surgical tools on a “recommended read”. Well, it’s a good time as any to pull this book out of the pile and give it a look.
Molly Young is a young lady with a secret. Of course she is. This book is named after a Nirvana song and she has posters of Kurt Cobain in her bedroom, oh and she also feels suicidal now and then, so yes, she has secrets. If you are familiar with tropes of new adult romances, you can easily and correctly guess as to the nature of her secret. In the meantime, Molly works as a waitress and finally enrolls in college after a period of time convincing herself that she’s above all that academic crap. However, the death of her father sends her back into a downward spiral as all the old wounds are reopened. She leaves his funeral to forget herself for a while, and wakes up minus her underwear in the bed of Ian. She leaves while he is still asleep.
They meet again at the office of her late father’s lawyer. Surprise, Ian is her father’s biological son! And the man had left everything to Ian – well, everything except $500 which is Molly’s to keep. Oh, I know what you are thinking, but don’t worry, Molly is adopted, so there are no flowers in this particular attic today.
In a way, I wish there are flowers in this attic, because the author’s efforts to ensure that Ian and Molly can get together without fearing for mutant babies result in a pretty over the top plot that would have fit better in a less low key story. For a while, this story seems to focus more on somewhat believable angst and issues, so to have that plot suddenly come to light late in the story throws me away. It’s like watching an episode of Parenthood only to have Olivia Pope and Mellie Grant abruptly show up and bitch slap one another during the climactic moment.
For the rest of the story, it is still in familiar territory where Molly is concerned. Still, she’s a sympathetic character, even when she’s being her most abrasive, thanks to the author giving this character an engaging first person voice that gives me a good idea as to where all the hurt is coming from. Ian is the trophy boyfriend character – he’s so sweet and caring that I can get caries and diabetes just breathing the same air as he. He’s what Molly needs, of course, and I won’t deny that the very notion of such a boyfriend is an attractive fantasy to enjoy, but his one-dimensional niceness also means that he’s a bland and forgettable character.
The biggest issue I have with Come as You Are is, however, its predictability. The angst is actually lightweight, and the whole drama revolving around Molly has a by-the-number feel to it, and as a result, not only is this story familiar – I can easily anticipate the major plot developments because I’ve come across that script many times before – the angst always feels somewhat superficial. Yes, it’s so tragic what happened to Molly, but I am never moved to feel anything more than an indifferent kind of “Aw, sucks to be you!” pity for her. My heart doesn’t crack even a little, and my tear ducts never get a workout like I initially hoped.
Therefore, while Come as You Are is a very readable book, it is at the same time an underwhelming read. I really wish it’d hit a little harder, hurt a bit more.