Melody Grace Books, $2.99
Contemporary Romance, 2013
Unbroken is yet another one of those stories patterned after the likes of Jamie McGuire’s Beautiful Disaster and assorted books cut from the “We’re writing like VC Andrews, only without the scandalous family loving or any other genuinely interesting stuff!” cloth. And it’s so formulaic that this one is pretty much a laundry list of those overused tropes, from the obligatory and pointless jab at models as the worst human beings ever in this world right down to the very personalities of the hero and the heroine. There is nothing new here, only lots of annoyance factor. Lots of them.
At 18, our Troubled Special Snowflake heroine Juliet McKenzie wanted to have sex non-stop with bad boy Emerson McAsshole, only she didn’t do that get-down-all-day-all-over thing because we all know only skinny beautiful sluts have sex and those creatures are just nasty. Unfortunately, she got dumped by him shortly after the death of her mother, and if you can’t guess why he did that, you must have not seen many contrived love stories with star-crossed teens so yes, I kind of envy your naïveté. Oh, to see the world through such idealistic eyes…
Anyway, today, at 22, Jules is back in town and of course she bumps into Emerson. He treats her worse than a used condom stuck to the sole of his shoe, but Jules insists that she has a special bond with him so she happily treats her supposed current boyfriend like dirt. Truly, these two self-absorbed and selfish little miserable pustules deserve each other. They scream, shout, yell, rage, and stomp their foot around each other. Of course, this story won’t happen to be this long if the characters are free to ignore each other, like two people who supposedly can’t stand one another would, so the author comes up with all kinds of contrived situations to force Doormat and Jackass together. These situations often end up with Jackass humiliating Doormat, so it’s really fun for the whole family here.
Emerson is a cookie-cutter bad boy, only, while some new adult romances, that are defining the meaning of pointless mediocrity in the market at the moment, present fake bad boys that magically fall in love with the heroine from get go, this idiot claims to be so in love with her while behaving like a complete asshole to her. And when I find out the reason extent of why he does this – or, in this case, the extent of his stupidity to go that far in his treatment of Jules for “her own good” – it makes him come off as even worse. If this is how he treats Jules when he’s in love, boy, I’d hate to see what kind of fun stuff he’d dish out at her a few years down the road after the “love” thing wears off. And given how much these two argue and scream when they are “in love”, I sincerely hope they never spawn. Oh, and while he constantly claims to not want her, he reels her in anyway and gets violent when he realizes that she may be contemplating the idea of letting another man’s pee-pee into her… er, life. He’s the same old crock, only, other authors have done this crock so much better.
Oh yes, the romance. What romance? Despite being treated like a third class passenger on Asshole Airlines, Jules insists that she still has that special something with Emerson, so she’s practically gagging to jump his bones from the moment they meet again. Only, she hates him! No, she doesn’t. Yes, she does! No! Yes! No! The author doesn’t help matters by having Jules scream, yell, and generally run around all the time acting like a hysterical loon. The fact that Jules is a self-absorbed selfish slap-worthy twit is a given, since this is practically the formula for new adult romances, but the author just has to make Jules comparable to a… I don’t know, we have mad cows so how about a mad chicken?
Anyway, as I was saying, there is no believable romance here because the heroine is looking for any reason to believe that Emerson really loves her, so she’s basically just a punching bag with a pasted note that says “Please shag me and let me pretend that I’m in love”. As for Emerson, he’s colossally stupid and cruel in one “a step above syphilis” combo. The whole story is one contrived scene after another. At the end of the day, Unbroken is more like “Um.. broken!”