It’s Complicated

Blurb: There’s a reason Facebook has the Status Update, “It’s Complicated.” Follow four college roommates, Claire, Palmer, Hannah and Kat as they maneuver crushes, confusion, and the crisis when pushy boys go too far. Complicated as it is, these four friends will pull through, guided by the strength of their friendship and the power of God’s love.

Out of all the books from the book club, It’s Complicated (Status Updates #1) by Laura L. Smith was very unique in several ways. For one – it alternated between four different points of view. For another, it’s intensely issue-driven. I ended up enjoying the book but I wasn’t sure I would at first. It took quite a few chapters for me to get all the girls straight and be comfortable with the head hopping. I liked Kat the best – partly because of her name 😉 – but I also liked how she seemed to have a level head though she took some risks driving around with boys she barely knew. Oh, and I didn’t realize Palmer was olive-skinned until almost the very end of the book.

Also I was so confused after the prologue when suddenly Claire was in Paris. I was expecting the story to start with the girls in college – I hadn’t realized half the book would be the summer beforehand with all the girls separated. Plus I was expecting a main plot with a beginning, middle and end. This felt more… slice-of-life is what I want to call it? Each of the girls just living their lives and encountering various real-life guy issues and many of the arcs not having any closure. (Presumably they are addressed in the rest of the series?)

The biggest thing was I knew a date-rape was coming at some point (thanks to another reviewer) but since I didn’t know who, I felt like that part was hanging over my head lurking around every corner and I couldn’t enjoy the book until it was behind me. I did think the rape was handled very well, though. I’m very sensitive to anything involving children or SVU situations. I put down the book after the rape scene and had a hard time sleeping afterwards – I was glad to get that part over with but it bummed me out for the rest of the night. But if I hadn’t known it was coming, I would have been taken aback and furious, so I’m not sure the book is marked well in that regard.

I can definitely see where this book is fantastically realistic for what teens that age go through. I spent the entire book thinking the girls were attending the most liberal Christian college I’d ever heard of only to learn afterwards it was a secular school. Well that explained the mixed-gender dorms and alcohol! lol Thankfully I didn’t encounter any of the situations the 4 girls did when I was in college, but I was blessed in that regard.

What issues do you like to see in fiction?

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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4 comments

  1. I remember liking this one. Your sensitivity to SVU situations makes me want to protect you. After working in a crime lab, very little in fiction surprises me. After reading your review, it makes me wonder how desensitized I am. When you run across scenes like that in books and they make you angry, do you keep reading or put the book down?

    One point: in reading your reviews I have a hard time determining whether you liked and would recommend the book. On this one, you’ve brought up enough negatives to lead me to believe you didn’t really enjoy it. Is that correct?

    Like

    • lol – My husband and sister try to protect me, too! Like when my sister & I watched Numb3rs together, there was a particular episode she fast-forwarded a few scenes. It was sweet. And Hubby is always saying “don’t watch this part – no looking yet,” etc.

      It probably depends on how upset I get or how long it takes to get past that part to something happy. For the rape scene in the book, I knew it would be a major focus for the rest of the story so unless I was staying up to finish it that night, I might as well put the book down for a while. If it’s something they move past quickly, I’ll keep reading to get to the happy parts. Often, after reading or seeing something upsetting, I have to watch something fluffy to get my mind off of it. One or two episodes of Friends or Frasier or something else light-hearted.

      *sigh* That’s probably the fault of me trying to review nicely and fairly and dancing around things. I didn’t really enjoy it. But I didn’t hate it either. I don’t think I’ll go out of my way to read the sequels but if they landed in my hands & the mood struck, I wouldn’t be averse to giving them a try either. I give most authors at least 2-3 chances before I decide they just aren’t my taste.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Do you mean empathetic? I guess so. While I’m particularly sensitive to SVU situations, I sympathize easily and worry about other people’s feelings, get upset over unfairness, etc. I imagine a lot of writerly-types can be that way – it’s very easy to put yourself in someone else’s shoes when you have an active imagination.

          Liked by 1 person

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