Author: Michelle Gamble-Risley
Series: The California Girl Chronicles #1
Publisher: 3L Publishing
Date Published: 2011
Genre: Chick Lit
Source: Provided by Publisher
Welcome to the sexiest, wildest ride you'll take. Meet Brea Harper, she is the next Carrie Bradshaw only transplanted in Los Angeles. Funny, witty, beautiful, and very sexy, Brea takes readers on a wild ride into her outrageous romantic and professional life. Demoralized and forced to work in what she calls bikini hell just to make ends meet, Brea pursues her career to become a screenwriter only to be continuously distracted by hot men. Delightfully misguided, Brea makes poor choices many women of all ages will find highly relatable.
Okay...I am having a hard time deciding whether or not to post this. Normally I refrain from posting reviews that trash a book, just on the principle that the author spent a lot of time and effort creating something and it deserves to have people look at it from their own perspectives.. I was planning on just quietly rating the book 1 star on Goodreads and leaving it at that without any fuss....but then I saw the other reviews....I honestly have a hard time believing that any of the reviews up other than my own and maybe one other book reviewer's are real. They say things like "The California Girl Chronicles revolutionizes the genre of contemporary romantic fiction" and that Michelle Gamble-Risley is a game changer in the genre...well...I apologize, but that is the furthest thing from the truth. In fact, the raving and sickly sweet praise going on in the reviews makes me think that they were written solely by someone close to the author to bolster the book sales without really reading them. Brea and the City of Plastic has absolutely nothing that distinguishes it from trashy, mindless, chick-lit. Actually...that is offensive to chick lit, because even though CL tends to be on the fluffier side of things, you can usually find characters you love and cute romances, and plots that make you laugh like crazy. This book has none of that.
Brea is the WORST main character I've read in a good long while.You get the sense that she's going to be flirty and fun from the cover and synopsis, but when you get into the book you find out that she's mean, condescending, and really trashy. It's one thing to sleep around and have a book that has a kind of Sex-in-The City focus...but when the Main Character sleeps with everything that walks for no apparent reason it's hard to be on her side. You actually feel bad for the guys she sleeps with because she's such a jerk to them afterwards. And the sex scenes. Oh.my.god...I have never read anything so painful in my life. It was just awkward. Writing wise and plot wise. I just can't get into like...50 pages of sex in a 178 page book...it's not for me. I am no prude...I read books about orgies for god's sake...but Brea literally sleeps with guys after coming right out and saying that she didn't feel like having sex with them. What are we supposed to think about a main character that just spreads her legs everytime she's bored or doesn't want to go out and look for a job? She was pathetic and callous and just a not fun person to get to know. Being in her head was like living in a vapid pool of narcissism...you feel icky and unclean and just want to get away from her.
The plot? Basically non-existent. We follow Brea as she makes a fool of herself time and time again by sleeping with inappropriate men. She doesn't seem to have a care in the world, first as she is fired from her job as an editor and picks up a job pushing bikini's, then as she completely messes up the chance at a great relationship for some random dude that she barely knows. To be honest, it was like someone took a really dumb blond out for a day in California and recorded every idiotic, thoughtless, and insignificant thing that ran through her mind. It was irrelevant, pointless, and actually kind of offended me both as a woman and as a blond. Brea repeatedly stereotyped the idea of a "California Girl" by saying mean biting comments about people who didn't look sun kissed and blond like she did. If I was a California girl, I would actually be ashamed that this girl is being used as their spokeswoman.
The writing style had potential. It had some good flow to it and has been shaped in a way that was pretty appealing...that being said there were obvious grammar mistakes that were very distracting from the book. For one thing, thoughts had quotations around them in addition to actual quotes. I was so confused with what Brea was saying out loud and what she was saying in her head that I found myself having to re-read paragraphs over and over to try to understand. Also...it was like the author forgot how to use pronouns. Literally there were passages that wen't something like this. "He liked my breasts. He touched the top of my breasts. My breasts fell out of my shirt and my breasts were heaving with anticipation." How distracting is that?? I just couldn't get over how something could be so poorly edited at this final stage in the book-writing process.
I refuse to give the book even 1 star. It is that awful. Even though it's a super quick read, it doesn't deserve the few short minutes it takes to read it. If you are looking for a cutesy read...this is not it...This is something that had potential, but was allowed to grow like a weed and just become something that will fade into the background within a year and be forgotten. I doubt anyone will look back on this book and want to read any more about Brea. She is just the most unlikable girl you could ever follow and she makes women, blonds, and....I don't know...American's in general look bad.