Sunspots by Karen S. Bell

Sunspots - Karen S. Bell

Having heard seen this book discussed rather a lot lately, I had to give it a try. 

Chapter three opens with the words "One can never be, and should never be, smug about life." Which is odd, considering the preceding chapter while attempting to be deep and literary, consists entirely of the MC being entirely too smug about her friends, her compatriots, and some random guys she dated. In fact, smug to the point of being utterly unlikeable. And then this chapter continues with her being just as smug about her wardrobe. Hilariously, she goes in one sentence from bragging about her Kate Spade and Manolos, to unironically mentioning that her mother bought her Ugg boots because she was broke in the next. Well you would be, buying Manolos on a temp's income, because despite her insistence on the magnificence of her own talent, she can't, apparently, land an acting job. Dunning-Kruger effect, much?


Apart from a thoroughly superficial and unlikeable main character, who is very difficult to sympathise with at all, the writing is dense and difficult to parse, full of convoluted and unnecessarily complicated sentences. "My prudent study of this man, this Jake Stein, as we nonchalantly strolled along, was intentionally unintentional--I absorbed him as if he was liquid." Prudent? Really? Is the author trying to make the MC even more unlikeable? 

Why apparently yes, because a page later she's practically planning the wedding--instalove on the first date, before they even make it to the restaurant. And it's inconsistent. One moment the MC is musing to herself in high literary fashion, and the next she's rating the poor man on the hunk-o-meter, which only shines a harsher light on the pretentiousness of the rest of the prose. 

And then to top it all off, the MC goes and decides he's gay, because he's cultured and good looking. And she's surprised she didn't twig sooner, because he didn't recognise her shoes were Manolos (the author is quite obsessed with this shoe brand, btw), and every gay man in the world would, obviously, know that. Because all gay men are exactly the same, right? 

I actually laughed out loud. Then I stopped reading.


(Also posted on GR. Because reasons.)