Book Review: Over You by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus

How Excited Was I To Read Over You? Hard to quantify because I won it as a free goodreads giveaway. I love winning things! So I obviously had to read it. I did remember reading The Nannie Diaries (by the same authors) a long time ago and wondering what all the fuss was about… Also that cover leaves much to be desired…

How Excited Was I After? 2. This one’s a miss for me.

Book Jacket: After the grand explosion of her relationship, seventeen-year-old Max Scott developed what every girl in the history of the world has been waiting for: a way to get over being dumped. Now Max is the go-to guru for heartbroken high-school girls all over NYC. But when her ex unexpectedly shows up in her neighborhood, Max’s carefully controlled world starts to unravel. With her clients’ hearts hanging in the balance, Max will have to do the seemingly impossible: get over him once and for all.

Book Review: I had a lot of issues with this book, which I had hoped would simply be fun. The writing, characters, setting, and tone all felt off to me.

First off, the writing. It’s a third person perspective that jumps between different characters. Hard to follow, awkward transitions. If you’re going to take this style on, you have to do it well. McLaughlin and Kraus didn’t. I felt this book needed more work, which is never a good sign…

Second, the characters. Max is the uber-connected oh-so-cool girl at the center of our story. Except I had a hard time connecting with her. Max has serious issues she’s hiding. The idea of a break-up business may be a great set-up for a cute novel about such a girl, but she was not Max. This book gets described as “cute” but it’s really quite serious.

Her business was confusing to me. She doesn’t accept payment but can afford boxing classes and group reservations at the Stanton Social for her clients. WHO WAS FUNDING THIS? I still want to know.

Last, the tone. I alluded to this before. This book couldn’t decide what it wanted to be. Max’s strategies for getting over break-ups were often quite appealing (“cute” even). But a lot of this book deals with broken-hearted sobbing messes of girls. That may be relatable, but it’s not so much afunread if you take a step back to think about it. And getting over boys may be a step to female empowerment (so Max tells us), but so much of the book was focused on relationships that it was hard to feel very rah rah at any given point. The message got lost in the translation, or, as I suspect, it was never there to begin with.

If You Think This Book Sounds Intriguing Anyways: Just go read Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares, which I raved about last week. I think one reason I enjoyed it so much was that I read it just after Over You, and it was just so much better! Better writing, better characters, better use of New York, better hipstering, better everything. Harsh, I know, but I just don’t think this book delivered! And it was free!