Monday, July 13, 2015

City Love

by Susan Colasanti

Summary from GoodReads

Sadie, Darcy, and Rosanna are living together in New York City the summer before their freshman year of college begins. With no parents, no rules, and an entire city to explore, these three girls are on the verge of the best summer of their lives.

Sadie is a native New Yorker. She is hopeful, romantic, and an eternal optimist who is ready to find her soul mate. Then she meets her dream boy: cute, funny, and quirky in all the right ways. The chemistry between them is unreal. Could he be the one?

Darcy is a free spirit from SoCal with rebellious tendencies and unlimited financial resources. Moving to New York City is just another adventure for her. Darcy wants this summer to be all about boy adventures—nothing serious. But how much fun is too much?

Rosanna leaves Chicago for NYC so she can put her past behind her and reinvent herself. The only thing standing in her way is the grand total of seventy-three cents she has saved. Then she meets a guy who wants to show her the glamorous side of New York—a side that she would never get to experience on her own. If Rosanna doesn't resist, she may find herself in city love.

Told from alternating points of view, City Love captures the moments in each girl's life when everything is thrilling, amazing, and terrifying all at once . . . in a way it will never be again.

Thoughts on the Book

Another book I got at BEA.  This book sounded really good, I love New York, I live NYC adjacent and I go into the city all the time, so a romance book that takes place there, awesome!  And the cover looked awesome, nice and pink with the skyline and a couple in the background (don't take the dust cover off though, without the pink overlay it just looks stupid).  So full of promise.

My Review

This book is about 3 girls, Sadie, Darcy, and Rosanna, and how they find love in the city.  Each chapter is from a different girl's point of view.  It takes place in the girls' summer before freshman year of college at UNY (which, incidentally, doesn't exist, there's CUNY in NYC or one of the SUNY schools outside of the city, none of which are referred to as UNY).  Sadie is searching for her soul mate around every corner, Darcy is trying to hook up with as many boys as possible, and Rosanna is struggling to survive with only $0.75 in her bank account.  Oh, and the story takes place over 11 days.

All three girls are annoying.  Sadie and Darcy are 100% irresponsible.  Rosanna is better, she's more mature, she cares more about important things than the other two.  However all three girls are horribly naive and are unrealistically optimistic about life and the city.  And they're constantly having these "awesome adult conversations" about love.  They're all completely inexperienced in that department.  Disney movies and romantic comedies don't realistically portray love people, stop acting like they do.

Let's start with Darcy, she took a year off after high school to travel around Europe, and treats it like it's the most normal thing in the world to do.  Meanwhile she has a boyfriend who she's madly in love with, but who breaks up with her right before she flies to New York because he doesn't want to deal with the long distance.  I guess he was cool with a year in Europe being long distance, but New York was just too far?  So to retaliate Darcy thinks it's healthy to have as many hookups as possible with as many random boys as she can starting the day after the  break up.  How very adult of her.

Sadie grew up in the West Village.  Her parents aren't wealthy, but they're comfortable.  Sadie is sick of dealing with overprotective parents and wants to move away.  So she moves a few blocks over, still in the West Village, into summer housing provided by the school (for a fee).  Very practical.  Oh, and instead of saving money and doing laundry at home, she refuses and does it at her apartment.  She clearly doesn't understand what college is about, you plan your laundry so you can bring as much as possible home to do.  Ask anyone that's gone to college.  She's unrealistically optimistic about everything, how wonderful the city is, doing random acts of kindness, giving out "warm fuzzies" thinking that they'll make everyone just as happy as her!  If I ever found one of those I would wonder who would waste their time with such nonsense before throwing it in the nearest trash can.  And i'm not nearly as judgmental and cynical as most city people.  I really wanted Sadie to see one of her warm fuzzies trampled on the street just so it would completely shatter her world.  Then there's her whole "right around the corner" nonsense.  She's so obsessed with finding her soul mate.  She firmly believes that they exist.  She believes it so firmly that she is completely ignorant of all of the bad signs when she meets a boy.

Rosanna.  She's from a poor, large, family in Chicago.  Her whole life she's felt like she should live in NYC, so college, the first chance she gets, she moves to New York, with loads of loans and no backup funds.  To go into social work.  Very smart, cause, ya know, there are no good schools in Chicago to get a degree in social work without racking up tons of debt before moving to New York for her career, or internships.  She has a bit more depth of character than the other two, her horrible past is actually horrible, and worth her anxiety about things that remind her of it.  However, with her background, how is she so into New York and overly optimistic about every part of it?  It's completely at odds with her personality and past.  She claims that she's cynical, but I see no evidence of cynicism in her exuberance of being in Manhattan.  She's not even cynical of D or Darcy, who both flaunt money like the people she claims to hate.  I don't that word means what she thinks it means...

So, on day 2 for Sadie, she meets her "soul mate" at her internship.  She's an incoming freshman, Austin's an incoming senior.  Not a horrible age gap, but there's so much growing up she has to do during her first year or two of college that it's a little odd he's so into her and finds her completely mature and responsible.  But then again, he says that counting doors is "his jam", so I suppose he's at the same maturity level as her.  The "surprise" at the end regarding Austin went a bit to far, and like everything else in the story was over the top, so I guess it fit.

Day 3 is when Rosanna met her boy, D (or Donovan) at a party after a random girl decided she hated her and spilled her drink all over Rosanna's only good top.  This relationship progressed a bit more normally.  By day 11 they're not boyfriend/girlfriend, even though they are on track for it, they're taking things slowly and feeling each other out.  I foresee very bad things happening between them in book two (how is there a sequel to this?).  D is Rosanna's opposite in every way.  He's a son of a Wall Street investment guy, so he's following his father's path.  His parents bought him a crazy flat in Tribeca and paid for it to be renovated.  So much for letting your kids find their way in the world.  I guess it's easier to parent just by giving them everything.

Day 1 for Darcy, she hooks up with a random guy.  Keep in mind this is no more than 48 hours after her ex completely and utterly shattered her heart.  Day 2 for Darcy, she hooks up with a different random guy.  Day 3 for Darcy, she meets Jude, a street performer.  This is pretty much how her summer goes.  Or at least the first 9 days of her summer.  But no worries, because by the 8th/9th day she realizes that she's had enough of that life style and is totally over her ex.  Darcy is completely bankrolled by her father.  His only stipulation is that by the end of her freshman year she has a life plan.  Once she has that he'll buy her a great apartment in NYC and set her up there so she can life in total comfort.  What a great father, teaching his daughter proper values.

I give this book a 4.5/10.  It was sort of entertaining, but ended up just getting ridiculous.  Every character was unlikable, each one more than the next.  I think Jude and Rosanna were the only two even remotely likable/realistic.  That being said, I'm sure I'm going to read the sequel because I'm a masochist.  I sincerely hope this book doesn't get crazy popular with high schoolers who think it's awesome to give out warm fuzzies.  Stupidest idea ever.

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