Friday, April 11, 2014

Review: Sexting


Title: Sexting
Author: G.B Hope
Publication Date: November 1. 2013
Source: NetGalley
Summary (from Goodreads): Warning: Graphic sexual content.
English writer, Michael Lincoln, embarks on an internet relationship with a younger fan, Elise McHugh, who comes from Singapore.
Despite her innate shyness, and his concerns over the age gap, things quickly hot up, becoming raunchy and intense. But there is also a touching, soul mate bond there between them, as they follow each other’s successes and troubles in their real lives.
Elise, nineteen years old, is an absolute darling: petite, black-haired, black-eyed, very cheeky, and, despite being the daughter of a wealthy property developer, she is genuine, sweet and principled – a well brought-up girl in strict Singapore.
Michael, thirty-seven, is recently divorced, trying to keep up contact with his daughter, while working at selling his crime novels. He instantly adores Elise, but struggles to justify the eighteen years and 9,000 miles between them. He finds her to be great company, using his love of words to fulfil her wish to be brought out of her shell. Soon they are enjoying conversation, cheeky banter, sex stories and eventually, frantic, explicit sexting.
At the same time they both explore relationships where they live, while trying to get to a place where they can see about possibly getting together.
Will they ever find time to meet up in the real world?

This one was almost a DNF for me. I gave up multiple times but, even though I didn’t enjoy the book, there was something that always pulled me back. It kind of felt like sleeping with someone you didn’t like. You have no idea why you’re doing it because you know you’ll regret it in the morning but you don’t really care in that moment. That’s what this book was. A book I didn’t even like but one I couldn’t stop reading.

Sexting is a big thing with a lot of couples—and non-couples. And it’s never really been the center topic in a novel before. I was intrigued. My curiosity once again got the best of me and in the end I felt like I needed a shower to wash off all the creepiness of this book. Let me make it clear, I knew that I was getting a book that featured sexual content blah blah blah. I like those kinds of books. I enjoy those kinds of books. This, while it had sexual content in (although it really wasn’t as graphic as most erotica that I’ve read), was not one of those books I enjoy. I feel this had so much potential but it was completely wasted.

While I didn’t like the book I do feel like the emotions and the personalities of the characters are actually very honest and real. The confusion, the anger, the guilt that’s inside these characters and their actions are very believable.

First, let’s talk about Michael. Michael’s a creep—one of those very typical internet “player” creeps. The way he interacts with his female Goodreads friends is very much like most men interact with women on dating sites or chat rooms or whatever where they’re really  not looking for anything meaningful just someone who will get them off. The flirting, the inappropriate sexual comments, playing with their emotions, etc. is exactly what this guy did. He pissed me off to no end, like all men who act like him do—which is why I say his character is very real and believable.

There’s a part in the book where he’s having a conversation with Elise about being a virgin and orgasms and later he thinks to himself that he won’t talk to her about orgasms anymore since it seems inappropriate. But two seconds later he’s thinking of asking for a nude pic of her. So orgasm talk is off the table but show me your goods?

And this girl, Elise, is either really na├»ve or just totally stupid. After a few messages back and forth with some guy who then asks for nude pics of her and she’s totally all for it because he wants it “artsy”?? WTF?! I know there are girls out there like this and seriously I just want to punch them in the face to knock some sense into them. To Elise’s credit she didn’t actually send full nudes—until later that is. And then she only sent one because Michael got pissed at her, deleted and blocked her as a friend and she wanted to get him back. This again, to me, seemed like a very real action for a young girl who thinks she might be in love with someone she’s never met. She missed him, wanted to desperately please him and crossed a line she wasn’t really comfortable with just to get his attention again.

Irene is another one of his email pals, but this one rarely messaged him and then only did to ask for money. Michael of course sees this as an opportunity to expose the girl to get a cheap thrill. I actually found the whole money asking thing believable because I have had people on GR message me asking if I could “donate” to their education, but I had an issue with Michael’s response. At first he was thinking of it as an act of charity and then a split second later it was a “pay for play” kind of thing. I’m not even sure many people would have even replied with a “quote a figure” response to someone who they have messaged with twice,but then this guy seems to fancy himself a player. After getting an erotic pic from her, Michael than tells her she doesn’t have to do it again and their communication basically ends there.

While Elise was his main GR virtual hump buddy, he was also friends with Cindy. Their friendship was actually the most normal and their conversations generally were about their day to day lives—even though communication was sometimes blurred because of Cindy’s poor English.

Another thing that annoyed me was the story had too many characters that didn’t really need to be there. It was like they were thrown in just to lengthen the book, there was no point to them at all. Rimski, all the Garrands and even the Prince of Darkness weren’t really characters that benefited the book in any way. I skimmed over their parts for the majority of the book for that exact reason. If you’re going to have characters in the book at least have them in there for a purpose. Of course people could argue their purpose proved in the end, but really, that could have happened with any random Joe.

The ending was something of a surprise. It takes place two years later and Michael is actually in a real relationship with someone and settled. But it’s like it’s just suddenly thrown at you with no explanation of how it happened or why Michael chose the person he did to be with. I would have liked to have read how that came together, and since Elise was such a major character in this story, what happened to her as well. We do get some hint as to where she ended up and it almost leaves an opening for a squeal to this, but I just felt like there could have been more of an explanation of things.

I’m not entirely sure how to rate this one. Like I said, I didn’t really like it but I did feel like there were parts of it that very honestly described real life…..

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