Today I’m going to give a short book review because I feel the need to talk about this.
It’s ‘According to Yes‘, by Dawn French. You can buy it cheap here. However, unless you enjoy a shock, I wouldn’t recommend you read it.
It was ‘gifted’ to me by a cheeky aunt who obviously wanted to get rid of it, but couldn’t bring herself to be seen depositing it at a donation bin. Initially I was happy to receive it – yay! A free book to read! My aunt knows me well from watching a childhood filled with books, and I was stoked to have her remember this – but that happiness was…quickly replaced with horror.
Let me explain.
After watching Dawn French act in multiple television roles, I was a fan of her work. It should have come as no surprise that this book was just as flirtatious and carefree as many of her on-screen character portrayals. I enjoyed her conversational tone, how easy it was to read, and her use of descriptions throughout. The plot however…
Oh my god. I would post spoilers, but….NO.
Never before have I yelled at a book, but when I read ‘According to Yes’, I yelled. First in disdain, then in horror, then finally in frustration. By a simple measure of investment in the characters and immersion into the story, I considered this a ‘good’ book…but not one I’ll freely recommend. The next time I saw my aunt and told her that I read the book she gave me, she laughed.
Of course she bloody laughed. What a nice prank that was, encouraging me to read a sordid tale that goes beyond my personal moral grounds of ‘freedom to love’.
I’m hardly a prude by any means, but I have a line, and this book took a running jump and cleared that line in a wine-fuelled orgy of poor decisions. It made me yell, I got invested in some of the characters, and I felt intense sympathy for others.
It was a good book. I never want to read it again.
Later in this blog, I may review some other books that were eloquently written with insightful views on life, work and love. I may review a well-loved fantasy series because of how it shaped my education and literary development.
This book was none of those things, yet I still consider it an excellent story. It’s been a while since I felt so emotionally invested in a fictional character, and as an adult a little yelling at other peoples’ poor decisions was a welcome respite from yelling at my own.