Title: Twitter Girl
Author: Nic Tatano
Release Date: September 18
Source: HarperImpulse on NetGalley (A copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.)
Check out this book on Goodreads.
Meet America’s Tweet-Heart.
She’s network reporter Cassidy Shea, better known as @TwitterGirl, with more than a million followers thanks to her sarcastic tweets. One hundred forty characters that can take anyone down a notch.
But while brevity may be the soul of wit, it can also get you fired.
When a controversial tweet goes viral the snarky redhead finds herself locked out of the career she loves… and watches her boyfriend take a hike.
Alas, no industry values sarcasm more than politics, and Cassidy becomes a marketable commodity for Presidential candidate Will Becker, a squeaky-clean, stone cold lock to be the next occupant of the White House. This candidate is unlike any other; he’s the country’s most eligible bachelor. He’s also looking for a running mate, and we’re not talking about a Vice President.
Twitter Girl has caught his eye.
Cassidy finds herself swept up in a whirlwind romance that turns her into the next Jackie Kennedy and becomes the favorite to be the next First Lady. The country can’t get enough of America’s First Couple… will Cassidy and Will Becker bring back Camelot?
But an anonymous tip triggers her journalistic curiosity. Is Will Becker all that he seems? The search for the answer teaches Cassidy the meaning of love. (Source: Goodreads)
Cassidy Shea is a former TV news person. She starts working on a presidential campaign, full of super hot guys. She’s trying to find “Mr. Right”. There’s sort of a mystery in the book, but she’s not all that concerned. Her personality Twitter Girl is a snarky commentator in the lead-up to the campaign, mostly just throwing around useless insults.
This book confused me and disappointed me. There was so much stuff in this book that just left me going “really?” I couldn’t buy into the story at all and that was hugely disappointing because it was such a breeze to read. There were a lot of problems with this book in terms of plot alone, but also the characters were just…not good. I’m not a huge reader of romance novels, and at first I wanted to blame that for why I didn’t like this book, but then I realized this book had so many things that made it not even a good romance novel (I mean, I liked Snowed In and it was a romance novel) and that’s why I didn’t like it.
Let’s start with plot. The working on the presidential campaign plot is actually pretty interesting. Especially when you add in the mystery. Will Becker is supposed to be the perfect, all-American man, but he has a dark secret. This is the good stuff. The mystery itself, when it finally plays out in the book, is really very interesting. It’s definitely one of the highlights of the book. However, there are some major problems in basically everything else. First of all, Cassidy is not at all interested in finding out this mystery, despite the fact that she’s always going on about how reporters always get their scoop. It takes her months to even get interested. This really bothered me. The reason she has no interest in the mystery? She’s boy crazy. Actually. She meets so many hot guys she cannot even function as a human being. The whole plot of the boy-crazy-35-year-old woman feels kind of played out to me. I thought this just exposed a lot of flaws in the character development in the book since Cassidy is supposed to be this journalist with so much integrity.
Another big thing about the plot that bothered me were the men. This is also partially character problems. The men in this book are all either players/bad guys or totally perfect/good guys. There is basically no depth to them. This creates a plot of women finding their “white knights”. These men, Tyler and Sam, basically shower Cassidy and her best friend, Ripley, with attention and expect the girls to be all over them without actually making any romantic gestures of their own. They basically expect to get sex for being nice. Yeah, it’s one of those books. This just irked me so much. Especially because that’s exactly how it goes. The girls throw themselves at these two by the end of the book. By the end of all of this I was just exasperated. The whole thing played out like this big male fantasy and made me very uncomfortable.
Another note about the plot, Sam and Tyler are both somehow disabled. There’s nothing wrong with that obviously, but it’s used in a really weird way. Sam, Cassidy’s brother, was left in a wheelchair after a car accident when he was 15. That left Cassidy as his guardian and the two have lived together ever since. Tyler has some unnamed disability that leaves him incredibly tired, the fact that it isn’t named just made me think Tatano was too lazy to do any research. These disabilities leave the two characters as basically the same person. There’s nothing particularly different about them, they’re lumped together as the two disabled guys, who are also perfect “white knights”, and both of them love Cassidy and her identical best friend, Ripley, so much. It was infuriating to me that they were so similar because this kind of lumping was, I guess, not intended to be a thing about disabled people, but became that every disabled person in the book is exactly the same. Anyway, further to this lump system Tatano uses, the girls and guys are all (yes, all four of them) totally codependant to the point that they live in the next house over, which is connected by a wheelchair ramp, share a wedding, share a honeymoon, share a life. This just felt all kinds of creepy and uncomfortable to me. It felt a little like how a middle aged man might think little girls want to live their lives and really bothered me.
Continuing on with the characters, I’ll start with the guys. As I’ve already said, there are only 2 kinds of guys in this book: good guys and bad guys. Within these categories there’s really not much variance. The good guys, all two of them, are exactly the same. The bad guys are all pretty similar. Most of the guys that are introduced in the book are pretty similar, even in appearance. They’re all “6-foot tall, tousled black hair, deep-set blue eyes, perfectly sculpted” types. Most of them have that exact description. While this is not only lazy writing, it’s just so unrealistic and cheesy romance writing that it leaves you groaning. These guys are all also hopelessly in love with Cassidy and Ripley, because they are just male fantasy characters.
Cassidy is somehow both a stepford wife and one of the boys. She is traditional, willing to put her man on a pedestal, is model-level attractive, is humourous, drinks, plays poker, loves sports. She’s both a lady and “one of the guys”. I’m not saying women cannot be these things, but the character is so inconsistent in this form that it’s irritating. She’s just there to be a filler for the male ideal. She is the ideal because she can play wife, play guy, play sexy, play innocent. She’s every ideal rolled into one. She lacks her own personality to such a degree she becomes an object of male gaze and just fits right into that woman who realizes how much sex she owes that “white knights” role so well. Ripley, well, she’s the exact same person. They’re both perfect, sexy, humble women who are not relatable in any way to a female audience.
This whole book was just hugely disappointing because the premise was actually pretty good. The mystery itself was fantastic, when it actually got the attention it deserved. The problem was that all of this was set inside this shell of bad characters and huge plot problems. The book was a letdown to me, and I cannot recommend it.