Dating Ain’t Easy

30189255 Cleaning Up Finn by Sarah M. Chen
My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Sarah M. Chen is a lovely woman and a helluva writer. She has got it going on, even if Finn is the antithesis of her in nearly every way imaginable. Finn might be a piece of shit, but his misery makes for some wonderful comedy, and you don’t want to miss this incredible ride in the passenger seat of his boss’s Ferrari.

If you’ve ever been on a date and wondered how it could possibly get any worse, or if you like reading about slimy characters because it makes you feel better about yourself, then this, my friends, is the book for you. Or if you want to simply support an underappreciated author who deserves so much more, then pick up this novella and read it for yourself.

CLEANING UP FINN gripped me at big tits, and it didn’t let me go until the final horn blew. The dialogue was crisp, the characters were sleazy, the pace was just right, and the South Bay setting enriched this tale in every way possible. I can’t wait to see what Ms. Chen does for an encore, because I’m gonna elbow my way to the front of the line.

Formal Style

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My Rating: 2/5 Stars

The rhythm of DANGEROUS ILLUSIONS felt off to me. Like I was the one playing the drums, instead of Phil Collins up on stage pounding away in front of thousands, bringing The Garden to its knees. The style felt a bit formal, a bit stilted, like Joseph J. Gabriele understands the rules of writing, but he left all of his passion and sensation back at his former place of residence. And when I finished the novel, I found myself shrugging my shoulders and saying, “So what?”

Don’t get me wrong. The man can write. He breathed life into Eliot and Blaire and Yvette and Laura and other individuals that flitted across the stage of this three act play, but I found myself never really fully invested in the outcome. I found myself dropping my eyes in the cheap seats and listening with only one ear. I stared out into the great abyss, and then I promptly averted my gaze.

Even the story felt a bit off at times. Like we’d hit more than a few potholes on some backcountry road and now my wheels were out of alignment. A new set of shocks wasn’t entirely out of the question either. But I kept pressing, kept moving forward in the hope that I was wrong. In the end, though, I don’t think I am.

I wanted to believe in this tale, but I lost my faith somewhere along the road, and I couldn’t figure out a way to bring it back.

I received this book for free through NetGalley.