Overruled – Review
THIS POST MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!!!!
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Hello sassy people!
Today I’m gonna talk about one of my new favorite books, from one of my new favorite authors: Overruled by Emma Chase.
Author: Emma Chase
Series: The Legal Briefs
Blurb: As a DC defense attorney, Stanton Shaw keeps his head cool, his questions sharp, and his arguments irrefutable. They don’t call him the Jury Charmer for nothing – with his southern drawl, disarming smile and captivating green eyes – he’s a hard man to say no to. Men want to be him and women want to be thoroughly cross examined by him. Stanton’s a man with a plan. And for a while, life was going according to that plan. Until the day he receives an invitation to the wedding of his high school sweetheart and mother of his beloved ten-year old daughter. Jenny is getting married — to someone who isn’t him. That’s definitely not part of the plan.
Sofia Santos is a city raised, no-nonsense litigator who plans to become the most revered criminal defense attorney in the country. She doesn’t have time for relationships or distractions. But when Stanton, her “friend with mind-blowing benefits” begs for help, she finds herself out of her element, out of her depth, and obviously out of her mind. Because she agrees to go with him – to The-Middle-Of-Nowhere, Mississippi – to do all she can to help Stanton win back the woman he loves. Her head tells her she’s crazy…and her heart says something else entirely.
What happens when you mix a one stop-light town, two professional arguers, a homecoming queen, four big brothers, some Jimmy Dean sausage and a gun-toting Nana? The Bourbon flows, passions rise and even the best laid plans get overruled by the desires of the heart.
I loved this book really much for multiple reasons.
First of all, I loved Stanton and his personality. He is the perfect mixture of nice and mischievous. When we meet him, he is an 18-year-old boy, about to go to college, who just found out that his high school sweetheart is pregnant. He is prepared to give up on his life goals to be with her and take care of her.
His girlfriend insists on him going to college and getting his law degree, while also insisting on trying an open relationship, so he can enjoy life in college, while she stays at home, in Mississipi, raising their daughter and going to nursing school.
After that, we jump 10 years and Stanton is a defense attorney in a big firm in DC. His daughter lives in Mississipi with her mom and they both continue on their open relationship status, meaning that when he is home, they are together, but while in the city, they both have other relationships. His current relationship (which is more a friends with benefits than a committed one) is with Sofia Santos, another defense attorney in his firm. They’ve been “together” for 6 months when he receives an invitation to Jenny’s wedding.
Stanton is shocked and decides to go back home to get Jenny back. His life plans were all of a sudden destroyed and he is out of his mind, screaming at Jenny over the phone. So when he realizes that screaming will not work and that Sofia is great at placating him in those moments, he asks her to go with him.
What would you think if the guy you like, or at least enjoy “spending time with”, asks your help on getting the love of his life back? I would be horrified and doing it seems like a painful and horrible situation. But Sofia is strong and decides to help her friend, and this is an amazing aspect of this book, we see how they are friends even more than lovers, and that friendship shows throughout the whole book.
From here on, there may be spoilers, so if you don't like them, you can jump to the next "safe zone". If you want to continue, click the button...
Throughout the beginning of the book we see how Stanton is found of Jenny, how the beginning of his open relationship was hard on him, and how all this time, his goal was to marry her someday. This was a unique plot for me, because it wasn’t a love triangle, and we understand his situation. For more than 10 years, Jenny was the person he tough he would end up with. She is the mother of his child and his high school sweetheart. But through the book we realize that he is not in love with her, he just had this idea of how his life would turn out, and to have that future taken out of him, made him lose his mind.
He takes a while to realize that, and we see his friendship with Jenny, how they are partners, no matter what, just not the romantic kind anymore. They have an amazing relationship, they are great parents, they are just not together anymore. We also see how he starts a super cool relationship with Jenny’s fiancé, JD, because he starts the book hating the guy, but ends up realizing how they both love the girls (Jenny and Presley) and would do anything to keep them safe.
It is amazing how he has interactions and toughs about Sofia the entire book, but he is so focused on his goal of ending Jenny’s wedding, he doesn’t realize it. Their talks and banter are awesome, and he is constantly looking for her, wanting to be near her, wanting to tell her things, and needing her close.
Now, if all of this wasn’t already amazing, there is a cherry on top of this delicious cake: Sofia is BRAZILIAN! For those of you who don’t know, I’m Brazilian and I just loved to see a good (amazing actually) representation of my country. Sofia is strong, bold, strong-minded, who is not afraid to say what she thinks. Her personality is one that I relate a lot to Latinas, fierce and spicy but at the same time sweet and so strong!
I need to have a little venting moment here. I’ve seen a lot of series and a couple of books where there were Brazilian characters, and that always makes me happy, but the happiness ends when the misrepresentation starts. Brazilians do not speak spanish, samba and salsa are extremely different, and for the love of God, I’m tired of books that only mention Brazil to talk about the female leads butt. Okay, the Brazilian stereotype is big butts, but there is a whole lot more to talk about our country and our people. And I am so happy to say that Emma Chase did an amazing, almost flawless job at representing us.
Sofia does not only have the personality but also has the language, the food, the geography, and the life story correct. Through the book we see her teaching Portuguese to friends, making Pão de Queijo on Sundays, which becomes a tradicion in their group of friends later in the book (also on the next ones), and at a later point in the book, having a short conversation in Portuguese.
She talks about her family, how they got out of Brazil and how her household works, how they value education and hard work because if there is one thing that is Brazilian is hard work, we might seem relaxed, but we work a lot for our goals.
One detail that I need to talk about is the reality of Brazil that she expresses here. Sofia talks about her mom, how she lived in Pará, and scaped to Rio de Janeiro, but only learned how to read when she was 16, learning from Sofia’s father. I will not say that Brazil doesn’t have illiterates, we have high numbers, but so do a lot of countries, while Brazil is 20%, the U.S.A. is 10% (according to the “2013 UN Human Development Report). My country is not just poor, it is not a war zone, people don’t escape Brazil because it is a hostile environment, people leave for better opportunities, just like I believe people in the United States do too. There is no country with no poor people at all, and I love my country and it makes me sad that that is the image other countries have of it. We have poverty, but we also have warm and happy people, we are animated and welcoming, and always excited to learn about other cultures and to welcome foreign people.
So even though what Emma writes in her book is one reality, it is not the only one, and I feel the need to defend my home because, despite it all, it is wonderful.
The quote above made me really truly happy, all through the book I thought the only thing that would make it even more perfect would be if a Portuguese word showed up, just one tinny detail that would make the story even more believable. So when, on the final stage of the book, we get a whole conversation, I was ready to include this author in my top 3 authors list.
Now, I can’t let this go… but it made not much of a difference and is a mistake that I can forgive, but there are two grammatical errors in the text. When translating the word way, instead of saying: “if they did what I wanted” they said, “if they did my path” which does not make much sense in Portuguese. And a small error in the plural of the word “iria”, which should be “iriam”. But despite this, the book was pretty much flawless and made me truly happy.
Now, I wrote about Sofia before, in my “7 Female Characters In Male-Dominated Jobs” post and I cannot write about this book without talking about the strength of this character, and how she fights for her job, how she fights to prove herself and how she succeeds. She is a role model for females on how to be strong, fearless, and fierce. She is a defense attorney on a big firm, handling male idiots as clients, working with a lot of male colleagues, answering to a male boss. Even though there are more and more female attorneys, there is no denying that it still is a male-dominated field.
And Sofia talks about it, which could not make me happier. About the struggle, about the harassment, about being strong, fighting, and appreciating what the women that came before her did, how it affects where she is right now, but how the fight is not over.
Last but not least, I wanted to talk about Stanton and his daughter Presley. Their relationship is just amazing, and I have a few quotes about it, how he is an awesome dad, how he puts her happiness and her mental stability and health first, how he never uses her in his "game" to ruin Jenny's wedding, and ultimately..... ( for the SPOILER click the button)
how the fact that Presley likes JD, and that he knows JD would do anything for Presly, is the reason, one of biggest reasons, why he gives up on pursuing Jenny and begins a really cool relationship with her fiance.
I could put all of these quotes here, but since I already put a lot of them, I’ll put just one more…
And now for the grades I give this masterpiece…
General grade: 5/5 (the plot was surprising and really well-developed, the characters have deep stories that build them and interfere with their actions, and we understand all of that through the book)
Feminist grade: 5/5 (Strong female is one of the biggest characteristics I can put here, not only Sofia but also Jenny and Presley, all of them, role models of strong women. Also, great relationship role models, not only for romantic ones but ones between parents, between exes, between friends, your ex’s current… All of them really good examples)
Final grade: 10/10 (Amazing on so many levels, teaches a lot of reasons, touches a lot of difficult subjects, brings culture and representation, and it is just an awesome story, really well written)
So, I guess that was all I loved about this book, if you remember something else I didn’t mention here, leave it in the comments, if you’ve read this book, tell me what you thought.
Well, that is all for today, I hope you like this post, hope you enjoy these books if you decide to read them. Feel free to leave your opinion about it in the comments and I will see you next time!
Bye sassy people!
- I know that some comments I make about decent guys on my posts are the bare minimum a guy should do, so no, they don’t deserve to be treated like gods for doing the minimum, but at the same time, I’ve read a lot of sexist books and I appreciate authors who make characters that can serve as role models and examples of how a decent guy acts and what a loving and respectful relationship looks like. I believe we should always encourage these authors and bring attention to the ones that still write sexist characters and stories.
- I make a lot of comments about sexism and healthy role models in books, but a lot of times these characteristics don’t make the book a bad book and definitely don’t make the author a bad author. Please never shame these authors and these books for these comments, I simply feel that we need to have awareness of the less than ideal situations some books bring us, and not use the romanticized problem as examples of what a relationship should be. Most of these authors are still amazing and the content they write doesn’t reflect directly with their personal views and opinions. Always make sure to respect and be kind to everyone, even while criticizing their content.
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Brazilian architecture student and book lover
One of my goals in analysing my readings was to talk about important topics, like feminist and consent, because literature, art and culture influence us, and I believe we should always encorage authors who talk about this topics.
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Goodreads Reading Challenge 2020
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