THIS POST MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!!!!
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Hello sassy people!
Today I’m gonna talk about the fourth book in the Shaking Up Series, Making Up, by Helena Hunting.
Name: Making up
Author: Helena Hunting
Series: Shacking Up #4
Blurb: Cosy Felton is great at her job—she knows just how to handle the awkwardness that comes with working at an adult toy store. So when the hottest guy she’s ever seen walks into the shop looking completely overwhelmed, she’s more than happy to turn on the charm and help him purchase all of the items on his list.
Griffin Mills is using his business trip in Las Vegas as a chance to escape the broken pieces of his life in New York City. The last thing he wants is to be put in charge of buying gag gifts for his friend’s bachelor party. Despite being totally out of his element, and mortified by the whole experience, Griffin is pleasantly surprised when he finds himself attracted to the sales girl that helped him.
As skeptical as Cosy may be of Griffin’s motivations, there’s something about him that intrigues her. But sometimes what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas and when real life gets in the way, all bets are off. Filled with hilariously awkward situations and enough sexual chemistry to power Sin City, Making Up is the next standalone in the Shacking Up world.
This book surprised me because, over the two previous ones, we always read about Griffin and his fiance, Imogen. But this book is about Griffin and his new interest, Cosy (first of all, interesting name).
So, in the beginning, I loved this book. We are introduced to Cosy, who works in a sex toy shop. She seems sassy, confident, and seemed to have her own mind. And we have Griffin, an older super hot guy, in a suit, who seems shy and maybe a little geeky (which I would love if it was true), who was mortified to be in a sex toy shop to buy gag gifts for his friend’s bachelor party.
So this first scene was perfect, after that, is downhill.
Now, don’t get me wrong, it was not horrible, but also not amazing.
Their relationship starts, they go on dates, but nothing ever seems to work or be okay. There is always something bad happening, and we don’t see their relationship developing.
This book being by Helena Hunting, I had really high expectations. The first two books were amazing, and this one, despite not being a bad book (by any means) wasn’t what I expected. In most books by Helena, I love to talk about how her characters are developed and how you understand them and feel connected to their story and personality. In this particular book, I didn’t feel this connection and in most of the situations, I was left wondering why did they do that?
First of all, they have a big age gap, being that he is 33 and she is 22. Honestly not the biggest age gap I’ve ever seen, and one I would be able to ignore if the characters didn’t bring it up so many times, but that is the first sign that they are completely different from one another.
Second of all, their relationship is not exactly lived by us, we are told about a lot of their experiences, instead of showed them. Large periods of time (like weeks) are skipped, and that is in the very beginning, their first dates, first interactions, which in most books we would see (and they would give us the feeling that they were connecting and growing as a couple, they would show us what they have in common and how their relationship would work), in this, one of the characters just says things like, “I saw him every day this week” (not a direct quote) and be done with it.
And also, most of the multiple situations that happen in this book are solved rather quickly and don’t really bring any consequences, nor any major changes. Most of these are just a misunderstanding that solves itself in the next two chapters.
Again, not bad, just not the kind of book that I would say Helena wrote.
In the beginning, especially because we don’t know a lot about the characters, I didn’t really understand Cosy, and the way she acted and her way to handle her relationship with Griffin left me wondering what her intentions were. I expected her to have an awesome personality, but that never happened, until this point, I don’t know a lot about her or her personality. The only real information we have of her is her sister, a woman who has a line of boyfriends (sometimes categorized as sugar daddies), no job, no responsibility, and some addiction problems. This sister is for most of the book living in Cosy’s apartment and is always giving her advice on how to deal with Griffin.
But the influence of her sister in her is something that confuses me. She doesn’t hate her sister, they seem to have a fairly good relationship, she doesn’t want to be like her but also doesn’t not want to. She listens to some of her sister’s advice, and for the most part, her motivation never seems to be “to not be her sister”.
She talks about not wanting commitment, but we don’t know why, she talks about wanting to travel, and not stand still, not create roots, but again, we don’t really know why. Her parents are very rarely mentioned and her story too. She had a small number of romantic relationships and honestly, I didn’t see any reason for her to be a virgin, it seemed like just one detail, like one more cliche in a romance, big age gap, the virgin female lead character.
And that also kind of ruined the image I had of Cosy at the beginning of the book, cause for me, she was a strong woman, who is powerful and knows how to deal with her sexuality and how to deal with others, especially working on a sex toy shop, but then she becomes a virgin, and that seemed kind of a forced innocence that I don’t think was necessary, while also enhancing the gap they had even more. Now he is older, richer, and more experienced, while she is a poor, young, and innocent little girl. Don’t really like this angle (reminds me too much of Fifty Shades).
When the book started, especially the flirting scenes on the sex toy shop got me intrigued, I thought the book was gonna be amazing, but their relationship was always complicated for no apparent reason, the real complications were never really real and honestly, I think there were too many aspects for it all to fit and make sense.
Here start the major SPOILERS, so know that I warned you.
In the middle of the book, they find out that Griffin had sex with Cosy’s sister months before, when he and Cosy didn’t know each other. For me, that was completely unnecessary, I believe that if we took that part of the book, it wouldn’t make a lot of difference.
So let’s make a list of problems, shall we:
Age Gap, sex with sister, travel problems, his work schedule, his money, her lack of money, his ex-fiance, his baby with his ex-fiance, her commitment issues, his commitment issues, the fact that she is in college (don’t really know why that is a problem, but still)…
There are too many problems and none of them get developed.
The age gap was never a problem, they just had trouble accepting that. He never had sex with her sister and even before they found that out, she had already forgiven him. He was gonna leave Las vegas when his work was done, so their relationship had an expiration date (which to me, seemed like the only real problem). He was rich, she had a problem with that (don’t really know why), maybe cause it made their “gap” even bigger.
Then his ex-fiance appeared and she was pregnant. But in end, the baby wasn’t his, which we find out rather quickly. She never wanted to call him her boyfriend, again, don’t know why (especially because a girl who waits for the right guy to lose her virginity doesn’t strike me as a girl who fears commitment) and he has some issues too, even though he overcomes them quicker.
Is all too much, without being explored. If she chose one or two of these problems and developed them, this would make a lot more sense. With this many problems, I don’t really know the intention of the plot. Don’t know what the story is supposed to be about.
I feel bad writing like this about my favorite author, maybe if this was the first book I read of hers, I would love it, but again, I went in with really high expectations, and sadly they were not satisfied.
The feminist angle of this is kind of not so cool either.
Despite being with the best of intentions, I don’t appreciate guys who buy clothes for their interest without their opinion and normally without their knowledge (this is one more point where it looks like Fifty Shades).
Griffin, despite being a great guy, was a little too possessive and territorial, and sometimes he tends to want to use his strength to solve problems or things like that, and I don’t appreciate that. Also, Cosy a lot of times goes back to him, without really communicating or solving any problems, he just shows up, gives her gifts, and because she can’t stay away from him, she goes back to him, so not exactly what I would expect from her.
Lastly, the strong female lead angle was broken to me when the whole virginity debacle happened, so all in all, disappointed with this one in terms of healthy relationship views.
I went on Goodreads, to check if I was the only person with this opinion of the book (I was feeling really bad for not liking a Helena Hunting book), and while A LOT of people liked it, I found a lot of them who were in the same page as me, liked it, but didn’t love it.
While reading their reviews, I remembered one more aspect of this couple’s story… They are not believable as a couple with a strong and lasting relationship. They don’t have a lot in common and the only thing that seems to unite them is their attraction and the fact that they both work in the hotel industry. There is no reason for them to fall in love, so the only explanation I have is that they found each other hot. They don’t have a connection, we don’t see the time they spend together, so when they talk about loving each other or being smitten, it doesn’t sound convincible. They were in lust, at the most.
So, even if it really saddens me, this is the score for this book in my opinion:
General grade: 3/5 (didn’t understand the characters and their choices, the plot was a little all over the place with problems that didn’t find a solution, they were just forgotten)
Feminist grade: 4/5 (Griffin is possessive and domineering, not in a bad way, but I didn’t appreciate some of his actions. And Cosy went from strong female to virgin innocent girl, also something I didn’t appreciate)
Final grade: 7/10 (Overall good and had some cute moments, but left me disappointed)
Well, that is all for today, I hope you liked this post, hope you enjoy this book if you decide to read it. Feel free to leave your opinion about it in the comments, please tell me if you agree with me, or if you totally disagree and you loved it, and I will see you next time!
Bye sassy people!
- 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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