Thank you to St Martin’s Press via NetGalley for this review copy.
Everyone always talks about how your time in college/university will be the highlight of your young adult life, but no one talks about the uncertainty that comes right after finishing school. When I saw this book on NetGalley, I got super excited to get to read a book about the phase of my life that I am currently in. Unfortunately, I got my hopes up too high and found that I even though I am fresh out of college, I could not relate to this book at all.
Smothered follows Lou, a recent college graduate who moves home because she didn’t get a job right out of college. Her long term boyfriend moves across the country to be in the same area as her, but here’s the catch: she refuses to tell her mother that he exists. She goes to such ridiculous lengths that one of her friends ends up stranded in another country because of an ailment that she made up to hide Lou’s boyfriend. It’s insane and far fetched to the point that it’s not enjoyable.
Lou reminds me a lot of Rory from Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. She expects everything and works for nothing. She has a checklist of her short term, middle term, and long term goals, but she never really does anything to achieve them. As someone who just landed their first post-college job, I totally get that the job market is tough right out of college, but it’s really annoying that she just expected a job to fall into her lap. She barely applied for any jobs, then threw a fit when she was kindly told she was overqualified for one. She treated her loving boyfriend like dirt and lied to everyone around her. The most killer part of this book for me, was that there was no real redemption or learning moment for Lou. She never really showed any remorse. She blames most of her actions on her mother and never takes ownership for herself.
Lou’s mother is the other major reason I didn’t like this book. She’s protective and a helicopter parent to an insane degree. She stalks Lou on Find My Friends, forces her into crash diets, makes inappropriate comments about her daughter’s dating life, and tries to set her daughter up with any attractive male she knows without asking if Lou wants it. She grows a bit more than Lou does in the end, but it’s almost too little too late. She’s also just very judgmental and represents a lot of things I don’t agree with.
This book just did not work for me. I wanted to like it so badly, but between the insane characters, the poor plot and the moral of the story, I couldn’t get into this book. I kept almost quitting because the book was so over the top and ridiculous. I’d give this book 1/5.