You would think that the major issue I had with this book would have been the human-merman sex…but….I had SEVERAL MAJOR issues with this horrible book and I cannot believe it has any decent reviews, let alone was described as “hilarious.” The only reason I finished this was because it was a fairly quick read (I read it over the span of 2 days) and I felt like I had to see this train wreck through. Be warned, this review will have multiple spoilers as I feel like I cannot adequately convey my displeasure with this book without giving away some plot points.
Lucy is 38, recently single, and has hit a road block with her dissertation. She needs to get away so when her sister invites her to stay at her beach house for the summer while she is traveling, she decides that some personal time is just what she needs. She agrees to watch her sister’s dog, Dominic, and attend group therapy sessions in order to stay rent free but otherwise she has time to reflect on her relationship and hopefully get back to her academics. One night, she meets a man in the water named Theo and is immediately attracted. Could this man be her forever?
Ugh, ugh, ugh, ugh, ugh. Lucy is one of the most selfish, irritating, self-destructive characters I have ever come across. If you are meant to feel any sympathy for her, I clearly missed something. In fact, there are several times when my dislike for her was bordering on hate. Every decision she makes is somehow super self-destructive AND harmful to everyone in her life—I didn’t know this was possible. Lucy is in need of some very intense therapy and the group she goes to is not helpful to her at all. When she made a friend there, Claire, I thought that may lead to the only healthy relationship in her life…I was mistaken. When Claire reaches out to Lucy for help dealing with her suicidal thoughts, Lucy ignores her in order to have sex with Theo and guess what? Claire tries to kill herself. I’m not saying that Lucy is responsible for Claire’s actions but you can’t talk about how lucky you are to have this friend and love talking to her about your problems and then completely ignore her when she needs serious help. Lucy barely feels remorse for her actions and somehow takes Claire’s problems and spins them in a way to rationalize her own issues. Throughout the book (and even after meeting Theo) she whines and complains numerous times about wanting to be in love and how she needs to fall in love and why doesn’t she have love etc… while at the same time she is engaging in dangerous and risky sex with multiple strangers. She never uses a condom and even says at one point that she’s on birth control but can never remember to take it. THIS IS A 38 YEAR OLD WOMAN. She lets men use her in the name of finding love and is then depressed and shocked when they don’t text her or only wanted her for sex. It was so infuriating that I found myself wanting to scream at her through the pages, “Of course that 22 year old you went out with on Tinder who you asked to meet you in a dark alley only wants you for sex!” Even the central love story between her and Theo is awkward and unsettling. At one point, she rubs her menstrual blood on his face while they are having sex and he is totally cool with it. In the same scene, her blood stains her sister’s couch and she does nothing to clean it up …but that’s not the worst thing she does to her sister. SHE KILLS HER SISTER’S DOG. Dominic the dog, who Lucy loved at the beginning of the book, growls and makes noise when Theo is in the house so Lucy starts tranquilizing him so he will be quiet and she can have uninterrupted time with Theo. Over the course of the last few chapters, she increases the dosage more and more until he dies. She lets her sister know the dog is dead but doesn’t own up to her role in it. It is just the last in a long line of bad things Lucy does and I really couldn’t take anymore. By the end, I was just hoping something horrible would happen to her—that’s how much I disliked her. Theo wants to take her with him to the water and I was ready to help her back her bag and get on with it.
I seriously can’t remember the last time a book made me this angry and I would not recommend this book to anyone unless they want to read about a self-absorbed woman who clearly needs mental health help and who hurts everyone and everything in her life. I honestly would have liked this book more if it was just about weird merman sex.
Author: Melissa Broder
Rating: 1 Star