Get a Life, Chloe Brown
By Talia Hibbert
Rating: 3.75/5 Genre: Contemporary Romance Steam: Explicit/Descriptive/Multiple References Publisher: Avon Romance Pub Date: November 5, 2019 Purchased from Local Bookstore Available: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookShop
TW: Chronic Illness, Past Toxic Relationships, Ableism,
Get A Life, Chloe Brown Synopsis: Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer programmer who’s life is utterly boring. After nearly dying in a freak car accident, while she was walking, she’s vowed to turn her life around into something a little more exciting. With a list of course. She’s going to ride a motorcycle, go camping, get drunk, do something bad, have meaningless sex. Only she needs help. Enter Redford ‘Red’ Morgan, her flat’s handyman and local bad boy, complete with a motorcycle, faux leather jacket, and traumatic past! Chloe enlists Red’s help to complete the list in exchange for her making him a website, if only they can get over their preconceived notions of each other.
This book is so hyped on bookstagram. I wanted to love it. I expected to love it. A fat, chronically ill black woman who does computer programming creating a list of things that are adventurous and exciting! A kind, large, redheaded love interest who paints and rides a motorcycle?!? The cat on the cover!! I mean come on here, this is like the perfect setup for a novel. But it fell short for me so many times, unfortunately.
My biggest issue with the book as a whole was insta-lust. From the moment that Chloe and Red meet each other they’re literally salivating over each other. We get 50ish pages in and we’re masturbating to the thoughts of each other. Over calves. Maybe my sexual interests are different than the rest of y’alls but calves? And they can’t ever seem to get through an interaction without both of them (dual POV) mentally stripping and pleasuring each other. This drove me up a wall. I get wanting to have sex with someone and thinking they’d be great in bed, I get it, but that’s not my main thought every time I see them!!
Another issue is their “enemies” phase, which was one of the weakest I’ve encountered. Like I can kinda get it, I’ve been sore and achy after my second shot and I’ve been a bitch to people, so I can see where Chloe is coming from, and if I were on the receiving end I could see where Red is coming from, but the book fell flat for me. I wanted more enemies tension. I wanted more moments of dislike/distrust in each other before moving on to elsewhere.
The plot/timeline. So spoiler central here. Skip this if you haven’t read the book and don’t want it to be spoiled. Chloe creates this list because her life is boring and she wants excitement, right? And then in the book we find out she used to have a fiancé and friends and went out a lot. Um… what? Wouldn’t that be excitement? Also what was the timeline here? I felt like it was 2ish weeks, I could be wrong, but the little time they spent together and the short timeline it just made things feel off. Could just be me.
This book should reaffirm to everyone that OwnVoices are important and necessary to publishing and the book community. My god, Hibbert’s descriptions and characterizations of Chloe were great. She felt so real. Honestly, Chloe was probably why I kept reading the book. I just really enjoyed her and her experiences. Plus the comments about her size gave her shape, but were done so well. There was no internalized fatphobia!
The plot had so much potential for it too! I’m a sucker for to-do lists to turn one’s life around, and this one was really quite great. I liked the uniqueness of the plot. It followed the trope to a point, but also had enough nuances and other things to make it really enjoyable. It really was different from most books that I have read.
Hibbert’s writing sucks you in. I enjoyed the ways in which she made Red and Chloe different voices. Her control of Chloe was absolutely phenomenal and her internal dialogue felt so connectable. Plus I feel like Hibbert and I have similar sense of humor and would get along splendidly! Honestly, her writing is what I’m most looking forward to in going forth with reading the rest of the Brown Sisters series and then her other novels. I just want to experience all of her writing!
Long Story Short
Do I recommend this book? Eh, sure. Go for it. Like I said, I really loved the representation in it, I found Hibbert’s writing to be enjoyable, and it’s such a different book from so many I’ve read. I had several issues with it, but I know that a load of people loved it so I say go for it. I’m still keeping the jury out on the whole series (which I’ve heard goes up from here) and other works by Hibbert. I don’t hate the book, but it took me a while to get through it and I feel like it’s super hyped.
If you like this book I would highly recommend picking up You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria. Two costars have to work together as love interests on a new tv show based on a telanovella! Tensions and sparks rise as Jasmine and Ashton spend time together, but not everything is as it seems. Latino representation, strong diversity, sizzling chemistry, and it’s such a great piece of work!!! Read my full review of it here!