Published by Self-published on 5 August, 2016
Genre: Comedy, Coming of age, Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
# pages: 330
Who is LJ? Does she even know? Growing up in the heartland of America, LJ didn't learn what the world was really like outside the boundaries of her family farm until she left for college in southern California. She immediately falls head over heels in love with a hot surfer and his sun-and-surf laid-back lifestyle. She picks up modeling and acting gigs to pay down her student loans.
After a few unbearable twists of fate, LJ abandons her Midwestern values for the temptations of Hollywood—and that's only the beginning. Caught in the pressure of balancing a lie and reality, and with her seemingly new best friend, Sidney, becoming more viperous at every turn, LJ can no longer escape the fall down the rabbit hole into a dark world of money and power, where sex sells and everything is for sale.
“Hot Toddy” is fast-paced. I prefer books that reel me in within the first 15-20 pages and don’t make me feel like I’m just trying to get through the book so I can pass a class. I didn’t always find myself relating to LJ, but she’s one of those characters I both can’t stand, but can’t stop reading about, either.
I found myself relating more to Naomi: She’s genuine and doesn’t give into peer pressure.
LJ makes the same mistakes over and over, much like the characters in Shameless, which I quit watching two seasons ago because I grew tired of the same old stuff. Though fast-paced, “Hot Toddy” requires patience.
There are also instances wherein grammar and punctuation is a must, but isn’t implemented: free-from things (e.g. gluten-free) are supposed to have dashes between the words, not spaces. It made the sentence with it rather confusing…and annoyed me, because it’s a mistake that’s gone mainstream and making it into brand campaigns and onto product packages. ?
There were also some skipped and misspelled words, so sometimes I’d be spending fifteen minutes trying to figure out what it was supposed to actually be. ?
And one sentence ended a paragraph, but didn’t have a period. And maybe I’m just being nit-picky, but I’ve a system when I read. My brain is programmed to read a certain way, so when the punctuation doesn’t add up, I’m thrown off and have to reset.
Surprise! This novel contains rape—and it’s descriptive. I could have used a warning at the beginning of the book. I have PTSD, and this kind of shit is a major trigger. ? I think it’s easy for people who’ve not been in traumatic situations to be fine with something, and I don’t know anything about the author other than the bio provided to me on the back of the book beneath the blurb, but I feel as if that was ill-planned.
Maybe LJ is just ruthless and ruthlessly built. But if rape is involved, I prefer the protagonist to react more instead of shoving it off and rarely mentioning it thereafter.
Lastly, as someone who was repeatedly called “retarded” in elementary school, and as an autistic, I really despise this word. There was only one instance by her roommate, but nevertheless…it wasn’t acknowledged as a poor choice of words, and words like that hurt—even if it’s someone’s character, even if hurt wasn’t the intention. It doesn’t mean “stupid”; it should really be demolished—it’s the most degrading word I’ve ever heard.
Any other word could have been used. There are many synonyms for “stupid”, but “retarded” is not one of them.
With that said…
The back of the last page has a to-be-continued note, and I would like to read the sequel. I’d just really prefer it not have the R-word anywhere in it. ??
“Hot Toddy” was hilarious and fun without the bad and ugly, and I think T.C. Collins has potential.
Do you like fast-paced novels?
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