Friday, February 10, 2012

Psych Major Syndrome

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3 stars means I liked it but darn, I am so disappointed. This book could have been awesome. It had potential. A great idea. A nice plot. Snark, witticism, fun, clever remarks. Swoon-worthy guys.

Then why did it start off so great, deceived me for three quarters of it and then suddenly went down the drain?

Leigh Nolan is attending her first year at Stiles College, a some, alternative and barely known school in California, where her high-school sweetheart and boyfriend, the overachieving, self-centered and ambitious Andrew is also attending. Leigh is considering majoring in psychology and is certainly very good at over-analyzing herself and everything around her, so much so that she misses the obvious: what a jerk Andrew is and how intriguing is his roommate Nathan instead. A colorful cast of characters surround Lee; from her Latino artist roommate Ami, to the teenage-at-risk Rebekah, to the eternal boy scout advisor with the Spongebob Squarepants watch.

Mark page 286. That's when I started rolling my eyes. Ok, that's actually not true, there was one scene that really, really irked me even before (I'll get to that later), but page 286 was when I lost all hope.

Before that, I thought I had a winner in my hands. Or almost, at least. Jerkface (Andrew) aside - together with the mandatory presence of some "mean girls" - I liked Leigh a lot. A good sense of humor is sometimes all I need in a character in order to like him/her. She's got plenty, and a tad self-deprecating too. Her obliviousness to the situation slightly annoyed me, but nothing majorly unbearable.

Then Thompson had to go and pull the "dumb" chinese stereotype. Man, I got pissed. There's this scene in which Leigh and this Li Chang guy go to San Francisco for an award ceremony. The Chinese guy won third place with a poem - a very idiotic one, at that. The whole debacle is supposed to be funny, but in my opinion, it really isn't. Trying to make fun of the super-trite cliché of asian people not being able to speak English well and coming out just as plain dumb is lame and so last decade, miss Thompson. So one star goes for that.

The second star goes on the infamous page 286, when the real romance kicks in. Unfortunately, what I had thought a sassy, fun and spunky story up to that moment, suddenly turns into a mush of cheesy moments and of extremely stupid choices, so predictable and trite I turned the cover of the book around to check if I hadn't, by mistake, picked up another book. So disappointing!

So, begrudgingly, 3 stars, but just because I really liked the first part. I'm sure other people will enjoy the romance too but this book really left me with a bitter taste in my mouth.


  1. Oh, that's too bad. It had an interesting summery and since I'm taking Intro to Psych this semester it would have been fun, oh well. Thanks for giving your honest opinion.

  2. I haven't heard of this before but it sounds like it could have been fun. It's always so disappointing when a good (or potentially good) book ends up going downhill, especially when you are looking forward to it. It's a shame this book wasn't consistently good, Lisa, but great review anyway. :) Hopefully your next read will turn out to be better.

  3. Ouchie.

    Okay, the asian stereotype would have probably threw me off the book faster than you can say "yuck". The artists I happen to admire the most are asian (actors, singers) so I don't appreciate anyone making fun at them. Besides, on principle, the whole things seems, more than cliché, slightly racist.

    And then, if we add stupid choices and cheesy lines... Yeah. A no deal for me too, I think - so I won't even try.

    Thanks for the great and honest review, Lisa!

    Ron @ Stories of my life

  4. Ron I didn't want to go into racist territory because the whole thing was supposed to be funny but yeah, basically, that's what it is.

  5. This sounds so good. Too bad it falls flat! Oh well, I have enough on my TBR list glad I don't have to add another. Baha

  6. I usually experience the opposite, the first part is boring, not engaging or not good and then it gets better, the story, the writing and the characters. I don't think that I ever read a book that would go down hill after an amazing start. Great review!

  7. Thanks for the review, Lisa! Looks like I won't be reading this anytime soon.

  8. I still really liked this. I wish I could go back and reread it after reading your thoughts about it to see how I could've liked it with a cheesy romance and perpetuating awful stereotypes:-/ I sent my copy to another person, though. (The Unread Reader?) Hmph. Maybe I was blinded with the humor of it? Well, regardless, I really enjoyed reading your review, Lisa.

  9. Awww, it always sucks when you don't like a book as much as you hoped to. :( Usually the book is the other way round -- with the beginning being strange and the later scenes being not-so-great -- but I think it would've been worse to have it this way since your expectations were already high.

    Still, thanks so much for the awesome honest review, Lisa! It sounds like a really cute book despite falling flat near the end, so I think I might still give it a shot! :)

  10. Ouch. I've been eager to read this book ever since I received a copy back in *silence* (I can't remember. Heh.) But now that I read your review, I might just let this slide on my TBR list. Great honest review, Lisa! As always. :)


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