Ever since I started reading novellas, I’ve learned some new things about reviewing. First, if I’m going to review a novella, I should be flexible with my standards because it would be unfair to be overly critical about something that’s only 120 pages long. Second, you try to be considerate about the predictable plot, about the characters that you really didn’t get to know well, and sometimes, you just have to take anything at face value.
With In Over Her Head, my patience was really stretched to its limit. It was like I am correcting an essay paper of a student and I tried so hard to let him pass even with his crappy performance yet I couldn’t. That’s how I felt about this book. I can only name two things that are likable about it: the faultless grammar and that cover.
The first thing that really ruined my experience while reading In Over Her Heard were the half-baked main characters: Erika, Richard and Jerome. Heavens, what a bunch of dull characters that I wouldn’t even bat an eyelash if they destroyed each other. Erika and Richard are both spineless MCs. As much as I want to sympathize with their pain, I couldn’t. Erika is not behaving like her 29 year old self. Instead of figuring things out for herself, she spends a lot of her time thinking about bitter thoughts while letting her friends manipulate her life. Until the end of the book, she wasn’t able to work “it” out. Luckily, she has friends who did the “reflection” for her and gave her preachy advices that are worthy of an eyeroll. Bravo!
The same thing can be said for our Richard. Fine, he broke up with Erika for some nonsensical but noble reasons. After ten years, he returned because he’s still in love with Erika (duh). But for the love of anything holy, he didn’t do anything about it. He just let Erika played her stupid game. Aside from acting funny whenever Jerome’s around, he was practically doing nothing. He was supposed to win Erika through pro-active methods but NO. After they finished creating their video project, he suddenly disappeared. And Erika has to text him that they should talk about all the things that have happened between them. Unbelievable!
Moving on, we have the third party in the person of Jerome. You know what, he could have been an interesting character but alas, he’s such a pushover. I couldn’t believe that he went blindly with the stupid plan of Erika’s friends. I mean, he didn’t even know her. And yet, he did it for no reason at all. I couldn’t even say that he was attracted to her because I didn’t feel it.
Suffice to say that I didn’t ship any of the relationships here, guys. I do not feel any chemistry between Erika and Richard or Erika and Jerome. What an awful romance story to read. Another one of those love triangles that have gone wrong.
The plot failed to form any semblance of cohesion. There was a lot of telling instead of showing that I was really praying for it to end ASAP. 86 pages of boredom with Richard always getting late to their rendezvous. Oh please, that ploy is getting old. It’s not providing any tension anymore to the overall story.
All in all, I wanted to be generous with In Over Her Head since this is my first Filipiniana Sunday post for 2014. But everything about it was hellbent in pissing me off.