Book Review: My Very ’90s Romance by Jenny Colgan

My Very ’90s Romance

Author: Jenny Colgan
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (March 12, 2019)
Paperback, 352 pages
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Summary
From New York Times bestselling author Jenny Colgan comes a hilarious romantic comedy about a down-on-her-luck florist whose future begins to bloom when she takes on the challenge of helping to transform her nerdy roommate.

Holly is a frustrated florist whose life doesn’t seem to be coming up roses. Fleeing a roommate situation from hell, she moves in with a motley crew of friends—Josh, a sexually confused merchant banker; Kate, a high-flying legal eagle with talons to match; and Addison, a gorgeous computer geek who spends his days communicating with his online girlfriend and anyone who worships at the altar of Jean-Luc Picard. From the moment Holly catches a rare glimpse of Addison, she’s smitten. The only problem is how to get him to swivel his chair from the computer screen to her adoring gaze.

After a series of false starts—involving a new friend and mathematician, Finn—Holly coaxes Addison away from his computer screen and out into the open. While “out in the open” spells disaster for Addison, curiously, her own future begins to bloom. Holly and her friends make desperate attempts to connect with Addison, drag him away from his fiercely possessive girlfriend, Claudia, and get him to communicate with the real world.

With Jenny Colgan’s trademark wit and a cast of unforgettable characters, My Very ’90s Romance will capture your heart.


Rating: 3 stars

Review
I liked the way this book ended enough to give it back an entire star. That being said, HOLY PROBLEMATIC BOOK, BATMAN! Holly is a super judgemental bitch, and just pretty all-around unlikelable. 

This book is soooo fatphobic, it makes my physically ill. Even this misleading blurb!
“Holly and her friends make desperate attempts to connect with Addison, drag him away from his fiercely possessive girlfriend, Claudia, and get him to communicate with the real world.” Holly spends most of the book trying in her weird, delusional way to hook up with Addison DESPITE THE FACT that he says he has a girlfriend, and she makes (NUMEROUS) disparaging remarks about Addison’s girlfriend because she’s fat. ALSO, Addison makes huge strides to come out of his shell and he tells Holly is because Claudia has encouraged him to be more social and get out more. So no, Holly and her friends are not making desperate attempts to connect with Addison and drag him away from his fiercely protective girlfriend – HOLLY is making desperate attempts to hook up with a guy who already has a girlfriend, while said long-distance girlfriend is incredible supportive despite her own crippling battle with agoraphobia. HOLLY IS A BITCH. /mic drop 

Also, she cavalierly uses guys she doesn’t even like, and the way she treats Finn is abominable despite that fact that 1) he’s clearly THE MOST ADORABLE NERDBOY and 2) they have the cutesty and best chemistry. She is just … UGH. Yuck. There is also a lot of homophobic ribbing of Josh, who may or may not be straight/CIS, and the handling of Josh and his gender/sexuality was just … not done well. 

I liked the way this book resolved (for the most part…) and I’m glad I stuck with it and kept reading, but it is VERY problematic. I’d have liked to see Holly go through some realization of what a horrible person she is and maybe some self-growth, but we don’t really see that… or maybe not go around making disgusting comments about peoples’ weight all through the book (both about Claudia and about Dr. Flowers…) Actually, Holly basically makes disparaging, snotty observations about everyone she encounters, which is rich since she very much does not have her shit in order
.


“But wait, why did you rate this 3 stars?” you may be asking. 
Reasons I did like this book:
* Finn
* God
* Chali
* Finn & Addison nerd-bonding
* Nurse Stephen in general
* Dr. Flower’s enjoyment of Chali’s band
* God again (he was really funny, ok?)
* Finn some more (Team Finn)

So mostly side characters that saved the day, as the main character just didn’t float my boat. Hooray for great side characters, though!! But if it weren’t for God and Finn, this would have been a 2 star read,and if not for the other side characters (and that party scene with Finn & Addison, as well as Finn’s scenes with Holly that made me not HATE HER GUTS) I’d probably have DNF’d this one… :/

An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss + for review.

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