Sourpuss

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I’m afraid this one was a DNF. I was in the mood for something dark, but instead of dark in the most classic sense, I found it was actually causing me some anxiety. The main character, Mallory, came across as strong, sure. Who doesn’t love a strong female?! But she was also abrasive and bitter. Sexism was not just prevalent, but in your face, and while I’m sure Graham would have learned his lesson in the end, and Mallory’s sharp edges would have been worn down, the journey to get there was setting my teeth on edge.
There will be a definite audience for this one, but I’m afraid I’m not it. Someone else read it for me and tell me how it ends!
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I tried, I really did, but I couldn’t get into this book.  I get that the protagonist was supposed to be unlikable, but it went too far for my to enjoy the rest of the book.
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Really didn't like this one at all.  I know a lot of it was meant to be intentionally shocking or vulgar, but it was so over-the-top and completely offensive in places (and I'm hard to offend).  I frequently enjoy books with unlikable protagonists, but every character in this book took that to the extreme - there were no redeeming qualities or reasons to root for any of them.  Not a fan of this book.
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I was excited to read this book--dark comedy? satire? College-aged characters?

I DNF at 20%. 

I get that the writer wanted Mallory to be unlikable and that was apparent, but I just could not get into the story. I just didn't care. The pacing was choppy and the plot meh. I didn't find anything humorous in the 20% I read, so maybe this book just wasn't for me.
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Sourpuss is the story of Olympic track hopeful Mallory and fraternity president and resident hot guy Graham. What starts out as a way for Mallory to keep Graham training her and helping her recuperate after an injury turns into a real relationship embroiled in campus scandal. 

This book....oh this book. Friends, I do not know where to start. Let's start with the things I was not so fond of so we can end on a positive note, shall we?

Mallory is supposed to be an unlikable ice queen. This comes across so well. Really, really well.  I do not have a problem with anti-social, attitude riddled females. Give them all to me so we may commiserate. No, my problem with Mallory was that there was nothing redeemable about her. There was absolutely nothing to grasp on to or like to make me actually care about her. This is the case with most of the characters. Every single one of them is a giant dumpster fire of a human being and that's....okay I guess? I suppose for me, if I can't find a character I like or care about it doesn't really seem worth the read. 

The entire plot is a bit choppy and the further into the book I got the less sense it made. The book switches from POV's, which I normally don't mind. But it was hard to follow here as there was no clear way to tell whose eyes we're looking out from until I'd already been reading for a paragraph or two in some cases. I did not so much mind the horrific ending (I'm here for dark books and mentally unstable characters), just that it felt unsatisfying and abrupt. 

Okay, but here's the thing. Just because I don't enjoy a book doesn't mean someone else won't LOVE this book. SO. The positives. The writing was really beautiful in some spots. The authors obviously have a way with words and visualization. The description was done really well when regarding the minutia of the setting, it was just the big picture that was a little lacking. 

This book was not so much for me. But I would not be opposed to reading something else by these authors, as I can tell the writing definitely has potential!
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This book being billed as a “dark comedy” is only half accurate. It’s definitely dark, but it’s not the slightest bit funny. The characters in this campus story are all caricatures, which can work in a satirical work, but it falls flat here. All the frat boys are awful, albeit there are degrees of awfulness and you find yourself somewhat rooting for Graham simply because he’s not as terrible as the others (he’s still terrible). 
     There was not a single character I found myself remotely invested in. Again, this can 
work, but it requires a brilliant story to overcome the lack of anyone to get behind in a story and that’s not what we have here. Mallory approaches being sympathetic toward the end, but her introduction and most of the book leading up that approaching feeling paints her as so completely ridiculous and repulsive that you never quite get there. 	
	The ending is disappointing and left me feeling pretty empty inside. There does not appear to be a big takeaway from it, which was something I was hoping for since mid-way through I considered stopping my read but continued figuring there had to be a payoff. But then I thought about it a bit more…
	Amidst all this, there is a solid presentation of the narcissism people of this Instragam Age embody on college campuses. The authors mix this well with illustrations of the misogyny and rape culture that goes on with some fraternities and how people can be unintended enablers of it. There was a certain dark poignancy to some of the epiphanies certain characters have at the end. The treatment of how the “public” treats those who have a level of fame was also really well-done here. 
	That said, the bad outweighed the good, and while I’m a fan of bad things happening to bad people in stories (and good things happening to bad people if the bad person is a compelling character), the bad things that go down here didn’t leave me feeling triumphant or with some sense of justice having been served. The Undees Race sounded fun though. It was all just a bit much.
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Sourpuss, a new novel by Merricat Mulray (which is actually two sisters), is a bleak look at the underbelly of college life.  It's billed as dark comedy, but it's not very funny.  The story centers on track star Mallory, who is expected to run in the Olympics.  After an injury, she is assigned a student trainer, Graham, a fraternity president whom she abhors, but who will help her rehab.  Of course they fall in love.  But both of them are such miserable jerks that the reader is never convinced that they aren't just manipulating each other.


Both Graham and Mallory are self-centered, unlikable jerks.  Actually, every character in this story is completely unlikable.  The other frat members, Mallory's teammates, her coach, her gay roommate, and on and on.  It's like they're living in the world of the despicable.  Every character is a caricature.  In fact, the whole book is a caricature of college life.  I don't know if the Mulray sisters went to college.  Either they didn't, and they take every college life stereotype and blow it up larger than life, or they did go to college and created this story to lampoon every person they hated.  


Just as I thought the story would redeem itself a little, that maybe some of the characters had grown through the tough lessons they learned, and just as I thought the story might have something positive to say about reforming the misogynistic, debauched frat culture, the story abruptly ended in a most unsatisfying way.  I know they're going for satire, they're going for dark comedy, but the overall result is overwrought, disturbing, and unenjoyable.


Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the complimentary electronic review copy!
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This novel reads like a straight-to-DVD movie my friends and I would NOT have rented at Blockbuster in 1997. It’s touted as dark satire, and sure it IS a caricature of campus life, but it tries too hard to be outlandish. It’s not even funny. To me, for satire to be effective, it should be witty and intelligent. This undoubtedly is neither. And the writing is very basic. According to my Kindle, the name “Mallory” appears over 1K times in 300 pages. Can I get a pronoun or varying sentence structure, please?? 

Thank you for the opportunity to read and review this book!
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I'm not thrilled to have read Sourpuss. I disliked the story for the inappropriate sophomoric content it contained. It left me wondering what exactly I read? Was there some message I didn't get? I don't recommend this one. You'll just be offended I swear. Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.
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Billed as a black comedy, unfortunately Sourpuss left me with a sour taste in my mouth. I thought the idea of following a potential Olympian during her day to day life on a college campus had a lot of potential, especially with regard to encouraging and inspiring young women. However the character of Mallory Wahl, while certainly living up to her sourpuss tag, was completely unlikable, in fact there was not a single likable or appealing character to be found in the entire book. The plot was all over the place and full of holes, and this combined with very irregular pacing meant that the book was not fun to read, and in fact I only finished it because I was committed to leaving a review. Juvenile, puerile , saturated in misogyny  and definitely in need of trigger warnings for sexual assault, I can find no redeeming features , nor any of the satire or humor I had expected  from the publisher's blurb. 
I read and reviewed an ARC courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher, all opinions are my own.
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So when I saw "a dark comedy" on the cover for this one, I was expecting just that.  Unless you find graphic depictions of rape (serious trigger warning!!!!!) along with homophobia and racism hilarious, I wouldn't classify this one as a comedy.  It says it's supposed to be a commentary on current college culture and . . . maybe it is? but to me it was difficult to finish.  The beginning reminded me a lot of The Hating Game (which I loved!) with its enemies to lovers sort of banter.  But then it took a really dark dive and I felt uncomfortable continuing to read it.  I don't think I would call this a comedy . . . even a dark one.  It just made me feel sad and made my heart ache. 

Sourpuss comes out next week on January 20, 2019, and you can purchase HERE. Hopefully you have better luck with this one than I did!

James was so happy he didn't even care he was drinking the watered-down urine that is Natty Ice. The more he thought about it, the more the beer reminded him of his younger days, how it was when all the brothers were under his full charge and command. He didn't think that things could be like that ever again. But now he realized they could! There would be many things to do before they all left at the end of the week.
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Thank you NetGalley and Haigh 38 Press for an ARC of SourPuss by sisters Merricat Mulwray.

I admit the title and blurb, "a blistering satire of the depraved and entitled culture that pervades college campuses" caught my eye, and made me want to read this book. Unfortunately, there was nothing blistering or clever in these pages. This was truly some of the most awful writing and storytelling I have come across in a very long time.

Mallory Wahl is an Olympic hopeful who only needs to get through her senior year of college in order to qualify for the US Olympic team. When an injury leaves her on the sidelines, her coach suggests working with a college intern from the sports rehabilitation department. This pairing which at first is met with resistance leads to a romance, which leads to a scandal. Complete rubbish!

There was a story waiting in these pages but the execution was juvenile and amateurish. At least they did deliver on the promise of depravity. 
I hate to pan a book but this fell short on so many levels.
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I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This was a huge disappointment. The premise sounded very promising, but there wasn't so much dark humor as just plain dark. The main character was arrogant and unlikable. She complained about everything and never took responsibility for her own actions. I lost interested after a few chapters. Well, at least they got the title right!
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I mean....huh?!?!  There were some really good parts of this book.  I thought that many of the characters, while unlikable and quite gross, had a level of believably about them that made parts of this book seem like it was telling an important story.   But, there were quite a few places where you had to suspend your belief-I mean, the entire basis of the story doesn't seem too likely (an Olympic contender training with a student after an injury?!?!).  And, then there is the end.  I really thought that this book would have an ending that would provide redemption and make those cringe-worthy moments worthwhile.  Boy, was I wrong!  Just don't do it to yourself.
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I always find it hard reviewing books like this. When you have a book tackling something like the darkside of college culture, naturally you're going to get fired up. Its the job of the author to tackle the subject without being exploitive. 

In Sourpuss the authors, a sister duo, tread this line and I think it can be debated how well they do it. The fact that our main character starts off as a star athlete who thinks she's better than everyone else doesn't give us a very good contrast to the slimy frat boys she will encounter. This conflict opened the chance for our character to redeem herself, but again I'm not sure the authors did that justice either. 

So again, I'm conflicted. I think in the end this is a love or hate book. I don't think there will be much middle ground. It's written well enough that I'd read a follow-up. I think the authors do have a good voice. However, in the end the main story is an old tired subject. 

---
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher. My review is unbiased
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Interesting. Very interesting.I really don't like the cover that much but I was drawn to the book and ultimately enjoyed it for the most part. It's a "dark comedy" set in a more modern world and I wasn't super into the premise but the writing drew me in.
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This book started out okay and had me believing it could be a decent read during the first few chapters, but it really went downhill after that - and the ending was not only badly put together in my opinion, but horrific.

The main character is cold and unlikable, and while the book had the chance to explain and redeem why she's like this towards so many people, it just wasn't done. I also expected some of the characters to be no good but literally all the main and supporting characters are terrible people. 
Frat boys are shown as monsters and girls are depicted as shallow or sluts, who all hurt each other in the most vile ways. This is especially shown through the boys and the ending of the book - which took an extremely dark turn. The book got progressively uncomfortable in terms of sexual harassment and assault and i really didn't enjoy how unnecessarily vulgar it became as it didn't seem to contribute much towards a plot. 

This book seemed to get darker each chapter and some of the events didn't seem to line up and relate well in the story's timeline and pacing, as though the author had a new idea and just threw it in as a new chapter. A lot of the issues weren't even resolved and the ending came across to me as unfinished.

I truly though i would enjoy this book going by the premise, but i was very disappointed with how the story dissolved so quickly. 

I received a copy of this book free via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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I clearly suck at making decisions about ARCs. What compelled me about this book was the main character being an ice queen. I have a weakness for the Blair Waldorfs of the world. But this queen had all ice and no substance. I keep saying that there is a huge difference between being flawed and unlikable. I can list a number of characters that are flawed and jerks and yet somehow likable. Mallory is not among these characters. But she's bold and fearless even in her unpleasantness. I'll give her that.

But the males in this book? They're beyond horrible. I don't remember the last time I read men being written so despicably. There's not even one male character with a redeeming quality! There was no lack of  misogyny.

I get what the authors were trying to do. They don't hold back from showing the ugliness in human nature. There doesn't seem to be any good in the humans portrayed here. It's all debauchery and lechery. I'm not really familiar with the fraternity scene. But if what we see of frat life in this book is true, then that's an alarming thing altogether!

I did not enjoy this read. It's a cynical, harsh and a cringe-worthy world in Sourpurss. And it's obvious that this was all intentional from the authors' part. I get what they were trying to do but I just found it all very unpleasant. Not my cup of tea.
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DNF'd this book at 50% it started to get really weird  and I feel like the main plot ended with the girl already. I was not a fan of the fraternity storyline with the two douchebag guys being utterly garbage. I barely remember the names of the characters and the main female protagonist was very holier than you and I am the star of the track team. Not enough smut and not well written.
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Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Sourpuss was a very disappointing read for me. I know I went in with huge expectations, but the story just wasn’t good. Mallory Wahl, the sourpuss, is a track star on the path to the Olympics. Unfortunately, she gets injured and to recover, she has to train with an intern from the sports medicine department whom she despises.

Now, we all know how much I love the enemies to lovers trope, so why exactly didn’t this book work for me?

Let’s review.

The cover promises a dark comedy. And dark comedy is just gallows humour–it puts topics that make us uncomfortable in a humorous light. And I love dark comedies! But Sourpuss is so not a dark comedy. It’s just dark. Sure, there are some scattered jokes, but the book is mostly just dark.

I know it’s supposed to make us think about the whole college frat party scene, but the writing doesn’t make it easy at all.

Most of this book’s faults lie in the writing. There’s a good enough story and wanting to talk about the frat scene is a great start, but the writing just doesn’t make it easy. Chapters end abruptly with scenes that aren’t addressed in the next chapter. The flow is disjointed.

And speaking of disjointed, movement is explained weirdly in this book. The phrase “took her under his arm” is used several times and I don’t have a clue what this means. It makes me think of some weird Yoga pose. I did not like the writing much and it took a big chunk off the rating scale for me.

The only redeeming quality in this book is the characters’ portrayal. Most of the characters are written well and memorable. You can’t help but root for the main characters and that’s probably the angle the author(s) should have gone with.

Sourpuss’s cover may advertise it as a dark comedy, but its blurb just writes a cheque that the book can’t cash. This is the first book by the authors (two sisters), and I really hope they take all the good parts of this book and come up with a better second novel.
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