Thursday, June 16, 2016

Lost and Found - Elle Casey

Lost and Found, by Elle Casey, is the first book in the Love in New York series.  The story takes place in Manhattan and revolves around Leah, a bohemian living in Manhattan and working at Belinda's New Age shop.  Leah is clumsy, a little spacey, and (obviously) single.  When Leah finds a lost engagement ring, she goes out of her way to find the owner.  Little does she know that her search for the owner will lead her on some crazy adventures.

Now, friends, let's get down to the review.  This was the first book I've read in a long time that had NO redeeming qualities.  None.  You may think I'm being dramatic, but really, I'm not.  I had a hard time finding anything that I liked about this book.

Let's start with the characters.  There's our heroine, Leah, who works and lives in uptown Manhattan.  She works for a woman who runs a natural foods store - part time - and is always complaining about her lack of money.  She can't afford to pay her rent (but yet her landlord never kicks her out), but does nothing to remedy the situation.  She never looks for another part time job, or even full time job. She's just content to stay at her job, making less than a pittance.  Leah is flaky, and quite frankly, I am surprised that anyone could find this to be an endearing trait.

James, the hero of Lost and Found, is angry, obsessive-compulsive, and feels like he has the need to control everything. These are not good qualities.  They are unattractive in even the most good looking of guys.  For example, when James's alcoholic brother gets drunk and pisses into a fountain, then goes on some crazy bender, James forces him into Bellevue Psych Ward, where he notifies the staff that his brother is to stay for at least 15 days.  After the initial 72 hour hold is up, his brother is released, because, hello, you can't force someone into the psych ward with justifiable cause.

Those are the two major characters.  The other characters are seen intermittently throughout the book, and include James's sister, who is apparently filing for guardianship of her three month old niece, the flaky natural foods store owner, who is an even bigger airhead than Leah, and a jewelry store employee who somehow manages to convince Leah to dress up as a rapper named Shay Dee in order to pawn off a ring she found.

Now, the story.  Let me sum it up: Leah finds an engagement ring after running through the middle of a fountain.  She then spends a majority of the book trying to locate the owner of said ring to return it to him or her.  That's it.  That's the story. She bumps into James a couple of times - literally bumps into him - and then suddenly they want to have a relationship. There is no real reason in this book for them to fall in love with each other, or even like.  For all intents and purposes, it seems as though James doesn't even really *like* Leah. 

Let's add in to that the fact that there is NO character development in this story.  The characters do not grow, change, or learn anything about themselves in this (ahem) book.  They are stagnant and so ridiculous that they are unlikable at all costs.  The characters underdevelopment and the lack of plot should be enough to scare a reader away from this book.  However, I have an even bigger reason: The author uses a slur word for transgender people not once, but THREE TIMES in the book.  I found this to be not only disappointing, but downright sickening.  It is apparent that Elle Casey knows nothing about transgender men and women, or she would not have dared use this abhorrent word (which I have not included in the review for obvious reasons.  It's never okay to refer to a transgender person by this word.)  Not only that, but at one point, Elle says that her mother married a woman who was really just dressed up as a man.  The whole thing was incredibly transphobic, and that, dear readers, is the NUMBER ONE reason I cannot, in good faith, recommend this book to anyone.  I won't even rate it on Amazon, because I don't think it's worth the 1 star I'd have to leave to give it a review.  Save your money for a better book! 

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