Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Anything For You - Kristan Higgins

Title: Anything For You
Author: Kristan Higgins
Format: Audiobook

Before you get down on bended knee…

…you should be pretty darn sure the answer will be yes. For ten years, Connor O'Rourke has been waiting for Jessica Dunn to take their on-again, off-again relationship public, and he thinks the time has come. His restaurant is thriving, she's got her dream job at Blue Heron Vineyard—it's the perfect time to get married.

When he pops the question, however, her answer is a fond but firm no. If it ain't broke, why fix it? Jess has her hands full with her younger brother, who's now living with her full-time, and a great career after years of waitressing. What she and Connor have is perfect: friends with an excellent benefits package. Besides, with her difficult past (and reputation), she's positive married life isn't for her.

But this time, Connor says it's all or nothing. If she doesn't want to marry him, he'll find someone who does. Easier said than done, given that he's never loved anyone but her. And maybe Jessica isn't quite as sure as she thinks…

Anything For You, by Kristan Higgans, is a perfect "I don't have to think while reading" book.  In this case, that is not a compliment.  I found the book to be problematic in so many ways, not the least of which is the female protagonist had no personal growth throughout the story AND treated her brother like he was completely incompetent.  

The story opens with Connor proposing to Jessica, who turns him down because she has Davey to take care of.  Davey is her brother, and he lives with Jessica because he has fetal alcohol syndrome and lives in a small community where his other living options are limited.  Connor states that this will be the last time that Jessica dumps him.  It doesn't take a genius to figure out that this is, in fact, not the last time that Jessica dumps Connor.  He keeps going back to her despite the fact that they seem to have no future (and aren't really that compatible.)

So let's get down to brass tacks, shall we?

The Characters
Jessica, our heroine, is the most self-absorbed and clueless character I've read all year.  She doesn't realize that her brother is capable of doing things on his own, and she treats him like a baby.  He's in his 20's and doesn't even know how to make toast.  Now, yes, he does have a disability, and that disability means there are things he will never be able to do (like driving a car, flying a plane, becoming president... you get the idea.)  However, someone who is in his mid-20's and holds down an albeit part time job is surely more than capable of making his own toast and cooking other simple meals, at least with assistance.

Connor is just.... well he's kind of an idiot.  He knows that his relationship with Jessica has a limited future, but he keeps going back to her and being her boyfriend despite all the troubles they have.  She keeps insisting that they shouldn't be together, and frankly, I am inclined to agree.  He also has rocky relationships with other people in his life, including his parents.  He struggles to get along with his dad, but isn't willing to take even one step towards repairing their relationship.  The most solid relationship he has is with his twin sister Colleen, whom he calls Collee, and even sometimes dog face.  (Don't even get me started - what kind of woman is going to be okay with anyone calling them a dog?!)

 The secondary characters, including Marcy (I mean, wow) just seemed too superficial.  There was no depth to them, and no real secondary qualities to make you sit up and say Oh!  They were all very one dimensional. 

The Story

The story is about as deep as the characters.  There is no real depth to it.  The whole story is break up, get back together, break up, get back together.  I can't really think of any reason why one would want to finish this book, unless you're like me and you just hate to leave books unfinished.

The Language/Treatment towards people with disabilities
This is a big one for me.  The entire way that Davey was treated by others throughout the whole book was incredibly insulting.  Let's start with the fact that Davey's own father felt that it was okay to call him the R word!  His own father!  (Granted, he was blind drunk at the time, but still.)  Also, there is the problem with the way that Jessica treats him.  She makes it seem like Davey is incapable of doing anything for himself, and I do mean anything.  He is not allowed to visit friends without her going along, he is not allowed to sit outside unless Jess is with him, he is not allowed to be home alone at all (even for 5 minutes.)  Now, based on Davey's intellectual level, I can understand requesting that someone be in the room while he cooks in case he needs assistance, but the sake of all that is good in the world, let the man make his own toast.  Also, Jess needs to stop assuming that people don't want to be Davey's friend just because he has a disability.  (She wrongly assumes that his co-worker, Miranda, wants nothing to do with him just because of his disability.) 

This book is barely worth one star, but I'll give it that because I can't give it zero stars.  Save your time for better books.

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