Title: Unrequited – One Girl, Thirteen Boyfriends, And Vodka
Author: Christy Heron
Published: August 2014
Publisher: Waverly Blonde Books and Easiest/Hardest Publishing
My Rating: 5/5
January Estlin is like any other woman in her twenties – lost, in love, and trying to find herself. Of course, it would help if she wasn’t so in love with the unattainable Jack (or SSF ‘Short Fat Fuck’ as she and her friends call him), that she moves back to her hometown ‘for my writing’ (at least, that’s what she tells herself). Between sleeping with Jack when he gets away from his girlfriend, a succession of men January dates, and plenty of alcohol and swearing, January’s life is confusing, chaotic, and completely relatable.
This book is not light on the profanity, sex, or drunkenness; so if that bothers you, you can move on now – but you’ll be missing out. In this ‘anti-romance’, Christy Heron is witty, unforgettable and, un-put-downable. In my mind, her writing has a contemporary female Kerouac feel to it (only more interesting). Personally, I found for once, the swearing actually amplified the story, and my only issue with it was that halfway through the book it seems to almost disappear (and not because the character has a big change of voice).
The book is told through the voice of January, and so at times doesn’t completely make sense, but let’s face it, no one’s mind makes complete sense. Somehow Heron has captured the state between desperation and complete mental break-down the character imagines herself having, without making the novel difficult to read.
January, like any other young woman, wants to be loved. The problem being that her love is unrequited to the point where it seems Jack is just using her. While obviously my life is completely different to January’s, I believe we all have thought ourselves in love with someone, when clearly they’re not interested, but that doesn’t stop us from pursuing the object of that love. And so January does. She knows it’s futile, but no matter what is going on in her life, she is always dragged back to the turbulent ‘relationship’ with Jack.
The main problem I had with this book was the use of names. January assigns everyone nicknames (B1, B2 for the boyfriends. ‘childless Brad Pitt’ for her brother, etc), which can at times make it a little confusing as to who she’s talking about, but for the most part this didn’t have too much of an impact on the story.
When I started reading I wasn’t sure what to expect, but found myself unable to put the book down. Honestly, I can say it’s one of the top, if not the top, books I’ve read this year, and I can’t wait to get my hands on Heron’s next book. No matter whether or not you know what it’s like to be a writer, cheat on your boyfriend, struggle to get up due to a hangover, Unrequited – One Girl, Thirteen Boyfriends, and Vodka will finally allow you to see that the craziness going on in our heads isn’t something that only happens to us (at least I hope not!). While I think this book is probably aimed at women, I’m sure men would enjoy it just as much, if for no other reason than to get a little insight to a woman’s mind. In general, my advice is go and buy this book right now and start reading, you won’t regret it.
[Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.]