Rescue Me – Rachel Gibson (Reading Challenge #4)
2.5 / 5
“Reading” audiobooks has made clear to me that basically every place outside of my home is really loud. I listened to Rescue Me mostly in transit, during times when I would normally be listening to my iPod or the radio. Every time the train would whizz through a tunnel, or a large truck would boom past me, I lost several seconds of the narration.
And I did not care! I don’t think I once used the option to rewind thirty seconds.
I couldn’t stand the “hero,” Vince. I have little sympathy for the commitment-phobic grown man. The reader is supposed to believe that Vince is scared, that his war experiences have left him cut off, but Gibson didn’t do a great job of conveying much fragility. Vince manages to exude that mixture of (unappealing) arrogance and immaturity that I would expect from a man in his 30s who seeks only no-strings-attached encounters.
Plus, some double standards negated the appeal of his strong military man. For instance, at one point we learn that Vince likes that Sadie doesn’t pick up men in bars, even though he’s picked up plenty of women. It was a small detail but YUCK. Also, when Sadie’s father dies, Vince only goes to the hospital with her after repeatedly asking if there is someone else to take her. He doesn’t even step up to the plate: he is forced to it under duress. I wish Sadie would have told him to eff off.
(As an aside, can we please stop killing off old people in stories? I saw it coming, and I know old people can’t live forever, but geez.)
Also, most of the Southern characters are painted as backwood hicks who care about only hair style and marital status. Not everyone in Texas is that ridiculous, surely?
Some things I did like:
- the main character’s name, Mercedes Johanna (Sadie Jo)
- the scene that illustrated how confusing and misleading text messaging can be in a nascent relationship, which I thought rang quite true. (Did we ever find out how Vince got Sadie’s number? Maybe that was in one of the parts obscured by passing honking cars.)
I may try Rachel Gibson again because, in another story, I could appreciate the writing and development. But these one-night-stand tales, even when they lead to happy endings, leave me wistfully gazing at my well-read copies of Jane Austen for something a bit sweeter and kinder.