Book review: Settling Up by Eryn Scott

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Statistics professor Lauren is desperate to settle down.  Not only does she think that this will help her get a promotion (because, obviously, no woman is capable of getting a promotion on her own merit) but she is also worried that her looks will soon start to fade (because, obviously, this book is a feminist masterpiece).  She has a gambling addiction that she thinks is completely normal because she just plays to relax and a weirdly personal relationship with not one, but two different blackjack dealers.

Wow, do I sound bitter or what?

Here’s the thing.  This book should have been good.  It had all the makings of a good book.  It’s reasonably well-written.  The hero is one of the best from recent memory.  It’s just too bad that the message and the heroine were awful.  Because, when it comes down to it, the message of this book is that a woman can’t be complete without a husband, that nobody would ever promote a woman incapable of settling down (i.e. getting married), and women should just marry someone before they get ugly.

Now, aside from my feminist flags flying all over this book, can I just mention that Lauren is an actual idiot?  Like, I’m not entirely sure how she possibly passed all of those statistics classes to obtain the DOCTORATE that would be required for her to teach at any respectable university.  (And, supposedly, her university is top-notch.)  I say this not because Lauren is kind of flighty, or because she’s overly obsessed with finding a man, or because she’s into wearing cute clothes.  I say this because Lauren is blind to things that are happening right in front of her eyes.

You see, Lauren has a list.  The men that she dates must meet the criteria of her list.  This is not a huge issue for me because who doesn’t have ideal characteristics in a partner? I mean, we don’t all write it down and assign various weights to different categories and refuse to date people who don’t meet a certain percentage threshold, but still. Everybody has preferences. Not a big deal. What is a big deal is that, historically, the men that Lauren has found from this list are terrible. They’re good on paper, but not in real life.

And then her favorite blackjack dealer, Mack, convinces her to throw out the list. Finally, a reasonable suggestion in this terrible book!  So Lauren says goodbye to the list. She goes out with some rather odd picks that obviously don’t work out before reverting back to the list.  She says she’s thrown it out the window, so I’m sure it’s purely a coincidence that Adrian, her new co-worker, meets literally every single bullet point and scores over 100%. Lauren can’t see it, but Adrian is disgusting. He’s so smarmy and possessive and GROSS.  And I’m supposed to believe that she fell for him!

This is a very quick read.  Reasonably well-written, as I said before.  It’s just infuriating, and the thing that you want to happen doesn’t happen until about 95%, and by that point, I was just done.  I’d already thrown in the towel.  I didn’t even care anymore.

It seems like a lot of people have enjoyed this book, but I’m okay with being in the minority.

Final rating: ★★☆☆☆