Saturday, October 1, 2016

Overexposed by Megan Erickson

Title: Overexposed
Author: Megan Erickson
Purchase at Amazon
Cover Artist: N/A
Genre: Contemporary
Length: 177 pages
Formats Mobi, audio

Levi Grainger needs a break. As a reality show star, he’s had enough of the spotlight and being edited into a walking stereotype. When he returns home after the last season of Trip League, he expects to spend time with his family, only to learn his sister is coming back from her deployment in a flag-draped casket. Devastated, Levi decides the best way to grieve will be to go off grid and hike the Appalachian Trail—a trip he'd planned to do with his sister.

His solitary existence on the trail is interrupted when he meets Thad, a quiet man with a hard body and intense eyes. Their connection is stronger than anything Levi has ever experienced. But when Levi discovers the truth about what Thad is hiking to escape, their future together looks uncertain, and uncertainty is the last thing Levi needs...

Well, I guess I’m the odd reader out. While I certainly felt for Levi and Thad, most of it was irritation.

Because the Appalachian Trail as Levi planned to do it was start in the middle, go 1000 miles north, go back to the middle then 1000 miles south. Maybe the fallen soldier Layla understood what this meant in practical terms, but Levi and Thad are treating things like a very long day hike, punctuated by the occasional restaurant meal and motel. You think you’re gonna walk 1000 miles? Act like you want to live through it. So right from the start I’m not believing what they’re doing. Besides looking at the moon.

It probably doesn’t help that I just read a real account of hiking the John Muir Trail, which was 10% the length and 999999% the effort of what I read here. So no cookie on physical reality.

Honest to gawd I want to slap them both. For not planning, for not talking, for not… Sorry, hot sex scenes don’t begin to make up for fucking a stranger and calling it love. Even if he pulls you out of situations that you were a complete ass for going into. I wanted to hand out Darwin Awards every few chapters.

So a major physical obstacle gets treated as wallpaper for the feels, of which there are a fair amount. I believe Levi’s grief for a beloved sibling, and I believe Thad’s broken relationship with a thread of I still worry about you. I don’t believe all the super convenient pulled from the ass plot points. Example, why bother making Levi a reality show star who swears he’ll never be recognized, except he was recognized and squeeed over a couple chapters back?

These are a couple of morally good yet flawed characters, but they are not a couple of good but flawed men. Levi makes perfect sense if you call him Lily, and all the crap I’m not enjoying fades totally into the background if you do: het operates on its own weird reality. So we have a chick with a dick.

This is part of a series but does stand alone, and I am not tempted to read more. Which is sad: this could have been spectacular. 2.5 marbles

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