Friday, 16 November 2012

Review: The Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines

In One Line: hot and heavy love triangle

Genre: naughty guilty pleasure!

The Gist:

Ash works hard to play the good girl for the sake of her preacher daddy and her perfect boyfriend Sawyer, but when Sawyer goes away for the summer Ash finds herself drawn to old childhood friend and Sawyer’s cousin, the ultimate bad-boy Beau. Beau has always loved Ash, and now that he finally has her, will he be able to let her go once Sawyer comes back to town?

The Cover:

Hello matching midriffs and sexy disappearing hands! Headless bodies that leave you wondering what their faces look like, and ultimately just presuming that they are sucking each other’s faces off. And look at her tangly hair! That is blatantly sex hair. This is a steamy cover made ‘safe’ by it’s resemblance to a film poster, which may save some of your blushes, but once you start reading you’ll know the truth. You’ll know. 

Why You’ll Love This Book
  • It is perfect guilty pleasure reading. Sick of revising? Had a hard week at work and want to dream of lazy Lousiana days? You need this book. I can pretty much guarantee that whilst you are reading it you won’t be thinking of anything else. 
  • This book has so many popular culture parallels! Because Ash is clearly Scarlett O’Hara and Beau is Rhett, and also if you’re a fan of True Blood (like me) you’ll be hyper aware of Ash’s basic Sookie Stackhouse-ness. Except without the mindreading fairy powers or vampires. 
  • This book deals with every southern USA stereotype you can think of. Ash writes ‘y’all’ in her letters to Sawyer. And Sawyer has a name like Sawyer. And there’s even a scene in a dive bar where Ash and Beau play pool and Sweet Home Alabama is playing in the background. As a Londoner reading this book on a foggy Autumn day, I can only conclude that these cliches are a Very Good Thing. 
  • Sexytimes. Yeah, you heard me. Sexytimes. 

Why You May Not Love This Book:
  • Basically, this book is terrible. Like, really really bad. You can do what I did and exclaim ‘what the hell!’ and embrace the blatant trashy cheesiness, or you can sneer and tut at the likes of me. I expect that there will be a lot of you tutting. 
  • The story can be So Much Better. And the characters could be So Much More Likable. You’re not reading this because you love Ash and are rooting for her to fulfil her desires, you’re basically just reading because you want to get to the next bit of sexytimes or read another paragraph about how hard Beau’s chest is. It’s the literary equivalent of a car crash (except that nobody gets hurt of course!) and you just can’t take your eyes away, no matter how terrible you know it is. Also, the ending is so bloody neat and tidy and sweet it made me feel a little sick. 
  • My doggie is called Beau. Kinda made me feel a bit weird about reading about a sexy Beau. 

The Hypersomnia Test:

Nothing beats a little bit of literary soft-porn to keep me awake. And that’s all I’m going to say on the matter. 

Final Verdict:

Read it guys. Just set your brow to as low as it will go. Yes this book is all about the cheap thrills, but I’m not one to dismiss the occasional cheap thrill here and there. I think they’re essential actually, because it’s the only way you’ll be able to work out what substantiates the good stuff. I will say that I’m rather surprised that this has been published by Hot Key Books, a new publisher that has so far shown a great knack for highlighting fabulous and original talent. This book is neither fabulous nor original, and I’m tempted to be rather cynical about why it was chosen for Hot Key’s list. *waves the controversial flag*

There is another issue here about the sexytimes, one I want to address more thoroughly in another blog post on the matter, and on the rise of the ‘New Adult’ genre. Basically, I felt the portrayal of sex in this novel was gratuitous and unnecessary, a bonus added cheap thrill to grab attention. My personal opinion is that if you want soft-porn in your literature, go to the erotica section, not to YA. More on that in another blog post though. 

I’m nearly twenty-nine. I can cope with the portrayal of sex in this book, and ultimately found it a fun slice of escapism. Would I recommend it to a fourteen or fifteen year old? Probably not. 

Further Reading:

Easy by Tamara Webber
Everything that Simone Elkeles has ever written
Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire


  1. Yours is not at all an unexpected or upsetting reaction... so in true Blue Peter style, here's one we prepared earlier:
    (And we're not recommending it for a 14-year-old, and definitely classifying it as adult, with a very clear Hot Key Ring flagging up the content.)

  2. Love this review! Totally agree with the gratuitous sex, too. I found the whole story a little tedious. Although, I much proffered this first book to the second. It gets even worse.

    Heres my review if you want to check it out - RobynLeanne @ Fairytales and Folklore