Quarantine has driven me to read a lot of contemporary romance, like way more than normal. For escapism purposes (probably). But I think I’m going to need to be more picky. No offense to Fight or Flight but I totally could have skipped this one.
But first, from Young’s website I give you the official Fight or Flight blurb.
The universe is conspiring against Ava Breevort. As if flying back to Phoenix to bury a childhood friend wasn’t hell enough, a cloud of volcanic ash traveling from overseas delayed her flight back home to Boston. Her last ditch attempt to salvage the trip was thwarted by an arrogant Scotsman, Caleb Scott, who steals a first class seat out from under her. Then over the course of their journey home, their antagonism somehow lands them in bed for the steamiest layover Ava’s ever had. And that’s all it was–until Caleb shows up on her doorstep.
When pure chance pulls Ava back into Caleb’s orbit, he proposes they enjoy their physical connection while he’s stranded in Boston. Ava agrees, knowing her heart’s in no danger since a) she barely likes Caleb and b) his existence in her life is temporary. Not long thereafter Ava realizes she’s made a terrible error because as it turns out Caleb Scott isn’t quite so unlikeable after all. When his stay in Boston becomes permanent, Ava must decide whether to fight her feelings for him or give into them. But even if she does decide to risk her heart on Caleb, there is no guarantee her stubborn Scot will want to risk his heart on her….Samantha Young’s website
Ok, that sounds cute right? Like a chance encounter turning into a thing, we love that. How many movies have I watched where it was like I’m on vacation so I’m going to act wild and out of character before my new boss starts on Monday! And then plot twist, that guy from Saturday night is her new boss.
So it’s not the set up I have problems with. It’s the execution.
I really believe Fight or Flight was about 30% too long and thus, it was rife with filler content.
A good portion of the beginning of the book was just Ava straight up like, “omg you’re on my flight again? I hate your guts. We better hook up.” It was a little repetitive but fine. Although Ava was acting unhinged at times and it made it difficult for me to root for her. I could move past it.
Then, part way through the book, it was like Young decided to go from a light romance to a dramatic story full of emotions and serious issues. Or maybe the editors were like you need to add more drama. However it happened, Young included: domestic abuse, infidelity, drug overdosing, childhood related guilt, best friends fighting, and ex fiances who were terrible people.
But it was still trying to be a fun bump into each other romance so it worked against itself in places. Not to mention the dense stuff felt really jarring since that wasn’t how the story was framed to begin with.
Light chance encounter romances are great. Deep, emotional, topical romances are great. It is not great to just sorta smash them together, with no apparent reasoning, and then call it a day.
I might have been able to move past it if Ava had been more likable. At one point she started monologue-ing out loud while homeboy was asleep and told him a bunch of secrets. And later when he admits he heard it, she’s so mad at him. I was like, why would you give a sleeping dude a huge speech to begin with? Also, her ex-boyfriend had given her a tennis bracelet at 18. She still wears it because she needs to seem like she has money for her clients. But then she turned it into this whole huge thing and I was like girl. Either buy yourself another one, a knock off if you have to, or get over it. Also “the bastard Scot” is a terrible nickname and she used it about 100 times.
It was probably my annoyance over the plot that lead to these smaller things rubbing me the wrong way.
Yeah, that’s probably why Fight or Flight felt like it dragged on too long. Plus Young had to tie up all those randomly added really intense pieces. Some of which required some really impressive bending over backward. But I would have been happier if the gymnastics weren’t necessary to begin with.
I’ve been told the best Scot related romances are Tessa Dare’s so who knows. Maybe I need to try one of those as a palate cleanser. Or I’ll reread The Hating Game. Do you have any romance books that you recommend? Share them below!