Chasing Sunset by Missouri Vaun
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I enjoyed this one. I liked the drama between the two main characters throughout the story. I’m not usually fond of misunderstandings being the major rift between characters, but I feel like this one was handled well given the nature of how the two of them got together. The fact that the main setting of the story was the road trip made it feel fresh and interesting most of the way through. The side characters, however, were very flat. I didn’t particularly care about any of them despite their actions being a bit more important near the end. This didn’t break things for me as the secondary characters didn’t take up that much time in the book to begin with.
The only real issue I had was that the resolutions felt a wee bit rushed at the end. Especially for Finn.
Full Review with Spoilers
Finn and Iris, the two main characters, get sort of thrown into a close quarters situation by both happy coincidences and slight misfortune. Iris is auditioning for a part in a new television show that can skyrocket her acting career. Sadly it seems sexual favors are the ticket in. So stuck in Atlanta with an expired license and a lot of free time she meets Finn. Finn aspires to be a stunt driver and is obsessed with cars and really, driving in general.
I felt Finn’s character was just a little bit weak. She just felt a little underdeveloped to me. We got as much of her as we needed to progress the story, but somehow she still felt flat to me. Iris had a bit more going for her in my opinion. I felt like I got to know her better than I did Finn. Both however had a very similar step they were in in their lives when they met. High aspirations but no opportunities. They worked well together, but separately not as much.
I actually kind of liked the fact that everything seemed like a happy coincidence for the both of them. Finn wants to go to California to take a stunt driving class and Iris needs a way to get home since she can’t fly with an expired license. This didn’t come off cheesy or too perfect to me. Naturally the two of them know the road trip is going to involve some sexy times as it’s established before they even leave that they are attracted to each other. I always appreciate the “we are two consenting adults that have sex and want sex” way of approaching mutual attraction. Sometimes both character dancing around the subject and the constant back and forth of will they / won’t they gets tedious. This book does a good job of avoiding that.
The big turning point in the story is a huge misunderstanding. Both Finn and Iris are just cranky and a little lost in terms of their personal big picture goals. Add that to the fact that neither of them has any idea what they want out of the causal sex relationship they currently have, and they are just asking for trouble. I also enjoy the fact that I still don’t know who is at fault for the big blow up. Both of them say some really dumb things to each other and react poorly. It was a very quick downward spiral. Neither of them really comes off as the bad guy in the situation.
Secondary characters in this story are extremely minor and do very little to add to the story other than be catalysts for a little drama. They are very flat and easily forgettable. Because of this the story does lose a little bit of depth it could have had. The story is very focused and follows a single thread of plot. Not exactly a bad thing. The story could have been fleshed out more, but wasn’t need to get the point across.
In the end, both characters manage to figure out what it is they want, both in terms of relationship and career. Finn decides stunt driving isn’t what she had hoped. Honestly, I love the fact that this is how things turned out for her. It’s refreshing to see the idea of chasing a dream being told more realistically. Sometimes it doesn’t work out and not because you can’t, but because you didn’t know what you actually wanted. This was probably my favorite aspect of this book. I appreciated the raw honesty of it. Iris on the other hand, has everything fall into place perfectly, getting the part in the show she wanted without the need of catering to grubby man hands. A little cliche, but I can live with it.
Overall a decent story. Very real elements to it. My only complaint is just that I wish there had been more to it. A little more depth, a little bit more of it fleshed out.