By Eric Arvin
Penny’s Rating: C-
ebook, 1st Edition, 195 pages
Published January 13th 2012 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1613723342 (ISBN13: 9781613723340)
Edition language: English

Publisher Description: “Fiction writer Logan Brandish is perfectly happy in his peaceful small-town routine with his best friend, his cat, and his boyfriend—until he meets the editor of his next book, the handsome Brock Kimble, and the lazy quiet of everyday living goes flying out the window. Faced with real passion for the first time, Logan becomes restless and agitated, and soon his life and his new manuscript—a work in progress he’d always thought would be completed—are in a shambles.

But as Logan is learning, you can’t always get what you want… at least not right away. To take his mind off the mess, he takes a trip, but even the beautiful Italian, um, scenery can’t keep his thoughts from his erstwhile editor for long. Logan just might have to admit there are some things you can’t run from.”

Okay, I’ll admit it. This book was not my cup of tea. This was my first experience reading anything by Eric Arvin, and bottom line, this just wasn’t my style. Arvin however, has written quite a few books. They all have been pretty well received, and have good ratings on Goodreads (which I have found to be pretty reliable for ratings). In fact, Galley Proof itself had been given four stars by Goodreads readership overall. Which is why I don’t really know if you’ll agree with me on this one. The writing isn’t bad, and Logan’s internal monologue is pretty funny at times, but I just couldn’t get into it, and I wasn’t able to relate to the characters.

For comparison, I felt the same way about Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding. If you like that type of book, you’ll probably like Galley Proof. I think what it comes down to is that I have trouble with passive heroes and heroines. I didn’t see Logan as a fighter, he very much went with the flow, and let the actions of others have a tremendous influence on his life. His life at the start of the book can best be described as mundane (boring and safe), and though things change along the way for him, it seems like none of it is really his doing. It’s all just happening around him, and he simply reacts to whatever happens. I get really frustrated reading stuff like that, because as a reader, you can see the writing on the wall, but you still have to watch the main character go through all of this pointless crap to get from point A to point B. Though real life is full of people just like that living in their own oblivion, I don’t always have the patience to read about it.

The characters were well-developed, and had some great quirks, but I didn’t actually like any of them. Maybe because they fell so well into their archetypal roles. Logan’s editor and love interest Brock came across to me as a huge tool (he’s supposed to, to a degree), and Logan’s roommate Janey, was the quirky funny, loyal and annoying best friend (she’s supposed to be annoying to a degree too). Logan himself I found to be likeable, but passive.

Look, I don’t want to tear this book apart. Logan does go on a journey of self-discovery in this book, and he does learn a great deal about himself, even if it does take him forever to get from point A to point B. There were also some good moments in this book, for instance, I enjoyed Arvin’s approach Logan’s writers block (it was interesting to watch him struggle to balance his vision with the vision of his editors). I also was entertained by watching the drama unfold as Janey created a war between their neighborhood religion peddlers (Mormon missionaries and Jehovah’s Witnesses), and by Logan’s bizarre escape to hide and heal in Europe. The ending is happy, but it’s not your conventional happy ending either, which is pretty cool now that I think about it, even though it irritated me as I read it. I have some very Randian ideals when it comes to happy endings, apparently. Anyway, like I said, this wasn’t the book for me, but I am going to check out some of Arvin’s other novels. I’ll let you know how that turns out.

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