Reviews tagging Dysphoria
theliteraryphoenix's review against another edition
hopeful lighthearted medium-paced
- Plot- or character-driven? Character
- Strong character development? Yes
- Loveable characters? Yes
- Diverse cast of characters? Yes
- Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes
Get a Life, Chloe Brown is a good book for its genre, as far as I can tell.
It’s also very much not my genre. Very much. I’ll explain why in a bit, but I wanted to start with the good stuff.
First of all, both Chloe Brown and Talia Hibbert are Black women who experience chronic pain. While I do not and therefore am not adequately equipped to give an accurate estimation of how well this story illustrates a true-life experience, I do have faith that Hibbert’s life experience informed her writing of Chloe. Characters written by members of the community who have lived experiences are always better.
The characters are all distinct and have their own needs and motivations. In romances, sometimes a single party ends up flat and objectified (the “Prince Charming” effect) and it’s good to see two fleshed out individuals in this relationship. Chloe’s sarcasm is well woven through the story and is presented both as an aspect of her personality and as a defense mechanism. I appreciated the three-dimensional view of her challenges and successes!
While the plot feels a bit cliché since it’s a checklist-driven romance, it is nonetheless cute in many ways, and the plot itself is really just the vehicle to represent the growth of this relationship and Chloe’s ascent into the person she wants to be. Hibbert was careful to express the division between Red being a romantic interest and being a “savior” character, and I think the distinction is important. These boundaries keep the relationship healthy.
Here’s why I didn’t like the book… and why many other people probably will. It’s quite steamy. Hibbert doesn’t hold back on sexual content at all. If the characters are feeling something, you definitely know it. Because of who I am, this type of story doesn’t resonate with me and if anything made me uncomfortable, but objectively I can see how Hibbert did a good job here. Early in the book it’s very much a rom-com style story, and then as things progress… well… things progress. There were some dramatic descriptions, but not too many, and the situation was immersive yet appropriately timed. Not my cup of tea, but I know there’s a huge readership for books with explicit sexual content like Get a Life, Chloe Brown and I’m happy for Hibbert’s success.
As a whole, I am not going to pick up another book by Talia Hibbert, but that’s entirely because I now know her corner of the market is not one I typically enjoy. That said, if you are into adult romances, I highly recommend picking this book up! But know that it’s quite graphic in places – it can be shocking if you’re not prepared.
Graphic: Chronic illness, Dysphoria, Sexual content, Toxic relationship, Toxic friendship, Emotional abuse, and Domestic abuse
Moderate: Ableism and Alcohol