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"It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it." - Oscar Wilde

Beyond the Surface

Beyond the Surface (The Breakfast Club #1) - Felice Stevens

I think the time has come to accept that Felice Stevens might not be the author for me.

There is a lot of love out there for this book, but me? I really wasn't feeling it. I liked Nick, though. A survivor of 9/11, he struggles with this tremendous amount of guilt, he has a hard time even seeing the light at the end of the tunnel most days. Since I don't have a lot of experience with this kind of thing, I can't really comment on how realistic this is portrayed here. All I can say is that parts of his pain felt pretty real to me.

Additionally, I was 11 years old when the Twin Towers fell, and living in a different country. So even though I can tell you exactly where I was and what was happening around me on September 9th 2011, this traumatic experience means something completely different to me than to every American. My emotional connection therefore might differ significantly from the one other readers might experience while reading this book.

And then there was Julian. I liked him a lot, actually. He was sweet, warm and patient. I just wish he would have stood up for himself a little more. Because, what really drove me nuts, was the whole plot surrounding his "lack of perspective". Don't get me wrong, I loved the new project he worked on after he was betrayed and shunned in the fashion world. BUT. I was absolutely not happy with how people reacted and judged his carreer in fashion. You can think what you want about overpriced jackets, scarfs and color-coded accessories. I for one, have practically no interest in it. Most of the new fashion trends go straight over my head. I also don't have a lot of patience for bling-bling, clothes that "reflect my personality best", or the self-indulgent or the two-faced fashion scene in general. On the other hand, I think it pretentious and wrong to judge someone who makes his dreams come true by being successful in this business. Does a firefighter safe more lifes? Yes. Does the work of a police officer or a heart surgent seem "more important" when it comes to life and death situations? Absolutely. Does that give you the right to judge and ridicule other people, and accuse them of being shallow and dumb over the carrer they choose? Fuck, no!

That's what spoiled the book quite a bit for me. Nobody has the right to put someone else down for his carreer choices. And liking nice things, clothes and trends does not make you a shallow, or stupid, or bad person. And yet, that's how it's portrayed here. Sure, there are more important problems in the world than a fashion show gone bad. Still doesn't make it right to shame other people for their job as a designer. But everybody and his dof felt perfectly in the right to give Julian crap over his carreer. So. Not. Cool.

The writing in and on itself is not my favorite. Some of the dialogue read more like a stringing together of speeches. Some of the conflicts and/or their solutions felt too artifical to me. But it was really the shaming of Julian that did it for me. Maybe I get offended too easily, but that's how it is.

All in all, not a bad book, but not one I will re-read any time soon. 3 stars rounded up because I really liked the MCs.