|Reviews for The Maneater in the Suburbs|
| panglossianoptimism chapter 1 . 3/2
Adding this to my favourites to read after exam season ends..I'm looking forward to it from what I've read so far!
| HawkMistress chapter 31 . 2/21
I read the reviews of this story and one in particular had me very excited for a different kind of female protagonist and a different angle on the typical “chick lit” story line. Unfortunately, I am disappointed.
The author's technical writing is fabulous. This cannot be over emphasized. Her bio says she's been writing fiction since she was five and I believe it. Her pacing, vocabulary, grammar and narrative style are beyond critique. Seriously, she should be commended for her skill set because, for me, it was the only thing that made this string of unfortunate tropes readable.
According to Urban Dictionary (not the most empirical of sources, I know) a Maneater is defined as: 1) the female equivalent to the male associated word “player.” 2) an irresistible woman who chews up men and spits them out after using them for sexual, financial or psychological gain.
Throughout the story, Elle, the protagonist, is the opposite of that definition. While she is a very accomplished woman at the start of a very successful and (what could be!) a very satifying career—yet all she seems to care about is finding The One-The One being the man who will finally complete her. This cliched trope is so tired and worn out, reading it one more time it was enough to make me yawn through my tears. So Maneater? I think not.
Literally, all this character does is go to work, go on boring dates and posture like the Queen B of a small circle of fawning girlfriends. And what's worse, these guys she falls into bed with once they show her the slightest bit of interest just, (forgive the pejoritive) “hit it and quit it.” She doesn't seem to have any hobbies or interests other than eating and drinking. No personal goals to speak of, or ambitions above finding a guy to slip a ring on her finger so she can check “husband” off her list of (upper)middle class things to acquire. Not even any day to day misadventures. Unless one counts the minor, petty irritations of shopping and snotty sales clerks. Or her equally petty difficulties with her roommate, Beth. (With whom I began to sympathize with because it seemed like Elle was projecting a lot of her own insecurities onto poor Beth.) It got very monotonous and frustrating and did little to help me empathize with Elle.
I was hoping that she would care about her career. I would have LOVED to hear more about what a day in her work life is like. Surely there are some great stories about cowardly patients high on Valium, DIY repairs and people obsessed with perfect teeth? However, all the reader gets are a few scant paragraphs here and there about Elle's work day that lead into entire chapters that replay, Ground Hog Day style, Elle's online dating life. There are some variances, and condescending descriptions food and restaurants in the exotic locales of Connecticut and Massachusetts, you know, for the “uninformed” and “uninitiated.” I have to say I was pretty...unimpressed.
I read for thirty chapters waiting for the part where Elle's character develops, grows, or at least does something—anything to assert some agency over her own happiness! But (Spoiler Alert!) then the phone rang and OMG it was Elle's ex- boyfriend, Micheal, whom she has been obsessing about the entire story, come to save her self-esteem...and I face planted my keyboard. As one reviewer put it: “She's a glutton for punishment.” In my opinion, that scene completely took the impact away from the the last chapter, chapter 31, where Elle visits Boston for New Years Eve. Instead of “New Year, New Me,” I was left with the impression that her new found confidence was only because Micheal wants to see her again. I was left unconvinced that this character has grown in any way, her locus seemed still as external as ever.
I think the author (who really does have a very solid technique) should disregard the rule: “Write what you know.” I think THIS is the problem. This story seems very autobiographical, uncomfortably so, in fact. I feel the author might benefit from significant distance from her characters because then she might be able to take more risks with them. She should beware of “talking down” to her readers, as well. Any person who picks up a book written about a woman with a doctorate will probably know what sushi is. I also would advise reading/researching outside her personal demographic to appeal to a broader audience. What makes a adventurous, fashion fueled romp of a story for inhabitants of the microcosms of suburban New England is, quite frankly, stultifying and frumpy to readers from other parts of the English speaking world.
| bestsonglyricss chapter 31 . 5/11/2014
That was fantastic! Is there a sequel? (Or a fourth...)
| Guest chapter 31 . 3/22/2014
Is there going to be another instalment in this series?
It's a really awesome series, and I'd love to read more
Good job :D
| Drowningblonde chapter 30 . 11/19/2013
Congratulations on finishing! I’ve already mentioned before in a PM what a fun read this is and how refreshing Elle is a female protagonist in a contemporary fiction.
There were several things that made this a really engaging story about a modern woman trying to negotiate her way through the… “unique” (That’s as kind a word as I can come up with!) world of internet dating and the ‘bar scene.’
First, I really enjoyed that Elle wasn’t the stereotypical protagonist that usually ‘gumps’ (Ala Forrest-style) her way through embarrassing misadventures in an effort to get her crush to notice her. All whilst struggling with weight/insecurity issues, entry level career/office drama and an over-bearing mother pestering her to get married and squish out some grand-babies.
In contrast, Elle is a highly educated professional living and working in a super zip-code. She eats and drinks unapologetically. (No annoying and somewhat pathetic calorie counting/alcohol unit measuring ala ‘Bridgette Jones’) She is confident about her appearance and her sexuality and deliberately wears clothes that reflect that feeling. As I mentioned in my email, I loved how you utilized fashion and particular name brands and their associated demographics to ‘show’ Elle’s background/socio-economic status and her current situation as a recently graduated dentist still establishing her practice. ( , Jimmy Choo and Coach versus Gucci, Manolo Blanik and Chanel show her youth and that she’s economically advantaged, but not “wealthy” just yet. Or quite old enough for people to think that couture clothes are her own not her mother’s.)
In particular, I liked her deceptively conservative, yet very sexy choices of jeans, an elegant form fitting top and sassy Jimmy Choo heels. The “maneater” outfit of someone who understands the difference between ‘class and ass.’ It is sad fact that it is mainly women with a desperate need for attention and self esteem issues (or who are looking for Mr. Hook-up) wear overtly revealing clothes. Since Elle is looking for a good man to have relationship with, designer jeans and heels are perfect. Sexy isn’t about four inches of cleavage about to spill over the top of a dress…it’s about confidence. Women who put themselves on display are seldom the “maneaters”…more often than not they are the prey. And while I’m digressing, I’d like to add there is no article of clothing for man or woman that has the tush-enhancing and proportion correcting properties of a well cut pair of jeans. And is legendary for that! (I’m partial to ‘7 for all mankind’ and ‘citizens for humanity’ but that’s because I’m petite. If I had longer legs I’d be ordering the black boot cut and dark denim matchstick! )
I totally dug the scene in the Louis store too! That she bought her friend the designer bag it demonstrates her generosity. Paying cash vs. credit card was both sensible and effective when she rubbed her “Coach” bag in the snotty sales person’s nose. Clearly saying ‘I can afford your stuff, I just don’t want it.’ Then dropped the “It’s Doctor” on her! LOL! (Totally different of how that scene usually plays out in chick-lit)
I also really, REALLY liked how you handled the Brandon situation. He was the dream guy…or so I thought! You know, I can completely understand why Elle couldn’t pack her bags and run off to be with her man. She has her own life and career that she is working very hard to build. Brandon already had a good job at the hospital…why oh, why could HE have said “Nope…can’t go to DC, my relationship is in CT and more important.” Yeah, ‘cause he’s the guy and no one ever expects a man to put his girl before an awesome career opportunity. No, somehow it’s always the woman who has to give up her career, isn’t it? So, I was disappointed but proud of Elle for putting her own goals ahead of his and realizing that if he was “the One” he would never have asked her to make the choice.
But, I think what I enjoyed the most was that this was a story that almost never gets told…that of the successful woman and her struggle to find a quality partner in a sea of ‘wussified’ men and “hook-up” culture. Elle’s remark that it seemed like the more successful/competent she was in her life the more guys treated her like a fling and not marriage material resonated with and reminded me of the conversations about dating that I used to have with my girlfriends. We, like Elle, came to the conclusion that it wasn’t us…it was them. We put on our yoga pants, drank good wine and resolved not to settle for less than we deserved.
Btw, I have a feeling that Elle and Michael are meant to be…but, that’s another story isn’t it? ;)
| Guest chapter 31 . 11/13/2013
Ok, I just read your story all the way through, but not because it was a page turner, even though it could be. I'm not trying to be mean, I was honestly hoping it would get better, and boredom got the best of me. First, please please please, for the love of all things holy, please dress Elle in something other than J. Crew. It gets really annoying, and very monotonous. If she's a 'maneater', then she most definitely would dress in something other than jeans, especially jeans from J. Crew. Seriously! How about, instead of always saying J. Crew jeans, say something like 'skinny jeans' or dark denim...something other than constantly saying she is wearing J. Crew jeans. Elle just walking away from Brandon without a second thought is completely unrealistic. Her saying that she HAS to stay in CT is unrealistic. You could do so much more with this story...feeling disappointed :(
| Blueyes57 chapter 30 . 11/2/2013
shaking my head. she's a glutton for punishment lol
| Guest chapter 28 . 9/18/2013
This chapter had perfect timing...
Jayne's reaction was so sweet. It always feels good to put a smile on a friend's face...especially when it's well deserved...
...and Brandon *purrrrrr* So in love with this fic!
| Blueyes57 chapter 28 . 9/19/2013
something tells me that Elle is going "I spy with my little eye" and HE is going to be late for their "date" lol
| Guest chapter 14 . 9/16/2013
We all need a Ted...oooh the plot thickens...
| OnyxBlue DeGreque chapter 26 . 9/16/2013
I so live him! Plz tell me he sticks around...especially if it pisses off Beth..grrrrrrrr!
| OnyxBlue DeGreque chapter 12 . 9/15/2013
I was so hoping that was the case...um...sad that he was hurt of course...but glad that Elle finally got a good excuse...
| OnyxBlue DeGreque chapter 11 . 9/15/2013
You know I love my Jager shots *clears throat* moving on...I am so addicted to this story! Once again...you have reeled me in!
| OnyxBlue DeGreque chapter 10 . 9/15/2013
Seriously...I need a friend like Elle...
| OnyxBlue DeGreque chapter 8 . 9/15/2013
Om...now I'M in love with Terrence...something's coming...isn't it...