All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: The Hot Guy by Mel Campbell and Anthony Morris

on May 4, 2017

The Hot Guy
Mel Campbell and Anthony Morris
Bonnier Publishing AUS
2017, 311p
Copy courtesy of the publisher

Blurb {from the publisher/}:

Adam, a serious cinema nerd, has no idea that he is the Hot Guy – a man so ridiculously attractive there’s a Facebook group dedicated to seducing him.

Cate, a sports publicist who loves to crack a joke, is feeling down about her newly single status when her friends suggest the perfect pick-me-up: a night with the Hot Guy.

But that one night leaves both Cate and Adam wanting…

Is a genuine connection possible with a guy this phenomenally smokin’?

It’s not very often I have to do this but unfortunately, I did not like this book. At all.

In fact, I spent a large portion of the time wondering if I was being trolled. It’s presented as a funny romcom, however it’s neither funny nor romantic. I wasn’t sure if it was a biting attempt at satire? Is it serious? I don’t know. The ‘humour’ is ridiculously over the top and more often than not, in incredibly poor taste.

Exhibit A: one of the main characters Cate, works as a sports publicist for some sort of sporting complex that is vaguely and ambiguously described and staffed by people who seem to hate sport. In the beginning of the book, the stadium is named Sambo Stadium, after the nickname of some long-retired legendary sportsperson. Cate spends a large portion of her day returning emails to outraged Americans at the use of what is a slur towards people of African American (and possibly Native American) heritage. Other examples include describing a character to be as hot as a thousand Hiroshimas on a sunny day and various KKK references and even some stuff about Hitler.

The plot. The description is actually what interested me in the story but it just didn’t seem to play out well, perhaps because of the portrayal of women in this book. Cate is maybe the least offensive character in the book but she spends far too much time cracking unfunny jokes for her personality to be adequately explored and what there is isn’t really all that likable. It seems that cracking jokes and hating sport is all there is to Cate but her friends are unsupportive and nasty at best, constantly telling Cate that there’s no good that can come of dating the ‘hot guy’ because he’s so much hotter than her and will eventually realise that and leave her. Really?

There are so many things that I think could have worked in this as a bit of a playful tongue in cheek look at Melbourne and culture. Firstly, it’s the man that’s objectified in this story but it’s done in such an over the top and insensitive way that it just becomes annoying (women kidnapping people? whole stadiums of women chasing a man?) rather than a reversal of roles. Secondly, there’s a mockery of “sports” even though the sports are never named which could’ve also been a great take on Melbourne’s obsession with dominating the sporting arena but it descends into jokes about dodgy facilities and land swimming. The opportunity to explore sporting figures being granted plum jobs with organisations goes begging as well, instead it’s just more used as filler or an attempt at more jokes. The same goes for the lavish descriptions of movies (including one ridiculously over the top one that seems to poke fun at indie cinema, perhaps Australian cinema but also descends into bad taste referencing Hitler). It was so terribly unfunny it was almost embarrassing to read. There are so many references and jokes crammed into this book that it means that the relationships suffer….the characters suffer. Adam is so ridiculously hot, so hot, he’s very very very goodlooking and he works in a cinema and wants to be a director and that’s pretty much all I know about him because we don’t get time to explore him. He seems perfectly nice, a bit boring and bland as well as terribly naive. He’s always so surprised when the women he brings home run out the next morning with lame excuses. It goes on way too far with even his parents providing ways for women to escape his bedroom in his childhood home. Likewise with Cate, I never really felt like I knew too much about her other than her obsession with being unable let anything pass without attempting crack some sort of gag about it and her hatred of sport. It seems like Cate is the first woman not to rush out of Adam’s apartment the next day and they fall into a relationship because of it, good sex and the fact that Adam laughs at her jokes, something that seems to be quite rare for Cate to find. The only reason she doesn’t leave is because she doesn’t know about the ‘rules’ of sleeping with the Hot Guy and that there’s a whole facebook page and queue. I didn’t really understand how this could work. Women were patiently waiting their turn to sleep with him? Cate queue jumps (because she doesn’t even know) and the way in which this is reacted to by these women is quite frankly, ridiculous.

As I said before, I spent most of the time trying to figure out if I was supposed to actually read this as a serious romantic comedy or if it was some sort of attempt at a blistering satire that is mocking all it is portraying. And in the end, I’m honestly still none the wiser. It falls short of the mark no matter what but perhaps whatever it is, I’m just not cool enough or smart enough to get it because I get the feeling that the book was mocking the reader as well.

The Hot Guy was a hot mess for me. And not a good kind.


Book #78 of 2017



2 responses to “Review: The Hot Guy by Mel Campbell and Anthony Morris

  1. Lily Malone says:

    When you said the women all leave after one night, I thought maybe he wasn’t any good in the sack despite being super hot? But it’s more about the FB page and queue than him being lousy in bed. Dunno why all these girls only want one night with the hot guy if he is *also* good in bed.

    • Because the primary function of “the hot guy” was to have a one night stand with him that helped the girl “get over” a broken down relationship. If they were heartbroken, they sought out the hot guy and apparently that one night was all they needed to sort themselves out and move on to what was waiting for them. I don’t know why. It has zero rhyme or reason. There was a bona fide list of women who had to “wait their turn” with the hot guy – and Cate jumped the queue AND then started dating him which meant that all the women in the queue were denied their night.

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