Review: Beneath This Man


Beneath This Man
Beneath This Man by Jodi Ellen Malpas
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

What. Did. I. Just. Read?

This book was not good. No, that’s an understatement. This book was very bad. It wasn’t the absolute worst book I’ve ever read, but it’s pretty high up on the list of sucktastic books. There is a lot about this series that I just hate. I was hoping this book would be better than the first, but it really wasn’t. The quality of writing was a bit better, but the story quality is still crap.

Ava needs to get new friends. Seriously. This is a woman whose best friend is totally cool with a guy stalking her, forcing her to move in with him, and being an abusive and manipulative jerk. Kate knows that Jesse treats Ava horribly, but she’s basically cheering him on with the abuse, stalking, and manipulation. I don’t know why Kate hates Ava so much, but it is very clear that she does.

Jesse blames his “not an alcoholic” behavior on Ava. She drives him to drink. Her leaving him drives him to spend four days downing shot after shot of vodka, so that’s her fault. His sex with other women during that time period is also his fault. He’s never felt like drinking so much in his life, but being with her makes him want to drink. He tells her this. His friends basically tell her this, too. This is not okay. He can’t take responsibility for his self-destructive behavior, so he puts it on her. And she seems to be okay with taking the blame. It sort of makes sense, since she’s also the one who is responsible for his forcible and coercive sexual actions on her. This kind of thinking is so horrifying that I just wanted to scream as I read it. That’s probably why it took seven days to read this book. It isn’t a hard read style-wise, it just sends the kind of message that victims of domestic violence and rape are responsible for the abuse that they face. You know, the despicable kind of thinking that we should be way past in the twenty-first century.

Remember when I said the writing quality was a bit better than it was in the first book? That’s true, but the writing quality is still pretty bad. There was a lot of repetitiveness. If you say that a character is dressed smartly in the first part of a paragraph, you don’t have to say it again two or three sentences later. The same goes for talking about a character being in tight white boxers. It doesn’t need to be repeated right away. The brand dropping was also pretty common in this book, which was very annoying. I get that she wanted to convey that Jesse lives a rather luxurious lifestyle, but mentioning all the brands was just so tacky. And the high fashion that was mentioned didn’t sound very fashionable. It definitely didn’t sound like the brands that were being described.

The whole book was a serious disappointment. Between the tacky writing, the god-awful story, and the heavy use of tropes, the book was just not worth reading. Unless you were really into the first book, I really wouldn’t recommend tackling this book. The only reason that I’m going to read the last book in the series is that I want to find out what things this group of social weirdos is going to do next. I’m guessing whatever they do, it will be horrible.

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About Janet Morris

I'm from Huntsville, Alabama. I've got as many college credits as a doctorate candidate, and the GPA of some of them, too. I have a boss by the name of Amy Pond. She's a dachshund. My parents both grew up in Alabama.