Let me begin by saying that I received an ARC of this book from Random House in exchange for my review. And it was a hard copy! I love that. I was so pleased to actually receive pages with a cover instead of the usual e-book.
And that’s where my joy ends.
The Opposite of Maybe is not a bad book by any means. I was just disappointed because it didn’t measure up to its potential. I know, I sound like someone’s grandma here, but stay with me for a minute.
Maddie Dawson is a pretty good writer. Her dialogue is smooth and real, and her descriptive prose was rather well done.
Her characters didn’t seem real to me at all. And their personal situations? No.
Rosie is a 40 something who has been living with her artist boyfriend Jonathan for 15 years. No need to get married for these two, they live in THE NOW and have nothing to tie them down. No house, no kids, etc. When Jonathan gets the offer of a lifetime to move across the country RIGHT NOW, he proposes (why?) but then cancels the wedding. Rosie does the right thing and stays back in Connecticut and moves in with her grandmother.
Her grandmother. Ugh. Soapie (her real name is Sophie) raised Rosie when her mom died. Soapie is not a very pleasant or nurturing person, and its clear that many of Rosie’s bizarre neuroses come from Soapie’s odd behavior (and the fact that she never knew her father and her mom was dead).
Also living with Soapie is Tony, a landscaper who needed a place to live, so he trades room & board for making sure Soapie is ok. Tony is in his 30s and ruggedly handsome, funny, and kind. Tony is struggling with his personal life a la Ross Gellar — his wife is marrying a woman and their son lives with the two moms.
Early on in the book, Rosie finds out that she is unexpectedly pregnant. Jonathan is all the way in California and has never wanted children. Rosie is worried that she’ll be a terrible mom. But Tony is there to help her through all of her struggles. He turns out to be the best thing that could have happened to her, right when she needed it.
GOSH. WHAT DO YOU THINK WILL HAPPEN?
Look, I didn’t mind the awkwardness of the characters so much as I had a problem with some of these forced plot issues. Seriously, Tony is just going to sit back and allow the moms to have full custody of his son who he loves more than anything? Just because they asked? I do not accept this.
Rosie is still going to consider moving across the country to be with Jonathan simply because she thinks the baby should know its father? Even if Jonathan has lousy people skills, has no plan for the future, and, oh, does not want a baby? I can’t with this.
I’m grateful that I was given a chance to read this book, and am sorry that I don’t have anything better to say about it. Maddie Dawson, keep it up. You have the talent, maybe you just need a new editor!