This thing is so bad. So very bad that it almost wants to redefine my suckity-suck shelf and that’s a tall order considering Beautiful Disaster is on that shelf. I swear to whichever deity you’d prefer that it felt like I was back there in that dark place and reading *that* book again. I snark and snark, but it’s not often every paragraph makes me want to stop and complain.
Cutters vs. Jocks doesn’t stand alone. It’s a prequel to Marx‘s other novel, Binding Arbitration where single mom has to find her long-forgotten fling to save her cancer-sick son.
Can you guess what happens in Cutters vs. Jocks? Was your answer: The fling. You’d think that, wouldn’t you. You’d be wrong.
There’s no fling. There’s one billiard game and a year’s(?) worth of avoidance leading to the pity fuck that results in the pregnancy. As for how that situation is handled… Alicia, dear, you definitely don’t want to read this one: [highlight for spoiler] It’s the dreaded She never told him that she kept the baby-trope.[/spoiler]
This novella is an infodump meant to highlight Libby’s and Aidan’s backgrounds and to explain why they at twenty-two and twenty-three could have never worked. It succeeds in its goal magnificently, because it never shows them fall in love. Told in two alternating first person voices this novella completely skips the becoming friends and falling in love. Both Aidan and Libby suddenly go from proclaiming that they’re not in love to that they in fact are. The reader is never shown why either of them would care for the other one bit.
Instead the pages are full of misogyny and romanticised stalkerism.
I assume this novella is meant to hint at the promise as to why those same two people might fit together eight years later having had the chance to mature. The only problem with this is that I became so thoroughly disgusted with both characters that I never want to read about them again. I’d almost say it goes a step further than that: I never want to read anything Elizabeth Marx writes ever again.