Extraordinary Adventures by Daniel Wallace
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Socially awkward semi-hermit wins a trip of a life time, but the catch is that to redeem his vacation prize he must bring a companion with him! And so begins the Extraordinary Adventures as Edsel goes out of his comfort zone to find the girl of his dreams…or at least a girl to bring on vacation with him. Sounds interesting right? Well…sadly this was me for much of the novel.
I had high hopes for this romantic comedy. The blurb had me hoping for something along the lines of The Rosie Project, you know socially awkward guy searches for love and finds it in equally weird but perfect girl for him. Unfortunately this just felt like the poor mans Rosie Project.
The main character Edsel, was always just slightly too odd to be realistically whimsical and quirksome. I feel like there has been this trend lately, with socially awkward characters becoming very popular (I think the popularity of Sheldon Cooper is what ignited this trend). However not every author can find the right balance between quirky and serial killer creepy. The main character in Extraordinary Adventures straddled that line rather precariously.
The novel started off strong in my opinion. With Edsel being a somewhat relatable character with a bit of a boring existence, which was levied with strong side characters. However it quickly teetered to the unbelievable when we got to the love interest…or I suppose I should say love interests. Which in itself was a bit unbelievable as well, since Edsel was far from a catch. And while his inner monologue was at times interesting, all these other women certainly were not aware of it. I just find it hard to believe that three women would be giving googly eyes to a watered down Don Tillman (The hero of The Rosie Project).
Maybe it is unfair of me to compare this so much to the Rosie Project but I can’t help but recognize so many knock offs of the same variety that have been released since its debut. The love interest herself was so annoying that I had trouble enjoying any aspect of this. The moment when the awkward nerdy guy with a heart of gold finally meets the one special woman that really “sees” him is a trope that I am a true sucker for. But this only works if the love interest is actually worthy of such love.
Sheila was intended to be this cardboard cutout of the popular manic pixie dream girl, but she turned out to be more of a (view spoiler) The annoying part is that if she wasn’t so hot no one would consider putting up with this shit! Guess its like Barney Stinson Says…
Overall while just interesting enough to keep me reading, I can’t in good faith recommend this book. There is just so much better writing out there. Extraordinary Adventures is a decent time killer, but not much more than that.
Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Bin
Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
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