OVERALL: I so badly wanted to love this story. Chick-lit rarely gives the over-thirties or the over-weights any time to shine. I was all-in for a good real-woman heroine with something to offer the world besides a sassy wardrobe. Sadly Lola didn’t deliver the way I’d hoped.
LOWDOWN: One the positive side, the entire story does not revolve around Lola trying to lose weight to prove her worth. In this instance, what this story is NOT about makes it a whole lot more interesting. It was refreshing to see a plus-sized character not torture herself over her weight. There were no long ruminations over body image while sweating on the elliptical machine and I appreciated that. Big Flirt might have had the benefit of positive mental health for its protagonist, but it left a lot of frustration for its (at least – this) reader. The characters go the entire plot in an underdeveloped state. Aside from their attitudes in this one scenario, I had no real sense of who they were in a bigger picture. Without that depth of character, it was hard to invest emotionally. And that “plot” I mentioned before, is all over the place. I kept finding myself thinking “how did we get here?” while I was reading. Everything is so disjointed and rushed that it feels like the author got tired of the characters and decided to finish the story in book report style (this happened, then this happened, and then this happened, the end).
It pains me to write a bad review, because I get it- writing is hard and putting your work out there for other people to judge is scary and brave. However, Ava Catori has a huge catalog of work and can boast “Best Seller” status, so I just expected better.