Let’s start off by saying that the jock and nerd trope is one of my favourites. That being said, I couldn’t really dig into this one. The relationship didn’t progress but seemed more to just suddenly happen. And the writing style was a bit confusing. The author kept switching between, the blonde, the characters name, and the Jock, for the same character; sometimes even in the same paragraph. A few times I thought there was a new character in the room and had to reread some parts more than once to notice it was the same person talked about in three different ways. This held true not just for Justin, the jock, but also for Eric, the brunette. The inconsistency made it hard to read. Features and titles are usually used to talk about nameless characters, however, once you know their name the name is used. So it was just odd.
The other problem I had was the nerd side of it wasn’t lived up enough for that first argument to sell. There wasn’t enough Eric for me to buy into his anger. On the flip side, Justin went through all this trouble to express how he wasn’t some dumb jock and had all intents of working on the project and, come the end of the book, he didn’t participate in it just like Eric said he wouldn’t.
Also since they didn’t really spend that much time together, beyond the apology scene, when the end comes it feels like things just happen. This is a short story but the usage of the limited page time didn’t lend its self to the clever avoidance of attraction that would lead to a big payoff at the end.
The end was okay but considering the build-up to getting there was somewhat lacking it needed to be more than okay. And then the story just ends. Almost all of these shorts end with the sexual encounter so that’s no surprise, just in this case without them spending bucketloads of time together with the author squeezing every moment of tension and page time out of the relationship, it felt sudden. More was definitely needed to round this story out. Not necessarily an epilogue but a chapter or two of something. It felt unfinished.
That’s really it. The few fights just seemed to happen because they could. The scenes didn’t quite have enough sexual tension for the final act to pay off. And, the writing style made this a bit hard to read. Overall, the novel read like it was trying to be more than what a short story can be instead of focusing purely on the budding relationship and leaving out some of the formulaic bits in this trope better suited for longer novels where the page time is there to dig into that type of plot/character development.
Seeing as it is so short it could’ve still been short and allowed itself to go there with a few more chapters, but again it felt like it touched the type of areas that felt like a longer novel was going to happen, leaving an unfinished feel.