In Pieces – Danielle Pearl

THIS REVIEW CONTAINS A LOT OF SWEARING. You’ve been warned.

Fucking nineteen-year-old Beth Caplan (also known as ‘kid’, ‘Bits’ and ‘Bea’) and fucking twenty-one-year old David March have known each other their whole motherfucking lives because David is fucking Sammy ‘Cap’ Caplan’s bestie. These fuckers are players, but fucking David has secretly fucking yearned for fucking Beth for fucking-ever. The feeling is fucking mutual. Back in high school when she was dating Brian fucking Falco, David told Cap he was interested in Beth, but that was never going to fucking fly because Cap knew exactly what kind of fucking fucker David was. A fist-fight ensued and that was the fucking end of that. Until it wasn’t. Because now Beth is at the same fucking college and David is tasked with looking out for her fucking ass – and it’s a fine ass, trust me. Beth/kid/Bits/Bea is fragile because of Brian fucking Falco, and when he shows up on some sports scholarship, and some other dude from her Abnormal Psychology class seemingly starts to stalk her, well, fucking David loses his fucking shit and before you can say “hot porn sex” these two are having, well, hot porn sex.

Yeah. That’s annoying, right?

I actually started highlighting how many times the characters in Danielle Pearl’s NA novel In Pieces said the word fuck. (And it’s not NA really because this isn’t about navigating that slippery period between being a teenager and an adult as much as it is about having sex.) It was a lot. I stopped counting at 500. So much swearing that it distracted from everything else that was going on. I read a previous novel by Pearl, In Ruins, and I had the same complaint. Too much swearing. And I say this as someone who enjoys a well-placed f-bomb. It was grating, distracting and it made these characters, particularly David, sound like idiots.

Other things make these characters sound way older than they chronologically are. For example, David says “I’m a single, red-blooded, relatively good-looking guy who’s never been in a relationship. Who’s never even considered one. Relationships are for guys who want marriage and a mortgage and a nine-to-five.” Um, not sure there are many 21-year-old dudes like that out there. Is this supposed to count as character development, a reminder of how Beth is changing him?

These two crazy kids consummate their relationship while intoxicated. Remember, David is supposed to have feelings for Beth. What does he say to her?

“Fuck, you feel amazing,” David rasps, his words resonating in every part of me – even the one place it really shouldn’t – and I silently scold my heart and demand it make itself scarce. “So fucking tight,” he marvels. “So wet. Goddamn, beautiful girl…”

There are no words. Although post coitus, Beth decides that David is the smooth talker of her dreams and that even if he doesn’t have feelings for her, she definitely enjoys seeing him naked because he’s hawt, perhaps they could have a friends with benefits sort of arrangement.

After all sorts of stoopid miscommunications and other contrived plot twists, these star-crossed lovers end up together because of course they do. They’re a match made in fucking heaven.

Yuck.