Review: Josh and Gemma Make A Baby by Sarah Ready
Title: Josh and Gemma Make a Baby
Author: Sarah Ready
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: ARC from Netgalley
CAUTION: Book Rant Coming Up!!
The title pretty much sums up the story. Gemma, the female protagonist, is deemed infertile by medical experts after undergoing surgery for a health issue. She grows up in a small town and as small-towners are wont to do, they tease and ridicule her mercilessly. Josh, the male protagonist, is the neighbor that somehow becomes a part of family. He is her elder brother’s friend and her mother involves him in all the family’s activities because ‘he is from a broken home.’
I found Gemma perpetually annoying, obtuse, shallow, and spiteful. I couldn’t connect with her and, to be honest, I haven’t disliked a female main character (FMC) this bad… ever. I couldn’t drum up any feelings for her regarding her inability to get pregnant and I found her actions calculating at worst, desperate at best.
As far as I am concerned, Josh—the poor sweetheart—settled. Look: I love my HEAs just as much as the next girl, but I wished that when she finally realised her misgivings, he would have moved on already. Boo!
There’s a particular scene towards the end where her family rib her about her condescending behaviour over the years. They [the family] talk about her intentional meanness and prejudice against the poor soul. The fact that she never apologises to him was such a let down and I expected that the author would remedy that in coming chapter but… we just had to go with the flow, I guess.
The author then attempts to compensate for her deliberate passive-aggressive attitude by making the grand gesture extra. Her grand gesture—which would probably go down in history as the most ill-advised and fool-hardy declaration of love—is perhaps her last act of desperation.
I didn’t find any faults with the writing and the narrator made this a very pleasing listening experience. The narrative is conversational and almost like listening to a friend ramble on. I do wish we got to see Josh’s pov. That would have made a very good read.
Josh is a beautiful character and his almost perfect personality served to highlight all of Gemma’s flaws. She is callous and unfeeling: Josh is sweet, loving, and knows well enough to express his emotions properly.
Gemma is a proud card-carrying member of the “tell-it-as-it-is” and somehow manages to do it in the harshest way possible. She treats her friends and everyone else cruelly and is fiercely prejudicial. Once she places you into a category, best believe you won’t be getting out soon. For all her intelligence and self-declared righteousness, she is obtuse and terribly naive.
I warned you….
Even the stellar performance of the narrator, Erin Mallon, couldn’t persuade me to feel a twinge of any emotion—apart from anger—towards Gemma. This is another new-to-me author and a few friends conformed that her other FMCs are just as problematic: Ergo, this might just be my first and last book from this author.