Firstly, I’d like to give a shout out to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me an opportunity to read this novel in exchange for an honest review. Stupid Girl's summary had me intrigued the second I read it and truthfully, I wasn't expecting anything more than the typical contemporary romance — which isn't a bad thing.
In fact, it was what I was looking for. And before I dive into my review of this novel; I have a couple of things to warn you of if you should decide to read it. Number one being that this novel does have a background of sexual assault — it doesn’t go into great detailing, but it is enough to trigger someone. And number two, this is definitely one of those good girl meets bad boy, sparks fly sorts of novel.
So, if that isn’t your cup of tea or you’re simply not looking for that sort of story at the time being Stupid Girl is not for you. Now, onto the review…
Before the story starts, we get a glimpse of the year prior to Stupid Girls events. We see a groggy, obviously drugged, taken advantage of and injured Olivia trying to place where she was; why her brothers were yelling at her boyfriend. You sense right away what has happened and in this moment, we see three things: scars that will grow on Olivia’s heart, the bond that she has with her brothers and that her then-boyfriend is an utter piece of shit.
He had everyone fooled.
Time goes forward to Olivia’s first arrival at the college she’s attending and we see how pleased she is to have escaped her hometown. It’s obvious that the events we witnessed vaguely have done more than a number on her and now that she is three hours away from those people, she can finally sigh a breath of relief. As she’s bringing her belongings to her dorm, she is tackled to the ground by an unknown male — something that would naturally startle her.
And the gross part? He goes right in for a kiss.
He feigns innocence, calling it a natural reaction of sorts. It’s an uncomfortable moment and in our introduction to Braxton, I’ve already grown to dislike him. While he doesn’t know Olivia’s past, it is just not something a guy should spring on anyone — it made me cringe. I was a little baffled at Olivia’s ability to tolerate him (though clearly irritated by his presence) and I’m surprised I continued on with the story at this point.
I stuck around because Cindy’s writing is genuinely good and the story did have potential. I wanted to see Olivia grow and see what came of this pushy guy; not entirely sure he’d make a plausible love interest from someone in Olivia’s shoes. I definitely didn’t trust him and I was glad to see she’d kept her guard up for quite some time around him.
I found their banter cute at moments — their nicknames for each other. And it was nice to see, in spite of the “instalove”, someone so fiercely protective of Olivia. It was good to see her grow comfortable around the opposite sex again. Of course, things take a turn for the worse when her ex-boyfriend comes back into the picture and begins to play with Olivia’s life and head.
He is honestly one of the grossest male characters I’ve ever met and I was rooting for someone, anyone, to knock his lights out. Especially with the “Gutter Fuck” business and blackmail — men like him are the reason so many women have difficulty with trust. He is the typical rich boy who thinks he can do or take whatever he wants and is oblivious to how much of a prick he is.
Actually, he probably isn’t oblivious to it. He’s just a nasty little twit.
Things progress in Olivia and Brax’s relationship at a rather quick pace and it seems the two have grown more than fond of each other. It’s one of those classic cases in which you meet someone and feel as though you’ve known them your whole life. They begin to share things with one another and on a personal level, they begin to know and understand each other more and more every day.
Although my reception of Brax was less than warm at the very start, it began to grow — and then, like most romance novels, another obstacle is thrown in the way. And I just wasn’t sure anymore what to think of him or their relationship, much like Olivia felt.
Brax had made a bet to take Olivia’s virginity, unaware that she wasn’t one. And the day after (or the day of?) they had sex, he abruptly breaks it off with her. No real explanation except that he “isn’t a relationship sort of guy” and this, naturally, leaves Olivia devastated. She’d fallen in love with him fast along the way and felt betrayed that the first guy she’d trusted after high school was hurting her in this way.
Olivia eventually finds out about the bet and is publicly embarrassed on more than one occassion. It is only after tragedy strikes her family that we see Brax in his real light and the real reasoning behind the bet, the breakup and more. But is it enough to bring the two back together, or is Olivia just being, what she dubs, a stupid girl?
I won’t spoil it.
Pros of the novel:
- Olivia is a solid female lead. I liked her quite a bit and loved her interest in astronomy. She is very strong and intelligent and wears her heart on her sleeve. I love her from the moment we meet her and on more than one occasion I wanted to just smack everyone who’s ever hurt her.
- Olivia’s family and the bond they share with one another. We see only glimpses of this periodically, but it’s enough to know that they love one another very much.
- Good background stories. Not good in a happy sort of way, but in a dark way that is well thought out and develops our two leads very well.
- Olivia’s roommate Tessa. ‘Nuff said.
- It is a bit repetitive at the beginning in terms of how Olivia and Brax meet.
- Cliches in the plot — it doesn’t make it enjoyable, but it did get on my nerves from time to time.
- I felt like we could have known so much more, but given the time frame of the novel we didn’t — a lot of the side characters had the potential to play into the plot more than they did.
Overall, I did enjoy Stupid Girl. It fits in with its genre and has a lot of themes in it we’ve all read before, but it doesn’t make it a waste of time or any less fun to read. I think that, if you’re a fan of contemporary romance, this novel is something you’ll want to check out. Don’t let anyone else’s reviews decide for you, though, because it seems everyone has mixed opinions on this book.