The quick-witted romantic comedy Rock Bottom Girl by Lucy Score stumbles in a few different ways. The characters suffer from severe cases of emotionally arrested growth, which prevent this one from shooting to a high grade.
They are also occasionally a little too mannered and over-the-top. It’s one of those small-town romances that, in many ways, makes you want to run away and move to New York, but the wit and charm of the people keep you anchored.
At last, Marley Cicero has reached her lowest point. At thirty-eight, she had lost her life savings after funding a doomed start-up, been laid off from her job, and been broken up with her partner.
She is forced to relocate back into her old room in her parent’s Culpepper, Pennsylvania, home, even though everyone else seems to be doing much better than her. Her parents are there, still happily married but now retired and filling their days with sex, golf, and running a bed and breakfast out of an extra calligraphy studio.
Her sister Zinnia is pleasant and friendly. She looks like a model and has an adventurous life. The local high school’s gym instructor and girls’ soccer coach are departing to relocate to a new town with their wives, so Marley, an athletic former soccer star, is given the opportunity, as announced by Marley’s mother.
However, she has no desire to work at the same school where she rose to fame after an unsuccessful attempt to exact revenge on her high school bully, resulting in her being barred from school-related activities indefinitely. She still has to live with her reputation because of this. Unfortunately, her mother took the job on her behalf.
Marley is currently teaching a group of misfit ladies who despise one another and are the worst team in the area on the field. Within her Slap Shot-esque group of outcasts, the Hostetter twins—the offspring of Marley’s childhood bad girl bully Amie Jo and former quarterback Travis—are the best athletes. As though things weren’t already complicated enough, she is made to sign a morals clause at work.
Enter Jake Weston, a former bad boy turned track coach who claims he can fix problems at work by pretending to be Marley’s boyfriend after Marley’s exposé of her bullies destroyed his dream of playing collegiate athletics. She will then instruct him on how to date successfully. Unfortunately, since Marley intends to move on, the false dating eventually grows into true feelings. Is it, though?
This isn’t a D-level read because Rock Bottom Girl is a humorous little comedy, and Marley does an excellent job narrating. However, the book’s characters are all locked in an arrested developmental stage, and occasionally, this immaturity can prevent the reader from having fun.
Marley fluctuates between being a likable person and a complete disaster; she is so obstinate that she accidentally causes herself heat stroke and is so consumed with diet culture bullshit, such as “earning” her meals through physical activity, that anyone who has experienced anything similar may find her disordered eating disturbing.
She can come across as pessimistic, but she also has a good sense of humor about herself. Her friendship with Libby, one of her main characters, whose personal life she gets involved in, is endearing.
In addition to being charming, intelligent, and amorous, Jake is also problematic, stubborn, a pain in the ass, and the stereotypical gritty bachelor who never cleans. His puppy is quite cute. However, there are also some reasonably annoying flattish aspects to him.
Both their own personal concerns and the impending history are causing tension in Jake and Marley’s relationship. There’s also a lengthy scene when Jake calls Marley a dumbass in front of her pupils and then slaps her till she gets overheated and feels heat stroke. This, coincidentally, is also the first time they meet in the book.
It makes sense that not everyone will find this appealing. But despite that terrible beginning, they have wit, charisma, chemistry, and spice.
The book’s atmosphere can occasionally feel cramped and uninviting. The entire town exhibits regressive behavior, as seen by the fact that Marley is never permitted to get past the events of homecoming 1998 and that everyone is fixated on the ridiculous high school drama that is taking place both now and in the past.
Amie Jo is incredibly underdeveloped, and she and Marley have the classic anti-chemistry of the mean girl who loves pink and is a girly/heroine who likes black and sneakers. I wanted to spend time with Marley’s amazing parents and Vicky, who will always be her best friend.
One more dim moment? As Jake’s point of view doesn’t contribute anything to the novel, someone has to take a weed whacker to this one and possibly cut it out completely.
Although Rock Bottom Girl is a mixed bag, its protagonist is nonetheless fun to watch, even when she is losing.
Buying Options Rock Bottom Girl
More Books by Lucy Score
- Things We Left Behind by Lucy Score (Knockemout Book # 3)
- Things We Never Got Over by Lucy Score
- Pretend You’re Mine: A Small Town Love Story
- By a Thread: A Grumpy Boss Romantic Comedy
- Forever Never
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About the Author
Emma Thompson is a passionate bookworm with a deep appreciation for literature across various genres. With a degree in English Literature, she has a keen eye for analyzing and dissecting the intricacies of a book’s themes and writing style.
Emma has been an active reviewer for over five years, sharing her insights and recommendations with fellow readers.