A Little Friendly Advice
written by Siobhan Vivian
A Little Friendly Advice has its ups and downs, but overall was a bit of a disappointment. If I had read this book by Siobhan Vivian first, I probably would have had a better impression, but having read Same Difference and knowing she's capable of great things, this was a letdown. The writing was fantastic, she really does know how to bring the masterful language, but the plot was pretty pathetic, not gonna lie. The situations were realistic, the dialogue was realistic, but the combination of the different plots just doesn't work. A lot of the emotions seem natural, but some seem extremely blown out of proportion. I'm also aggravated that there was even the need for a cliche love interest, and I feel it would have been a great book without that element. Family and friend issues are more than enough to deal with, but having that supportive boyfriend there, that's going too far. There is some obnoxious symbolism here, but I'm really not sure if it was intentional or not. I think what bothered me most was that a lot of this book was ridiculously shallow. Ruby has so much going on in her life, and how does she fix it? By getting drunk at age 16, of course. I'm not saying that's not realistic, I just don't think it was the best decision creatively. It is one of those scenes where I cringed the whole way through, and particularly upon seeing her mother's reaction. Other than that, plenty of flat characters that I had trouble caring about, not enough detail about the interesting characters and too much on the boring ones. The relationships are, with minor exceptions, extremely empty. Empty flirting, empty friendships, unfortunately accurate, but still empty. I was, for the most part, glad with the ending, although again, the love interest is just irritating. The plot twist at the end redeemed the book for me greatly, but I still greatly preferred Same Difference to this.