Don’t let this influence your opinion on librarians
I was given an ARC copy of this at ALA 2018 and thus chose it to be my ARRT book read for the “gentle/clean romance” category. As a librarian, any story involving librarians finding love appeals to me, so this seemed like the perfect title to jump into. At first.
Check Me Out centers around Greta, a 24 year old librarian who has only had one job her her life; working at the local library. She is always on the lookout for the love of her life, but so far the only true love she knows is her best friend and confidante, Will. While at work one day, Greta helps an absolute babe named Mac find the poetry section, and from there the two begin a slow-moving relationship. What Great doesn’t know is that Mac, Will’s cousin, is merely a mouthpiece for Will’s words and all the long poems Mac writes for Greta are actually being written by Will, in true Cyrano de Bergerac fashion. On top of that, her library is going for a referendum and if it fails, the library is kaput.
The best word I can think of to describe this book would be flat. There’s no rising action, no important or emotional toil. It’s just a pretty boring “love” story between characters that don’t deserve one another. Greta reminds us every chapter she has a Masters degree and she’s a bit of a snob, yet she can’t see through the fact that the man she’s dating legitimately has NOTHING to say to her in person? Social anxiety only goes so far; Mac has absolutely no character and there’s nothing to suggest he and Greta should be interested in one another at all. On the other side of the coin, Will is 100% too good for Greta. He’s a bit cheesy and I rolled my eyes at his poetry attempts, but he was a genuine person and friend and the best character in the book. Greta treats him like actual garbage and the author has a very disturbing obsession with constantly referring to him as obese.
“Will had been a chunky kid. Now he wasn’t a kid anymore, and “chunky” didn’t really do justice to his form. He was huge….Huge in the way nobody really wants to be” (pg 28).
Like c’mon Becca Wilhite, just admit you find fat people disgusting off the bat so I can give up on this book earlier. This isn’t just a one off occurrence, nearly every time Will comes into a scene, there is a statement made about his weight. It’s gross, it’s irresponsible and honestly, Greta is nowhere near a good enough character to have Will in love with her. He deserves better. #JusticeForWill
More than anything, I think the largest reason why I disliked this book is that Greta is a terrible, unlikeable character. She is an admitted snob, but then hates when anyone looks down upon her or the library. She’s selfish and incredibly superficial, even though she claims to be open minded and intelligent because again, Masters degree! Having a Masters isn’t a replacement for a personality. She acts like a teenager rather than a twenty-four year old professional woman.
As a librarian, there’s also loads of inaccuracies in terms of how librarianship works, but that’s something only I would notice while reading. Moving from Assistant Librarian to Director in a year and a half? Girl, please. Also in WHAT WORLD would any library be against moving a library in order to be ADA compliant?! The whole POINT of being a librarian is allow access to materials to all people; there’s no way any good librarian would not want disabled people to have access to their collections. Then again, Greta isn’t a good librarian, and she’s certainly not a good character.
Overall; skip this. There’s hundreds of better clean romances out there and many within this proper romance series.
Title: Check Me Out
Author: Becca Wilhite
Three descriptions: Flat, slow-moving, clean/gentle romance
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