Sunday, May 10, 2015

Review: The Wrong Guy by Claudia Whitsitt

The Wrong Guy by Claudia Whitsitt

Link to buy The Wrong Guy

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

It's 1969, and Katie is heading off for her freshman year in college at Eastern Michigan University. As eager as she is to start this new chapter of her life, leaving home is bittersweet. Her mother is the queen of guilt and is trying to make sure that Katie feels horrible about leaving her behind. It's not like Mom's going to be alone, since Katie has seven younger brothers at home, but as the only girl, Mom relied heavily on Katie.

It's particularly hard for Katie to ignore her mother's negativity because the fact is there's something to worry about at Katie's new college – besides frat parties and enough beer to drown a horse, that is. The area around Katie's school had recently been the site of multiple co-ed murders. The man believed to be the murderer has been caught, but the town is still on edge. Katie reassures her mother that plenty of safety precautions are in place, and after all, the maniac is behind bars, but she still has some misgivings about being where she is.

On Katie's first day on campus, she meets her wild new roommate and promptly asks the dormitory administrator if she can change rooms. The answer is no, so Katie is forced to settle in with a girl whose upbringing and attitudes are the polar opposites of Katie's. While Katie is religious and straight laced, Janie is irreverent with a relaxed attitude toward life. Definitely a female dorm version of the Odd Couple.

In The Wrong Guy, Katie's problems at college include such perennial favorites as premarital sex, discord between roommates, and family strife. The book also focuses on less common issues that thankfully fewer young women encounter, like a serial killer, date rape, and a kidnapping.

The dialogue felt unnatural at times, and sometimes they lasted too long with too little of importance being discussed. The mystery and thriller elements of the story held my interest, though. I wasn't emotionally invested in any of the characters, but I understood where both Katie and her roommate were coming from. Did all of their choices make sense? Definitely not. In fact, I wanted to strangle Katie for refusing to tell anyone about the incident with her ex-boyfriend, but it made sense that after the guilt-ridden upbringing from her mother, Katie's gut reaction to many situations was to blame herself.

Overall a good read and an enlightening peek into college life back in the days when the Vietnam War raged and there was still hope for a Beatles reconciliation.

Reviewed by Amanda

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