The Hot Guy (Mel Campbell & Anthony Morris, Echo)
When sports publicist Cate is dumped by her boyfriend for inappropriate puns about polo and social climbing, her friends introduce her to The Hot Guy—refuge of dumped women everywhere and guaranteed to restore her self-esteem in one shag. But Cate breaks protocol by staying the morning after, and soon finds herself facing resentful Facebook groupies, cynical friends and a new boyfriend oblivious to his effect on the world. Co-authored by cultural critic Mel Campbell and film writer Anthony Morris, The Hot Guy navigates the tricky combination of chick lit and romance with exuberance. The plot is wacky, the jokes dirty, and the friendships and careers are over-the-top enough to be fun without losing the reader’s empathy. The humour tends towards sarcasm, and it’s not always clear if the authors are laughing with the characters or making fun of what they represent. Interestingly, for a book premised on one-night stands, the bedroom door remains firmly shut; the story provides plenty of opportunities for the female gaze to assert itself, and the lack of sexy times is disappointing. Nevertheless, The Hot Guy is a pleasurable summer read, and readers who loved The Hating Game by Sally Thorne are a natural audience for this book.
Kat Mayo runs a book blog and podcast at bookthingo.com.au