Relatively Honest is relatively good*. Which is probably pretty darn good given I read it last week while Morpheus slowly slipped away. Written by seasoned Seattlite, Molly Ringle and published online by ireadiwrite (the same inspired people who signed Iain Thomas of hauntingly beautiful I Wrote This For You fame), it’s a romantic, quirky coming of age tale about young Casanova, Daniel Revelstoke.
A veritable homme fatale with a penchant for American gals, the bad boy Brit leaves London with a tear stained trail of discarded hearts to immigrate en famille to the US of A where he hopes to seduce one eager yank after another (it’s that British accent, ladies). But as is life’s wont, things don’t quite go the way he planned…
Ringle’s writing is neat, witty and watertight. She has a knack for capturing quintessential college characters as well as the rather rough rite of passage university encapsulates. I found myself laughing aloud somewhat manically (think Ed, the loco hyena from The Lion King) a few times – I swear the cats thought I’d lost what little remains of my rational mind. I related warmly to the four students – typical campus archetypes distinguished by their faculty ‘traits’ (tough lawyer, romantic historian, hospitably extrovert, eyelined thespian). Daniel’s like any half good-looking womanizing commitment phobe (yeah, takes one) while Sinter, the emo-goth tortured-by-talent drama majoring roommate, bears an uncanny resemblance to Dream King as I’d imagine him in his heyday. The storyline reads a little like a 21st century’s Midsummer Night’s Dream and revolves, predictably, around love, misunderstanding, family secrets, misplaced affection and the requisite degree of complication to ensure the path ‘never did run smooth’. How does it end? Well, let’s just say London, a cathedral, black eyeliner and rain feature heavily. Yup, you’ll just have to read it (but you can whet your appetite for free).
* when I say relatively good, realize I’m not exactly its target audience: the book is designed for a considerably younger readership. Had I found this when I was a teenager, I would’ve devoured it by torchlight like a guilty contraband pleasure. Get it for your, erhm…cousin, baby sister, niece or daughter. Can’t quite picture a schoolboy reading this but then again, Cameron liked to watch Home and Away (growing up we used to fight over prime-time TV – he wanted trashy soaps and I wanted a-hah! moments with Oprah: each to his own!)