Book Reviews

Sourpuss by Merricat Mulwray

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.

I had HUGE expectations of this book when I first requested it on NetGalley. Sourpuss is a word I’ve been called way too many times before, the main character seemed relatable, and I LOVE yellow covers.

But the book just didn’t measure up. Read on to find out why.

Goodreads synopsis:

Sourpuss

Sourpuss is a blistering satire of the depraved and entitled culture that pervades college campuses.

Mallory Wahl loathes the campus party scene . . .

She’s sprinting through her senior year obsessed with winning a spot on the US Olympic track team. But she runs straight into a hurdle in the form of fraternity president Graham Patterson, an intern assigned to help her recover from an injury – one she blames on him. 

Once Graham’s therapies begin to work, Mallory pretends to fall in love but traps herself in her own scheme and tailspins deep into his debauched world. When a scandal erupts which threatens to shatter her Olympic dreams once and for all, Mallory must finally face the dark truth she’s been running from since freshman year.

In the style of a ’90s dark comedy flick, Merricat Mulwray’s debut brings an insightful and humorous perspective to the reckless behavior college students perpetually get away with. Mallory, herself a flawed heroine, is backed by a self-serving cast of athletes, party girls, townies, and fraternity brothers so hilariously dark that the book will leave you wondering if anyone ever gets what they deserve. 

Review:

Sourpuss was a very disappointing read for me. I know I went in with huge expectations, but the story just wasn’t good. Mallory Wahl, the sourpuss, is a track star on the path to the Olympics. Unfortunately, she gets injured and to recover, she has to train with an intern from the sports medicine department whom she despises.

Now, we all know how much I love the enemies to lovers trope, so why exactly didn’t this book work for me?

Let’s review.

The cover promises a dark comedy. And dark comedy is just gallows humour–it puts topics that make us uncomfortable in a humorous light. And I love dark comedies! But Sourpuss is so not a dark comedy. It’s just dark. Sure, there are some scattered jokes, but the book is mostly just dark.

I know it’s supposed to make us think about the whole college frat party scene, but the writing doesn’t make it easy at all.

Most of this book’s faults lie in the writing. There’s a good enough story and wanting to talk about the frat scene is a great start, but the writing just doesn’t make it easy. Chapters end abruptly with scenes that aren’t addressed in the next chapter. The flow is disjointed.

And speaking of disjointed, movement is explained weirdly in this book. The phrase “took her under his arm” is used several times and I don’t have a clue what this means. It makes me think of some weird Yoga pose. I did not like the writing much and it took a big chunk off the rating scale for me.

The only redeeming quality in this book is the characters’ portrayal. Most of the characters are written well and memorable. You can’t help but root for the main characters and that’s probably the angle the author(s) should have gone with.

Sourpuss’s cover may advertise it as a dark comedy, but its blurb just writes a cheque that the book can’t cash. This is the first book by the authors (two sisters), and I really hope they take all the good parts of this book and come up with a better second novel.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

~ Shruti

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