Book Review: Bonjour Girl by Isabelle Lafleche | Three Dislikes and One Love

36323486Between schoolwork and glitzy fashion shows, Clementine launches a blog, Bonjour Girl, and her wit, originality, and flair quickly catapult the site to cult status. Unfortunately, this comes with a price: Clementine is faced with online abuse and public humiliation. In the midst of all the drama, she finds out that a classmate is not what she seems, and Clementine has to find a way to save both her reputation and Jake’s fashion collection. When Clementine Liu arrives in New York City to study at the Parsons School of Design, she knows that she’s found her place. It isn’t long before she meets her fashionista soulmate, the loud and charismatic Jake, and Jonathan, a dreamy fashion photographer that turns her world upside down.

Between schoolwork and glitzy fashion shows, Clementine launches a blog, Bonjour Girl, and her wit, originality, and flair quickly catapult the site to cult status. Unfortunately, this comes with a price: Clementine is faced with online abuse and public humiliation. In the midst of all the drama, she finds out that a classmate is not what she seems, and Clementine has to find a way to save both her reputation and Jake’s fashion collection.

Discussion:

1/5 stars

One rainy day, I thought that if I picked up what seemed to be a cute contemporary, then everything would get better. Long story shortened: It did not.

Bonjour Girl sounds like a typical happy contemporary. It has the typical story of a girl going to a foreign city, in this case, New York City, and meets a guy who makes her insides feel like melted cheese.* Of course, there is a lot more as Clementine, the main character, is a fashion-blogger, all around clothing-hunter, and from French/Chinese descent. She is staying in New York to begin her education at Parsons School of Design. All she wants is to join the world of fashion with her blog, Bonjour Girl. Never does she know that she will get a new best friend to accompany in her journey through creativity and a new love interest who look like he just stepped off the runway. This story sounds like an easy and relaxing read. Unfortunately, my reading experience was anything but relaxing.

*Not kidding. This is actually how the main character describes her new-found love for a character.

1. The Characters Are Empty-headed Robots on A Mission to Do Nothing

First, even after looking at the known runway for the plot, I was still going to give this book a good read through. It sounded exciting to read about another blogger's adventures in a new and exciting city. Unfortunately, this could not happen due to the characters. Clementine, along with some of the other characters, are so childish. The characters in this book are near their early twenties; however, almost everyone actas if they were in Kindergarten. Seriously, the one bully in this book throws band-aids at Clementine. Why would anyone want the power to throw band-aids? Personally, I would like a bunch of potatoes and gravy so I can yell, "You're going to Potato Land this instant!" On the other bandaged hand, which I got from spilling hot gravy on myself, although band-aids may not seem like the most luxurious superpower, at least she has the power to make people spill the bad tea like ripping a band-aid off! Also, Jake, Clementine's greatest best friend in all the universe, is problematic as well. He is gay, but that is not a problem. It is commonly stereotyped that most men in the fashion industry are flamboyantly gay. Jake fills this stereotype so well that it scares me that the author would promote a person of diversity like this. One line he says that caused me to drop my phone is:

"ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER slay."

I'm sorry, but what?! I couldn't take it any more. Reading the too animated commentary constantly coming from Jake caused me to take a step back. I couldn't keep reading, so I guess this is a reason for why I quit so soon.

2. The Dialogue Contradicted Itself

One way that I saw Clementine and the other characters in the same light was through the writing. Lafleche could've made this so much of a better book if she didn't contradict what her characters were saying with their "beliefs."



"In addition to wearing all black, some of my classmates look like they have a major attitude."

First, you should be able to wear whatever you want to wear no matter what. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't wear all black or the such. Like the worlds of fashion and beauty today, this book has everyone judging everyone, although Clementine kept saying that she is open to all. Yeah, right?! Then, she continues with:


"I try not to judge her based on her looks (after all, I'm here to advocate for diversity)..."

EXCUSE ME!! What were you saying then just a few pages ago?!

Plus, if she knew how to describe the emotions of love, which I do not know how to do without saying it to a piece of cake, it might have worked out a lot better.


"As soon as his hand touches mine, I can almost feel the electricity running all the way down to my toes. Thank god I'm sitting down, otherwise I'd probably keel over."

Is this line supposed to make me keel over and die? Lafleche needs to learn how to write a swoonworthy romance.

3. The Romance Is Unbelievable 


Did I say the main romance was unbelieveable? I think I meant to write that the romance is unbearable. It is so insta-lovey, and I cannot stand it. Immediately, once Jonathan (I think that's his name), the love interest, came into the picture, lots of comments were being made about how attractive he was and nothing else. Nothing about how nice he could be or anything about his personality. Only how handsome he is. There needs to be at least a little depth to something in this book.

In conclusion, I wish I never requested nor read this book. I am glad that I did not waste my entire day. Although I may not have enjoyed most of this book, I did enjoy reading about fashion and learning what Clementine has a passion for, which I wish Sandhya Menon used in When Dimple Meet Rishi. In the end, this piece of information does nothing to erase the one star that may cloud my judgement. This book is just not for me. If you feel like tackling the annoying problems of Clementine, have fun!


(My forever mood.)------->


*Received a copy from the publisher in exchange for a honest review.

Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy!

Love,
newbookcats

Comments

  1. Ugh!!!, this book is totally not for me. i want my characters with depths and I'm so tired of stereotypes in contemporary. Ugh! I read to escape, not to be rundown with BS. lol. :) :) But great review Nicole, you really pointed all the necessary facts a future reader of this book needs to know.

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