August 26, 2014

A One-Line Review of Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ Heroes Are My Weakness

White background. A woman wearing a red coat, and blue globes and jeans stands on the side, but we only see half of her.
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher through Edelweiss.

This isn’t a real review, but I needed an excuse to post something this month, because yes, I’ve become a slacker, but I will post something each month even if it kills me! And this book almost did.

In June, I decided to start a reading journal to keep track of all the books I read and that, judging by the blog's current state, I’ll probably never review. This is what I wrote about Heroes Are My Weakness:

SEP hates women, and I hate myself for enjoying this. 

I guess I should also mention that it’s a 547-page Jane Eyre fanfiction retelling homage. No, let's go with retelling. With puppets. Yes, puppets.

Plus, the book is filled with female characters, and they are all horrible people. The only two who aren’t terrible are the heroine and the plot moppet.  Everyone else is either pathetic, mean, or worse, a hurtful stereotype of mental illness (who is also pathetic and mean).

And because I was clearly lying when I said that this was a one-line review, I should also mention that the book is almost compulsively readable, but still, I regret reading it because it left me feeling conflicted and vaguely ill. Seriously, friends, what happened to the good all times when SEP’s heroines were constantly humiliated and/or sexually abused their future heroes?

Grade: I don't know. Why do you keep asking this?
Sensuality: McSexy
Purchase: Amazon

The dead of winter.
An isolated island off the coast of Maine.
A man.
A woman.
A sinister house looming over the sea ...
He's a reclusive writer whose macabre imagination creates chilling horror novels. She's a down-on-her-luck actress reduced to staging kids' puppet shows. He knows a dozen ways to kill with his bare hands. She knows a dozen ways to kill with laughs.
But she's not laughing now. When she was a teenager, he terrified her. Now they're trapped together on a snowy island off the coast of Maine. Is he the villain she remembers or has he changed? Her head says no. Her heart says yes.
It's going to be a long, hot winter.
Heroes Are My Weakness by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
William Morrow. August 26, 2014


  1. I used to love SEP (although I think I'm the only one on the planet who thought Sugar Beth Carey was awful and I was never a huge fan of the rapey heroine) but once it was pointed out to me how she likes to humiliate her heroines, I couldn't not see it anymore. I just read the blurb for this one and it was a nope from me because all I could see was the humiliation. Sometimes it's nice to be oblivious. *sigh*

    1. Believe it or not, this book has no humiliation, what it does have is a shit-ton of other issues. Did you read the Dear Author review? I thought it was spot on, especially the part about how the book uses mental illness in the worst, most repulsive way. So, yeah...

      P.S. I love Sugar Beth! But, gah! Her book is one the worst in terms of humiliation.

    2. I thought the set up sounded a bit humiliating - along the lines of she's been brought to nothing by the time she meets the hero and by meeting the hero thus gains all. Which I can do sometimes but not when it's supposed to be funny.

      I sided with the girls who didn't like Sugar Beth. There was one thing she did to someone in the book when she was in high school - something to do with one of the other girls being on her period which made me really dislike her and I kind of never got over it. I'm not sure what that says about me! LOL.

    3. Well, that is true, the setup sounds bad, but it's not that bad. The book isn't funny, though. The blurb is misleading, IMO. The heroine is all sweet and naive, and then there's the puppets, but the book is quite dark.

      Yes, Sugar Beth does something really bad to her half-sister, who then, when they are adults, proceeds to punish her in many humiliating ways. You can't think much about this book, because then you realize how awful it is.

  2. What IS it about SEP? I'm pretty sure I'll feel exactly like you about it, and yet there's something in me that still wants to read it.

    1. I KNOW! I mean, I was disgusted and at the same time I couldn't put it down. I don't want to know what that says about me...

  3. I don't think I've ever read a book by this author. But the comments and the review by Dear Author has me hesitant to try.

    1. Jade! So nice to see you ;-)

      I can't believe you haven't read SEP! This one isn't a good place to start, for obvious reasons, but her older books are highly readable (but also problematic, so keep that in mind if you decide to read them).

  4. Well guess this book is not the one to try if I wasn't a fan of SEP to start with...

    1. No it isn't. Unless you really like puppets ;-)

  5. Your one line review made me laugh out loud. That's a pretty good summary of my feelings about SEP.

    I have to confess to kind of liking the rapey heroine one against my better judgement - I'll still re-read the second half, ignoring everything that happens before they go to the camp.

    Breathing Room is one of my comfort reads - I guess the heroine is brought low in that one too, but at least the worst of it takes place early in the book, instead of dragging on the entire book.

    Ain't She Sweet is middle shelf SEP for me - I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it the way I hated, say, the circus one (I can never remember SEP titles).



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