Heat of the Moment (The Moment of Truth)

Heat of the Moment (The Moment of Truth) - Lauren Barnholdt writing a review for this book is hard for me, because i felt two strikingly different ways throughout it. sometimes i loved it with the power of a thousand burning suns, and other times i hate it the same way, but both of those feelings were very fleeting and shallow. ultimately, i felt... nothing about this book. it was very much just okay. i knew from the beginning how things were going to go: it was cliché and predictable, anyone who's ever read a book in their life will be able to almost psychically call what's going to happen when, and even what's going to be said by who before they even say it.

the first thing i'm going to address is that there was quite a bit of sexism in this book but surprisingly, for the most part, it wasn't misogyny. lyla wants to lose her virginity to her boyfriend derrick, and of course he eagerly agrees to it, but when it comes time to do it, he hesitates a lot (or he stalls, i guess? whatever you want to call it,) and she shames him for this almost endlessly in her head. "what kind of guy doesn't want to have sex with his girlfriend?" "what kind of guy stalls and hesitates?" "does he not want to have sex with me?" "what kind of guy is he?" -- what kind of guy, lyla thought to herself almost nonstop. what kind of a man isn't always ready to go, constantly thinking of sex and in the mood to fuck the living daylights out of any willing woman? a human one. contrary to what girls believe, men have emotions and thoughts. they have opinions. their dicks aren't constantly and distractingly hard, heat-seeking missiles trying to find a willing hole to plunder. this kind of thinking is harmful and disgusting. i gave lyla the benefit of the doubt given that she's seventeen but honestly, there was a lot more than misandry in this book.

in true chicklit/young adult fashion, there was a whole truckload of slut shaming!! her new bad boy lover, beckett, shamed her for wanting to wear a skimpy bathing suit, insisting that showing off her body in a suggestive way meant that she was just insecure and desperate for attention. the worst part was that she agreed with him. she too thought that the only reason to wear skimpy clothes was to garner male attention, and even if that were true, what's the shame in that? human beings want attention. it has nothing to do with self respect or dignity or worth. fuck people who think that way. she thinks of other girls as bitchy, slutty, stupid, useless, etc all because they threaten her relationship with this douche bag stalker who sweeps her off her feet in a matter of days.

speaking of douche bag stalker, has there ever been a more boring "bad boy" than beckett? for fuck's sake, he even drives a motorcycle. he's "witty" and sarcastic, never shuts up, always teases lyla and gets into debates with her that she finds charming when he's actually just being a condescending dickhead. he's also incredibly creepy. he lies to and manipulates lyla to get her to go out with him. no matter how tiny and innocent the lie is, telling someone you're going to take them to find their boyfriend and then intentionally taking them the long way to get ice cream and onto a romantic beach is a major infraction. there's danger/rapist potential written all over that. he drags her out in the name of checking on her friend just to spend time with her and feed her donuts. he checks multiple hospitals until he finds her when he knows she's hurt. he's fucking creepy. this is not charming, this is not endearing. this is horrible. he doesn't even have a reason to like her? and yet he does. he manipulates other girls to make her jealous too, which obviously makes our sweet little lyla wet as hell. on top of everything else, he's also just... cliché. he's a player who likes girls who don't have expectations but lyla, oh no, she's different from those "other girls" and he wants to change for her. she can change him. she can have him. fuck that.

in a nutshell, this book went precisely how i said it would at 56%: "this book is the meeting place or the first official Every Bad Cliche of All Time convention. I'm just waiting to find out that Derrick is cheating on her, or that he's a giant douche bag and Beckett is, like, unexpectedly perfect! And good! And loyal! AND HE WANTS TO CHANGE FOR YOU LYLA!!!! ALL BAD BOYS ARE JUST GOOD BOYS WHO NEED LOVE!!!"

the reason this wound up with 3 stars instead of 1 was because somehow, in spite of all of these horrible things, it was still decent. lyla had the occasional funny thought (in spite of being a martyr with no respect for her parents and consistently blowing things out of proportion and never taking responsibility or doing anything mature literally ever, and calling people assholes and being mean for no reason when she was almost always the one who was wrong,) and derrick was actually a pretty good guy, even if the narrator went way out of her way to make him seem like he was not one (because god forbid lyla just be unhappy and break up with him, he has to do drastic, unrealistic things like abandoning his gf/friend of 2 years in an er in the middle of an unfamiliar area,) and in spite of how much i resent lyla's attempt to slut shame one of them, i genuinely liked aven and quinn. i can't wait to read about aven and quinn.

this author has potential, in my opinion; her writing is easy and readable, somehow compelling even though the content seems to be incredibly hit or miss. if her writing had been any less decent, i would have dnfed this book at 20% when i realized how insufferable lyla was, how boring beckett was, and how derrick was about to suffer from "relentless douche bag" syndrome to justify lyla wanting to leave him.