Normally I enjoy a good romcom, even while cringing at the neediness of its main female character. Zen and Sex sounded interesting since it’s a romcom with a male protagonist.
It starts well and relatable with the lead character still in the throes of heartbreak, receiving an invitation to the wedding of his ex. Determined to turn up with a hot date, he enters the world of online dating and continues to bomb with each one. His experiences with his online dates are both hilarious and relatable.
Then he meets a ‘babe’ who is more self-assured because of her age – a slightly predictable but still interesting plot turn. Up until this point the story was interesting. But it suddenly took a downturn, as if the author had lost nerve or steam or both. Frances degrades into a weird, whiny, self-help type, her self-possession revealed to be a sham. Frances turns out to be even weirder than the other women, her self-possession revealed to be a sham. Even weirder family connections set in and the young man is left in a state of chaos. The multiple exes, the bizarre daughter, the ex-husband with a much younger woman – each one might have been an interesting character to add to the mix. But all of them together just added to the general mayhem. It was too much, too late.
I hoped it would stabilize when the relationship ended, the payoff being the hero emerging wiser and somewhat worse for wear. The reunion was too abrupt and utterly unbelievable, which left me more depressed rather than happy ever after. I think the assumption that romcoms all need to have fairytale endings with the couple fighting for true love, could well have been ignored in this case to make it a better book.
I got this book off NetGalley.