In Rain’s urban fiction/chick-lit debut, China and her friends lurch their way through lives rife with guy dramas and relationship dysfunction.
China is the hub of her large social circle; the phone never stops ringing. The dilemmas that befall every woman—and, occasionally, man—on the other end of the line begin to blur into a morass of betrayals akin to those most commonly encountered on daytime soaps. China is a good friend who listens and tries to help anyone in need; she’s also resilient and resourceful, patiently guiding a new conquest, Kenny, to her “southern tropics”—but only after he’s watched a short how-to video. When she catches him wiping his tongue on the sheets, however, he’s dismissed, and China ends her night with “King Tut”—aka BOB (battery operated boyfriend)—and “thank[s] the sex gods” before passing out. Rain’s novel is peppered with that kind of euphemistic vocabulary, punning and wordplay. “Lower set of lips,” “southern cuisine” and “little man in the boat” are only a few of the creative, rarely subtle terms used to describe female anatomy. China’s aha moment comes after she’s agreed to be monogamous with Tony, a single dad and seemingly the only nice guy around. When her ex-boyfriend, Bull, calls—he’s one of the many “DNA-listed” (do not answer) numbers on her cellphone—she decides to block it for good, “along with the other rejects.” Despite the entertaining shock value and colorful language, Rain’s characters are difficult to distinguish, since they aren’t differentiated with clear enough characteristics. Readers have to work too hard to keep up with the revolving door of who’s cheating on whom: Is that the friend with the baby whose daddy has a criminal record, several identities and a secret family, or is it the woman raising a child whose mother sold her to buy drugs?
Rich in raunchy one-liners but thin on story and fully drawn characters.