YOU'RE THE ONE I WANT by Shane Allison


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A husband's twin brother and his wife's best friend will go to any lengths to break up the couple.

Debut author Allison presents a melodrama that he can't quite write his way out of. From seven points of view, the reader learns the story of Bree, who was once a stripper and is now a well-to-do doctor’s wife. It's revealed early on that a few years before, Bree slept with her husband’s twin, Deanthony, who then moved to California to start his acting career. Back in Tallahassee, Deanthony initiates a plot to get her back with the help of Bree’s BFF, Tangela, who has been in love with Bree’s husband, Kashawn, since the night he and Bree met. It all goes downhill from there. The plot has good bones for a family drama, but the execution leaves much to be desired. For one thing, it's hard to tell if Allison actually knows any women. Beyond the references to 9- and 11-inch heels worn in circumstances far away from a stripper pole, three of the four female narrators—Bree; Mama Liz, her mother-in-law; and Kateisha, a stripper who hates Bree—have rape back stories, while the fourth, Tangela, perpetuates multiple acts of horrendous violence. One of the women with rape in her history rapes someone else as part of the plot, and Allison doesn't refer to it as rape, ever. Beyond these choices, the uneven writing, which is sometimes over-the-top and sometimes not elaborate enough, particularly when there's dialogue, is far too distracting to let the reader enjoy the dramatics.

Overwrought, overdramatic, overwritten, underedited.

Pub Date: July 19th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-59309-638-0
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Strebor/Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2016


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