Better Than Revenge is the bright, rose-tinted fantasy we’d all like to believe in: the egotistic brat redeems himself to win the saucy, confident girl.
However, it’s an entertaining fantasy, and provides all the feel-good of a daydream without the risks of being caught daydreaming.
This book is downright hilarious. Even the Author’s Notes are funny. I couldn’t stop laughing. If you need a ray of sunshine to pierce the clouds of your dreary, woebegone, hamster-in-a-wheel existence, this is the one. The banter between the two main characters is worth quoting. It’s that good.
The book is about an aspiring actress named Sophia Hastings who auditions for a movie. Somewhat predictably, she ends up starring in it with the already-famous Christian Ryder, against whom she has a lodged hatred. The reason for the grudge came as a surprisingly marvellous plot twist to me. If you are an old Wattpad veteran, it probably won’t be surprising to you. (Though it might still be marvellous). Sophia is a smart, confident, spunky protagonist, and one of my favourite Wattpad characters. Mess with her, and she’ll mess you up. Christian, however, is completely clueless as to why Sophia should hate him, because he’s a vain, self-absorbed son of a bun. He is probably not the brightest crayon in the box, and arrogant on top of it. He’s easy to hate and easier to laugh at.
Sophia’s best friend Tori is based on the archetype of the best friend of every romantic comedy heroine. She’s not as attractive as Sophia, which, according to the twisted laws of the Wattpad universe, make her less important. She (naturally) wants the best for Sophia and appears to have no needs or interests of her own, other than being able to violently fangirl in Christian’s presence. When her best friend decides to extend her stay in LA, she happily agrees to stay with her. I like Tori’s character, but there’s no getting around the fact that she’s pretty two-dimenisional. Crazy fangirl just about sums it up.
One thing that irked me throughout the book was how Sophia wouldn’t stop talking about how she wanted to go to “Hollywood”. Um, what? You want to go to a neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles? Because that’s what Hollywood is. A neighborhood that doesn’t encompasses the entire film industry.
A definite plus point for this story is that it didn’t depend on those oh-so-convenient circumstances to bring the main characters together. You know, the sudden, violent storm that means someone has to stay over at someone else’s house for the night. Or a few days. Instead, the main characters, that is, Sophia and Christian, resolved their conflict over the course of many weeks. It was probably the only thing about the book that was mildly realistic, and a well-appreciated attempt to keep the book from drifting farther into fantasy-land.
If you like attempting impossible, pointless things like counting the stars, or the number of hairs on your head, you could attempt to count the number of cliches in this book. Being happily ignorant of most cliches present in romantic comedies, I didn’t realize how many cliches there were until I finished the book, a fact which no doubt contributed significantly to my enjoyment of it. Despite the drawbacks, it’s definitely worth reading. This is partly due to the effortlessly engaging writing style and partly due to the humour.