***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato
Vivian Divine is Dead is so bad that it’s almost comical. I was craughing after finishing it. No joke. With its clichés and "coincidences", this book is like a big fat joke. This is something that would be a million times better on TV than on paper. When you write a book, it’s important you close all the loop holes or at least attempt to. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen in this book. What we have here instead are dramatic twists that are so predictable they just make you want to bang your head on a wall.
Vivian Divine came from a perfect family. Her mother was voted Hollywood’s most beautiful woman 3 times in a row. Her dad's one of the best directors in Hollywood and she herself was the youngest person to be nominated for an Oscar. She had a perfect boyfriend and a beautiful best friend (throw in some self-image issues, too, when she compares herself to her bff) but then her mother died (6 months before the start of the novel) and her father tried to commit suicide. They are trapped in a bubble of grief and no one can seem to catch a break. Her boyfriend cheats on her with her best friend (there’s that trope), her life is in danger (ooh, another one) and now she must go on the run (YAY! Another one, too).
The one thing extremely off with the situation is how her bodyguard lets her go off on her own into the wild without any backup. NO ONE lets celebs go on the run on their own, never mind a celeb who's not even an adult (she is like 16!). I cannot believe Vivian never questioned that. She must have lived a VERY sheltered life.
Which is kind of evident from the fact that Vivian doesn’t even understand the seriousness of the situation she is in. The police may or may not be trying to hunt her down and she is on her way to another country to take refuge, yet she still manages to be self-important and goes around expecting everything to be handed to her on a silver platter. Welcome to the real world, hon. But you know what? She is not ‘that’ bad; she realizes that the real world is completely different because like there are people who go to churches with enough gold to buy Beverly Hills but cannot afford to buy shoes. So, so sad. *sigh*
Vivian Divine also feels like people owe her. She commands people to help her, strangers that have no obligation to do so but should because she ‘wants’ them to. *shakes head*. She is a flip flop of a character. I cannot actually decide what the author wants us to feel. Are we supposed to like her or are we supposed to be annoyed? Hell, what does Vivian even want herself? I GOT NO IDEA because she cannot make her bloody mind.
The author tries to create a contrast between the environment and where our main character comes from, but the author takes it to the extreme, like to the extreme-extreme. It’s kind of ridiculous.
Her family is surprisingly normal (like before everything went down the shitter) and I have no idea how I feel about that. On one hand it's a positive portrayal of families and doesn't follow the 'bad parents' stereotype (except her dad is overworked and doesn't give her enough time) but on the other hand, I feel like it just seems so weird that they are these famous Hollywood people and yet they appear extremely normal. This could be a result of my own bias but I definitely found the normalcy somewhat odd.
That wasn't the only thing that struck me as odd, though - the romance was off-the-charts weird. It was horrible. For the first day there seems to be hope that you might see a somewhat developed romance, but then the next day the L words are thought and it’s just like a wtf moment. This book has a tendency to make you go:
Chloe would look pretty damn awesome as the cover of the book. That also happened to be my reaction to the plot.Plot? What plot? This is a soap opera with dramatic twists that can be seen coming from MILES away. It’s not so much unpredictable as it is question mark inducing.
Vivan seems to arrive at the right places and strangers always seem willing to help her. She even compares this to how ‘back home’ people won’t help an old lady cross the road and everyone seems to be nice here. Wait, wait, hold on a second; is this supposed to be the real world because where the fuck is the real world? COINCIDENCES LIKE THESE DON’T HAPPEN.
With all that said, the ending was actually pretty nice. I said that. Go ahead. Throw stuff at me (I have a tendency to do this). I was surprised by it but it did nothing to redeem the book. The book still sucked and I wished I could have my time back.
In all honesty, I really wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone. It’s a waste of time and unless you’re really bored and cannot find any books to read, skip this and read something that’s been on your shelf since the dawn of time.