The Do-Gooder isn’t your typical romance novel — in a genre full of bad guys chasing the good girls, it was refreshing to find the story of a good guy being caught up in the affections of a bad girl.
Lara has a reputation around campus, yet she doesn’t care. Whilst the people on campus go out of their way to slut-shame her, Lara doesn’t let it get to her and maintains an aura of confidence and boldness. To ‘atone’ for her ‘sins’ (yes, they’re in quotation marks deliberately!), she has started her own deeds system where she grants people good deeds. Fletch is the good guy everyone loves — he surfs, is nice, and is an overall good dude. On the night Lara’s brother (and Fletch’s best friend) died of cancer, he and Lara give in to their attraction to one another and finally hook up, even though he had a girlfriend at the time. The book follows their journey a few years after that happened, Fletch’s displeasure with Lara’s deed system and an attraction they can’t seem to ignore.
I loved Lara’s character from the get-go. I love her confidence and the fact that people could say the nastiest things to her and she serves something back to them. I also thought she was a funny character and some of her replies back to others in the book were downright hilarious. The author’s construction of Lara’s character was excellent, and it was hard not to love her.
Though the book is perfect rainy-day reading material, it also touches on serious issues. The one area I thought was particularly important was the slut-shaming. Though Lara can be commended for showing those who tried to shame her that she wasn’t bothered, Fletch made a great point in their dialogue that they shouldn’t have the right to use to word ‘slut’ to demean her in any way. Lara views being called a ‘slut’ as a form of empowerment, whereas others use it to belittle her and she accepts it as she thinks she deserves to be punished for the things she blames herself for in her past.
I also enjoyed how Lara’s perspective was written in the first person, and Fletch’s in the third person. This allows the read to focus on how Lara develops and the ways Fletch supports her growth.
You would be wrong to discount The Do-Gooder as a light read. Containing complex characters, an intriguing plot and the complicated events many late adolescents endure, you won’t want to put it down.
Release date: June 1st 2017 by Simon & Schuster Australia
I received this book from Simon & Schuster Australia in exchange for an honest review