1 out of 4 stars
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Randy Love...at your service by Shay Carter follows a snobbish British young man's journey into adulthood. Randy Love is well-educated, ambitious and creative in his methods. The icing on the cake is his good looks, and women from all walks of life, of all ages, seem to just stumble into his lap, powerless against his charms. He could have been the whole package but there's a catch; he is terribly lacking in the common sense department.
The story begins with Carter giving us a little backstory of Randy's family and establishing the fact that his entire family consists of extremely intelligent people. Both his older siblings were successful in their careers and worked hard to reach greater heights. Randy, however, was baselessly conceited. He had a near perfect short-term memory and that coupled with his charisma fed his pride in abundance. He believed he was above everyone else and also under the false impression that he was intelligent. Since he had taken a gap year from his education, when he returned with the intention to earn some money, he was recruited by an agency that paid him for small, one-time jobs. He quickly grows tired of it and tries to get a stable full-time job that looks good on his resume, would enable him to afford better living conditions outside of his father's house and support his fun lifestyle which involved a lot of parties and even more women. However, his conceitedness makes him constantly change even the full-time jobs and subsequently, convenient accommodations. Eventually, he finds himself trapped in illegal fixes, financial troubles and with a clingy woman who believes they are now a couple but Randy can't wait to get rid of her. He is dragged off his high horse and is left with no option but to build a deeper perspective of life.
Shay Carter is extremely funny in giving the reader detailed episodes of Randy's tactlessness. However, after a point, it's just overdone. While the book is a quick, easy read, with a good language structure, it is, to put it bluntly, terribly written.
The description of the book had given me so many expectations but the book itself didn't live up to it. To begin with, it appears that the author wants to tell the reader how enormous of a douche Randy is but to devote several chapters to establish that fact alone just makes the reader wonder if the story is even going anywhere. In fact, whole chapters are dedicated to characters of no significance, who contribute neither to Randy's character development nor to the plot of the book and do not appear anywhere else in the story later.
Speaking of Randy's character development; it doesn't happen. One would expect a big revelation in a storyline that helps the protagonist find their way. There sure is a kind of revelation brought about through a character whose opinions clearly matter to Randy but there aren't too many details about the dynamics this character shares with him. They just make an appearance, drop a few brutal words and that makes Randy reflect. And after that reflection, the only superficial change you see in Randy is him, for once, paying attention to his niece in the presence of his brother and sister-in-law, which he does only as a personal challenge to show them that he could take on the role of a responsible, lovable uncle. The whole eye-opener thing is so bland that one may even miss it.
Another really annoying thing is the number of characters. Just too many of them. Randy keeps changing jobs and keeps meeting new people. He keeps partying where there are more new people. He also keeps changing shared apartments so there are several inmates and Randy's judgemental takes on them. Between all these characters, Randy's inner snarky remarks, Randy's internally praising himself repeatedly and all of these written using similar words, I was so confused about who was who.
Carter probably made an attempt to elaborate the various ways in which Randy is of service to people, given the title of the book, but she obviously tried too hard consequently ruining what could have been a cool book. It gets monotonous, plain and boring. I considered putting the book down several times but I still decided to finish it because I usually like books with similar story lines and I was hoping it would soon start looking up but the book just ended with a very disappointed me.
Grammatically the book hasn't been properly edited. Although the writing language is great, there are articles missing, double words and a very peculiar use of the word "slowing" in phrases such as "slowing walking towards", "were slowing dying", and so on.
All my opinions considered, I'd rate this book 1 out of 4. I initially considered giving it 2 stars in case someone else might take interest in this book but then it would mean I'm recommending it to some kind of audience and it would be unfair on my part because usually I like every kind of book but this one, I'm never going to recommend.
Randy Love...at your service
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