Elaine Szewczyk is editor at Kirkus Reviews.

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I'm with Stupid (2008)

This follows New Yorker Kas and her friends Max and Libby as they go on a South African safari. Kas is an awfully boring one-dimensional 20-something who has been dumped by her boyfriend and is stuck in a post-breakup depression. To make things worse, Kas sees her ex, Richard, out at a club with his new girlfriend, who actually ends up being his fiancee of two years! Max decides to enact revenge on Richard in various ways such as telling all his neighbours he's a convict and putting up signs around town advertising his escort services. Max's antics are about the only thing that is funny about this novel. On the African safari, Kas has a fling with handsome park ranger William who saves the group from certain death. After going back to New York, Kas thinks William is out of her league. When he unexpectedly sends an email and says he is coming to New York (believing that Kas has offered him a place to live) Kas is ecstatic but her excitement fades when she realises William is not playing with a full deck of cards. He has an obsession with Big Apple-themed souvenirs and psychics. So it's a case of the girl gets the guy but wishes all along that she hadn't. But the characters are boring and the chapters are far too long (at over 100 pages just for chapter one!) The way it is written feels like you're reading the ramblings of someone with hyper activity disorder - it's all over the place and hard to follow. (AS)

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