Calendar Girl (April) Chapter 10: Rachel Takes Back Her Boyfriend/Job

Spoilers? It’s the end of another Calendar Girl novella, which means the plot is just about to stop mattering anymore, so I can’t imagine anyone’s surprised to learn that Rachel takes Mason back.

In actual surprising news, this is the book when I learned that Audrey Carlan rates her own books on Goodreads:

Be right back, I’m gonna go copy/paste the summary for the eBooks we’ve published on Amazon and re-post them as 5-star reviews.

Calendar Girl (April): Chapter 10

Upon learning that Mason’s in the hospital following a car accident, Rachel gets sick and starts vomiting. Much like how I feel whenever I read this book. Mia takes Rachel to the bathroom to help her tidy up. And do her hair?

I pulled our the pins in her hair and let her curls fall. […] I found a brush and slowly worked out each tangle until it glistened like the spun gold I knew it to be.

Hey, your boyfriend got into a car accident and you just threw up everywhere. Also your hair looks better when I do it. Why the hell not?

Mia explains that Mason’s being released from the hospital in a few hours and that he was asking for Rachel. Rachel seems surprised by this, and Mia takes the opportunity to reassure her, again, that nothing happened between her and Mason. Rachel says that she believes her. That was fast.

“It doesn’t mean we’re meant to be together, Mia. Like I said, seeing him with you opened my eyes. He’s not meant to be with some professional career woman. He’s meant to be with someone who’s fun-loving, can go to his baseball games, fly around the country with him, and be there by his side. I won’t be able to do that much.”
“You can’t be serious. What about all those jobs? You’re with his PR firm. You’re his go-to for all the sponsors and stuff. He needs you close more often than not.”
Her head tilted to the side. “There is that…”

…wait, is this seriously how this conversation is going to go? These aren’t reasons why someone should take back a romantic partner… these are all explicitly reasons why someone would be a good client.

It gets worse, because it quickly becomes obvious that Calendar Girl still doesn’t have a single reason why Mason and Rachel should be a couple. So this entire conversation is reasons why Rachel would be a good publicist for Mason, except it’s trying to pass them off as reasons why Rachel would be a good girlfriend for Mason.

“And who’s going to prevent him from making an ass of himself at those meetings?”

His publicist! Not his fucking girlfriend!

“Now that the deals are coming left and right, and they’re going to keep coming, he’s going to need a publicist who can work for only him.”

Even the book knows this is a publicist’s job! If you ever wondered what it looks like when a book isn’t listening to the words coming out of its mouth, it’s this.

“You’re the one for him.”
Her eyes glowed with what could only be described as a renewed sense of self-worth. “We have to get to him!” she said.

I shit you not, this book’s climactic argument for getting Rachel to take her boyfriend back was because he’s a profitable client and such an irresponsible wreck that he can’t take care of himself. Not a single word about how Rachel felt about Mason. Just that it’s her job to take care of him. Which it literally was. And therefore romance, I guess.

There’s a reason why I use this image for almost every book we write about.

The hospital scene where Rachel and Mason reconnect isn’t even worth summarizing, because this shit makes no sense and we’re never gonna have to care about these characters’ love lives in any of the sequels anyway. To be blunt.

But it is worth pointing out that Mason’s dad is there, incredibly confused about what’s going on.

“Uh, I think I’m missing something.” Mick cleared his throat […]
“I don’t need to rest. I need the woman I love to listen to me!” [Mason] growled, and both his dad and I stayed very still and very quiet watching the entire thing unfold. For me, it was beautiful. For his dad, confusing.

Why wasn’t Mason’s family in the loop about the fake-girlfriend PR move? Why is this story glossing over how Mason was totally ok with pulling this one over on his family that he’s so close to? That should tell us so much about Mason, but instead it’s telling us more about how not-thought-through this story is since nobody’s bothering to think about this.

Mia – just as bored of this book as I am – only gives us a summary of Mason’s entire family meeting Rachel.

His brothers stayed long enough to rib him about the accident, about having two girlfriends, which made Rachel extremely uncomfortable, not yet used to the attention from the Murphy clan, but I knew eventually she’d fit right in.

How? Mia barely fucking knows these people. In fact, of the small handful of personality traits we know about Mason’s brothers (and even Rachel, to be frank), they sound like they’d hate each other.

Ellie had a lot to do with that. With the way Rachel looked, Ellie believe [sic] Rachel was a princess and not for pretend.

Oh Jesus, seriously? After a whole fucking book of how frumpy and plain Rachel is?

As is customary for the end of a Calendar Girl book, Mia starts to reflect on what she learned this past month. As is also customary for the end of a Calendar Girl book, it has no fucking idea what it was about.

I’d had an amazing time [with the Red Sox], but more than that, I saw the inner workings of a team.

…when?

Men who supported one another through it all […] each player no more important than the next and utterly beautiful as a whole.

…did I read the same book? When the fuck was the meaning of teamwork a theme of this book?

More than anything, though, I’d watched a couple fall in love. […] I couldn’t be happier that Mason had lost his piggish ways.

Mason asked Mia if he could titty-fuck her within minutes of learning that his girlfriend wasn’t in the apartment. Three days ago.

I’ll stop using this gif as soon as it stops summarizing the entire ending of this book

Mia writes her trademark goodbye letter instead of saying goodbye to her client. This is because she hates goodbyes, but by book 4, I’m starting to think it’s so Audrey Carlan doesn’t have to write a conversation between Mia and the client that shows what she learned and can instead just have Mia tell the reader what the book’s Wikipedia summary should include. Regardless of whether that actually happened.

I learned a few things. I’m going to take with me the knowledge that you should always put your best self forward and be open to the opportunities right in front of you.

Let’s contrast this with how book 3 ended with a lesson about “the fullness life has to offer if you only allow yourself to take the risks”, and how book 2 ended with Mia learning “how a loving relationship could be if both partners are completely honest”. If anyone can explain to me how these three lessons aren’t totally interchangeable among the plots of the last three novellas, please fill me in on this arcane logic.

Worse, Mia also has some advice specifically for Rachel…

Rachel,
Take care of him. He needs a strong woman who won’t put up with his crap.

Lest we forget that this book ended with the guy getting a girlfriend and the girl getting a responsibility.

P.S. Rachel, suck it up.

Mia goes to the airport and gets a text from Wes asking if they’re still friends, since they haven’t talked since their awkward phone call where Mia learned he’s hooking up with some other minor character whose name I can’t be bothered to look up. Mia ponders the meaning of friendship. Too bad that wasn’t ostensibly one of the lessons she learned from Mason. Then we could have ended this book on a note that made thematic sense.

I thought about Gin and what made us friends.

Or even just “sense”.

Trust. History. Commonalities. But ultimately, it came down to what would my life be like if she wasn’t in it. […] With quick fingers, I typed back. […]
Yes. We will always be friends. I can’t imagine my life without you in it.

Wes and Mia agree to stick with the plan and see each other “the next time you’re meant to see me”. Instead of, oh, I dunno, being open to the opportunities right in front of them. For instance. But what sense would that make? It’s only the theme of this book that wasn’t about that.

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4 comments

  1. wordswithhannah Reply

    “He needs a strong woman who won’t put up with his crap”. Not “stop being a crappy person”, oh no, we can’t ask for too much, here. But if a woman is sassy enough, then she should be able to put up with a lousy partner who doesn’t consider her feelings at all! FEMINISM!

    3+
    • matthewjulius Post authorReply

      What’s weird is that Rachel isn’t even the sassy partner we see in kind of every other book we read on this blog. She’s just THERE. Almost every line of dialogue she’s had has been about what a serious businessperson she is. The whole thing has this really really gross “work” vibe about it.
      And yeah! MASON HASN’T STOPPED BEING A CRAPPY PERSON. He hasn’t had ANY character growth. This story asked NOTHING of him.

      5+
  2. Jeremy Coward Reply

    Asides from everything else, can you imagine how annoying it would be if tended to wear your hair up, but every time you see one of your friends they just unpin it for you without asking? Leave her hair the fuck alone!

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  3. Taylor Madison Street Reply

    I’m absolutely loving your chapter by chapter recap/commentary of the Calendar Girl series. It’s really nice to know that I can always count on Bad Books Good Times to make me laugh hysterically. 🙂 Keep up the awesome work! 🙂

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