Get a Life, Chloe Brown
Get A Life, Chloe Brown is the first in the Brown sisters series. Taking place in modern day London, it follows the lives of Chloe Brown, the oldest of the sisters who is a chronically ill website builder, and Redford “Red” Morgan, the superintendent of the building where Chloe is renting. Chloe and Red don’t always see eye-to-eye. Chloe can’t explain her attraction to him so she pushes him away. And Red thinks she’s a spoiled, snooty princess.
Chloe has fibromyalgia and is constantly in pain. During one of her regularly scheduled walks, Chloe nearly, but not quite, gets hit by a drunk driver. In the moments after the near accident, Chloe thinks about what her eulogy would say. It’s not good. Later that day, she decides it’s finally time to get back in the world and make a life for herself. There’s seven items on the list: move out, enjoy a drunken night out, ride a motorcycle, go camping, have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex, travel the world with nothing but hand luggage, and do something bad. She moves out of her family’s mansion and into her own flat, checking off one task. She soon realizes that the rest of the list might be a little hard to do on her own. She needs a teacher on how to be “bad.” Enter Red.
Red is a handyman with a motorcycle and more sex appeal then any one person needs. But he’s also an artist that paints at night and hides it away in the day time. Chloe, of course, knows this because she might spied on him the teeniest bit… once or twice.
On another one of Chloe’s walks, she finds a cat in a tree not far from her apartment. Deciding that she needs to be more brave and daring, she climbs the tree to rescue that helpless creature… resulting in her getting stuck as well. It just so happens that Red is walking by and helps her out of the tree. Later, Red stops by her apartment to check on her and Chloe proposes that in exchange for a free consultation for a website, Red gives Chloe a ride on her motorcycle. She loves it! So, Chloe gets the brilliant idea that Red should be her teacher and help her finish her list… to an extent.
This sends us on the journey of Chloe navigating her way through her list, social situations and romantic obstacles.
I just want to say that everybody deserves a Red in their life. Seriously, men take notes. He was so attentive to Chloe’s needs regarding her pain levels and just in general, without suffocating her or making her feel different. And he was a happy person. He didn’t have that deep rooted torture that usually surrounds male characters. He still had his issues and he dealt with them and was getting help, on his own. Nobody pushed him to talk to a therapist to air things out. He was a real person and had real problems. That was very refreshing to see. While I wish we would’ve seen Red in a therapy session, it was still nice to know he was going.
While this book didn’t leave me sobbing, it still started some tears. After the inevitable break up, Chloe is finishing Red’s website as fast as she can so she doesn’t have to interact or be reminded of him. Understandable. But what she did to herself was the real sad part. She works
for hours straight to finish everything and leave no spots for him to have any reason to reach out. This results in her joints screaming at her and leaving her in unbearable pain. She knows that she’s hurting herself but she keeps pushing so she can feel relieved. That was incredibly sad to me. To have to put yourself through physical pain to avoid any future pain seems like the worst way to get over someone.
I give this a final rating of 4.5 stars. The beginning was a little slow for me and I didn’t really get into the book until a little over half way. I still really enjoyed it and I love reading books without the typical “I’m not like other girls” trope and “skinny white girl has issues.” I like diversity and, this is going to sound weird but, learning about how people struggle. Fibromyalgia doesn’t seem like a very severe pain to most, but if you suffer, it’s a constant battle with yourself. And again, I love you Red. Place on shelf earned and I’m looking forward to the next two books in the series.