Book Review: Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

  PopSugar 2021 Reading Challenge Prompt: A book from your TBR list you meant to read last year but didn't Other PS 2021 readin...


PopSugar 2021 Reading Challenge Prompt: A book from your TBR list you meant to read last year but didn't

Other PS 2021 reading prompts this would satisfy: A book about art or an artist

TW: heavy sexual content, toxic/abusive relationship, classism

What can I say about Get a Life, Chloe Brown? Well, I freaking loved it. Chloe and Red were so precious and I love the entire Brown family (stay tuned for reviews of Take a Hint, Dani Brown and Act Your Age, Eve Brown!). I loved that Chloe was not just described as being Black. She is a whole mix of intersectionality - Black, fat, chronically ill - and the relationship in the book is interracial. But this isn't a story where Chloe's race or weight or illness are viewed negatively. There's no characters treating her differently because of race or weight - those are just things about her, not things to be critiqued. They're not the focus of the story at all - she just exists in that form, which is so rare. Most stories that feature fat characters, or characters of color, have a plot that revolves around those identities, and that's great. I have no issues with those books. But it's really refreshing to just have a character that exists in that way. Just the way that characters are seen as white and thin as a "default," in this book, Chloe exists as-is and isn't ever expected to be anything other than that. I really enjoyed the entire book so much, and I’m not sure there was anything I disliked about the book or story.

Chloe Brown almost (but not really) dies, and it flips her world. She feels compelled to create a bucket list of sorts. On that list: 1. Move out on her own (check!), 2. Enjoy a drunken night out, 3. Ride a motorcycle, 4. Go camping, 5. Have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex, 6. Travel the world with nothing but hand luggage, 7. Do something bad. But Chloe's from a privileged and somewhat sheltered background, and really doesn't even know where to start. So when her landlord needs some help in computerism, she enlists his help to return the favor. And, I mean, it's not really a coincidence that he's an incredibly sexy man who Chloe maybe spies on sometimes... But once they start working on her list, Chloe and Red get closer than they expected.

The relationship in the book is not just lusty and steamy (though it absolutely is those things). Red’s feelings for Chloe are so sweet - he loves her brown skin, he loves her round belly, he loves her for and respects her illness. He gives her the space to do the things she wants and needs to do for herself, but he is also gentle with her and takes care of her when she needs. And what's incredible about the sexual experiences in the book is that there's always explicit consent given, which is becoming more common, but has long been an issue in books and movies. 

Another thing I really love is that Chloe is a computer geek. She's into coding and programming and it's actually a pretty significant part of the story. I love a good women-in-STEM story!

This was my first time reading anything from Talia Hibbert. She’s been a romance writer for a long while, but her previous books were those with the typically paperback covers that I find so corny (though I absolutely don’t judge those who like them. I love romance books but totally judge books by their covers). The Brown Sisters series released in hardback with the cutest covers that made them impossible to ignore. But apparently all of her novels feature diverse characters who are not loved and appreciated despite their identities, but because of them. And what more could you ask for in romance? The female characters are both strong and insecure. They feel so relatable and real. The male characters have feelings that they’re unafraid to show. They’re insecure. And it’s so incredible reading about characters who are both, because none of us are just one thing.

"Love is certainly never safe, but it’s absolutely worth it." - Get a Life, Chloe Brown, Talia Hibbert

I highly, highly recommend this book. Get a Life, Chloe Brown is romantic, steamy, fun, and snarky (I love the snark!). Once you get started you’ll become so attached, you’ll immediately need to read more!

Goodreads rating: ★★★★★

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