“Sliding Past Vertical” by Laurie Boris

I once wrote a non-fiction book called, “Why Are People so Stupid?” The answer being that we think we’re being logical while we allow our emotions to tell us to do and say all the completely illogical things that make this world so messy. And interesting.
“Sliding Past Vertical” makes the same point, but in a fictional and much more entertaining way. It shows, in painful detail, what happens when harsh reality collides with the warped and shaky castles we build that our emotions persuade us are good structural engineering.
Sarah is a woman in her upper twenties who cannot get past the stupid thing she did when she was eighteen. Because she can’t get over it, she is still acting like a teenager, which is all very well, but where love is concerned, one person’s mistake is another lover’s agony.
And we feel all of this as the author lovingly draws us through Sarah’s fumbling attempts to create a future for herself, and her agonizing desire to do so without hurting anyone, which she inevitably does. Her relationships with three men and their peripheral contact with two other women blend together in a tangle of mutually destructive crosspurposes.
And this sextet (ha, ha) runs its irrevocable course with inexorable logic – except for one rather convenient coincidence – to its inevitable conclusion. Which, to be fair to the author and the characters, may not be final, but at least allows the hope for a conclusion that has a chance of being happy.
Because that’s about all that real life affords us.
Highly recommended for fans of Chick Lit and character-driven writing.
On the other hand, if you’re the type of person who is always saying, “How could they be so stupid?” don’t read it. You’ll just get more frustrated.
5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

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