Review: I Can’t Make You Love Me, but I Can Make You Leave by Dixie Cash

I Can't Make You Love Me, but I Can Make You LeaveWhen I picked this book up I was under the mistaken impression that it was a mystery. I knew it would have comedy in, but I honestly thought it would be a funny mystery like the Stephanie Plum books. It turns out, this book is Chick-Lit. Now, if you’re a Chick-Lit lover then that’s great, but I am most definitely not. The mystery did finally crop up around page 200, but it was too late to win me over. Especially when it wasn’t even a serious mystery.

The setup for Darla and her gang was humorous, but I don’t think I found it as funny as I should have. I had a hard time liking most of the characters and found myself feeling sorry for Bob. I really don’t think pity was what the author was going for, but it was what I felt. Poor Bob was stuck cleaning up the messes of two women who didn’t care about him the way he deserved. I felt so bad for him because he spent his whole life caring for those women, and they did nothing but undervalue him and cheat on him.

I liked Debbie Sue and Edwina for the most part, but their over the top Southern-ness really started to grate on me. I know they were in Texas, but come on. Plus, Edwina was constantly “on” and snarky. It was exhausting and irritating because I just wanted her to stop and act normal for a minute. But no, it was constant jokes and zaniness and running around calling her best friend “Dippity-do”. It seems like when a book tries so hard to be zany and funny that it has the opposite effect on me and turns me off instead.

I found myself irritated by Roxie’s characterization in the book. She was so bitchy and so mean that it made the characters who felt loyal to her look like fools. If the author had given her some depth, some small trait of hidden niceness, then I could have understood how the characters could find it difficult to give up on her entirely. But there wasn’t anything like that. She was practically a caricature with her over the top divaness and how vicious she was. It made me respect the characters that put up with her less. Especially Bob.

The mystery finally made an appearance around page 200, but it still wasn’t the focus I thought it would be. There was no real investigating or intriguing clues found. Edwina and Debbie Sue just fell into the answer for the mystery and the villain helpfully spilled his/her guts. It was just disappointing all around. Plus, when I read the back of the book and thought it was a mystery I thought that the investigators would be the main characters. But it turns out that even though there were sections from their POVs, they weren’t the focus of the book. It was Darla and her crazy life and comeback that was.

I guess my main point for this review was that I thought this book was something that it wasn’t and I couldn’t help but be critical because it wasn’t. Those unmet expectations can be a killer. If you’re interested in this book and do like Chick-Lit then there’s a good chance you won’t be disappointed like I was.

Favorite Quote:

“Ed, I don’t want you embarrassing us.”

“How could it embarrass us if I’m the one singing?”

“Because I’m the one who’ll have to beat the shit out of you and that will embarrass me.

I Can’t Make You Love Me, but I Can Make You Leave by Dixie Cash
April 5, 2011
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  1. says

    I have a love hate relationship w/ chick-lit books. My fav author who pulls it off nicely is Mary Janice davidson.

    Nice review

  2. Sylvia says

    Not a fan of chick-lit either.
    Before the movie was even made a friend recommended Bridget Jones’ Diary to me.
    Bridget annoyed me so much that after 4 chapters I wanted to put her out off her and my misery.
    The movie was ok though.

  3. says

    @Sylvia: I lol’ed over you wanting to put her out of your misery. I’ve never read the book and surprisingly have never seen all of the movie, either.

    @blodeuedd: I think this book would have read much differently to a Chick-Lit fan. There’s just something about the tone of the books that grates on me and makes it hard for me to enjoy.

    If you end up reading it I hope you’ll come back and let me know whether or not you enjoyed it. I’d be curious to hear what a Chick-Lit fan thought.

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