I'd do nothing but reading if I could (ok, maybe eat some great food, buy some fancy shoes between two books...oh, and spend some quality time with the gorgeous guy I married while I am on reading-break anyway...)
Reasons why I didn't like this book:
1. Jefferson Blythe.
Jefferson sounds like approximately 13 years old. His fear and helplessness with travelling to an "exotic" country like England is somewhat staggering. And mind you, they do speak the same language there.
When I was 19 I travelled with three friends to California. Backpacking. On a foreign continent, where no one spoke German. Guess what, we made do. Without much stress and drama. So, no, I don't understand at all.
To any European person he sounds quite undereducated and frankly kind of dumb.
One example: "Washington is an old city, but London felt ancient." Jefferson has prepared for this trip to Europe. So if he at least read a short summary for the three places he wanted to go (London, Paris, Rome) he might have noticed that those cities are indeed ancient. London is nearly 2000 years old, the Romans founded it as Londinium waaaaay back. To compare it to Washington age-wise is kind of embarrassing.
2. The stupid crime plot.
The "egg": this is not original, and hasn't been since that Ocean's 12 movie. The onset for the "crime" plot is also quite contrived and artificial. The big revelation in the end doesn't save the plot.
3. The love story.
Jefferson's denial of his sexuality in the beginning felt quite strange, as he conceded to a lot of homosexual feelings in his inner monologue. That made it quite ridiculous for me to read. And also his whole history with Amy impossible to understand. He obviously knew for a long time that he is gay. But still decided to pursue a relationship with a girl, even planned to marry her. I am well aware that this happens all the time, that it is hard for gay people to come out, that it is so much easier to just pretend. But that still doesn't make a character in a book very lovable. A very good writer can make you sympathize with the character, can make cry and be afraid with them and for them.
In this book? I wanted to hit him over the head.
The stupid hot and cold game. The lack of personality. I don't have any idea about him. And no interest in him at all. The "either come out, or you're not mature enough for me" passive-aggressive ultimatum that wasn't even spelled out. The stupid "you have to f'ck around before you can have a gay relationship" conviction.
5. The pieces out of the "Esquire".
6. The faulty reasoning.
Because Jefferson was not brave enough to tell his parents that he doesn't want to be an architect, but still feels about himself: "giving up because the going got tough was not - and had never been - one of my flaws." Ok, so now it is a strength to stick to something that is wrong for you like your parent's career plans for you or the pretended heterosexuality?
7. The unsexy sex.
No need to say more about that.
So I skimmed a lot, it was boring, artificial and I really regret buying and reading it.I am very disappointed as this was written by one of my most favourite authors.