TOO STUPID TO LIVE by Ann Tenino
Too Stupid to Live by Ann Tenino
Reviewed by Cassie
Ian is a former firefighter turned Disaster Relief Coordination Director who doesn’t do relationships. Sam is a geeky, flaky, romance-novel loving graduate student who’s looking for true love. They’re not exactly a match made in heaven. When they meet by accident, sparks definitely don’t fly, at least on Ian’s end. The second time they meet it’s a different story, and Ian decides the lanky young man is appealing after all. What’s supposed to be one hot night turns into something more, but Ian’s blowing hot and cold. After a while, Sam starts to think he must be Too Stupid to Live to put up with Ian jerking him around…
Too Stupid to Live is a funny, sweet tale of two very different men blundering their way into love. Sam is a great character. He’s lanky and awkward, and though he’s embarrassed about his addiction to romance novels, he thinks things like “reformed rakes make the best husbands.” I found myself smiling often as he compared his life, and his relationship with Ian, to the novels he’s read. Although Ian could have come across as a complete jerk, I liked him too. He’s coming to terms with his sexuality and trying to change the way he views relationships, but he can’t do it all at once. He moves forward in fits and starts, constantly doing the wrong thing—which sometimes leads to Sam being hurt. Still, he’s a good guy at heart, and he’s trying to work through his issues, so I liked him. I also really liked the secondary characters– Jurgen, Ian’s cousin, and his boyfriend, Sam’s friend Nik.
The biggest conflicts in Too Stupid to Live involve Ian’s commitment issues and their lack of communication. This should have annoyed me, but it didn’t. It helped that Sam noticed when they were being ridiculous and compared their issues to those in romance novels. As a dedicated romance reader, I found myself doing the same, and laughing at all the little in jokes. Anne Tenino made both characters so likeable, and the overall story so funny, that I gladly kept turning the pages until the end.