The Frame-Up by Meghan Scott Molin | Book Review

Tuesday 11 February 2020

I hate “meh” books. I hate books that are only disappointing and not terrible. I’d rather hate a book. That way I can either DNF it or I can use my outwardly negative passion to speed through it to write a scathing review. But those books that aren’t bad enough to hate but not good enough to enjoy fall into this aggravating grey area. The Frame-Up by Meghan Scott Molin is one of those books.

Let’s discuss the plot first. Michael Grace Martin, aka MG, is as nerdy as they come. She even works as a writer for her favorite comic book company, designs costumes, and has her hair dyed wacky colors! Oh snap! Her life takes a turn when she meets the handsome Detective Kildaire, a man on a case that hits close to home. A group of drug dealers were recently capture by a vigilante. The catch is that this case matches up perfectly with a classic comic book that MG knows well. Can she help the handsome detective solve his case? And are any of her ragtag group of friends involved in it all?

The plot is basic. We’ve seen books, movies, and TV shows about a criminal who takes inspiration from comics or some other media and the creator or some other nerdy expert is the only one who can solve the crime. It’s okay to have a plot similar to other books when you can set your work apart from those before it. Meghan Scott Molin couldn’t do that.

The plot was predictable in the worst way. Even when I didn’t see something coming, I still didn’t care. The suspect was innocent? Eh, whatever. Someone died? Oh shucks, I’ll send flowers. Nothing mattered in this book. Even things that were important to MG passed without any consequence. One big thing that she had been stressing about for about half the book came and went and it might as well have been spilled coffee. No one cared. One of the things that would help shape her future happened and it was forgettable to her and the reader.

Let's take a break and talk about the good. I liked the drag queens and the character of Lawrence. I wouldn't mind Lawrence getting his own book. I also liked the cop who didn't like MG. I forgot his name and at this point I can't be bothered to look it up, but anyone who hates MG is a friend of mine. I also liked the back story of the creator of the comic MG likes so much. It was interesting and could be a book on it's own.

The worst part on this painful journey was the constant bombardment of nerdy references. We get it, Meghan, MG is a nerd. Good job. It felt like every page had at least one reference and not even all of them were correct. Out of all the cons I’ve gone to, the comic stores and game stores I’ve shopped at, and all my nerdy friends, no one I’ve met has made as many references and jokes as MG. It got old. It got old real fast. I’d rather be friends with anyone from Big Bang Theory than MG and that show has terrible characters.

MG has made the list as one of my most disliked main characters. While I do understand the struggles of being a women in a historically male dominated niche (as best I can), I couldn’t get behind someone who was as judgmental and shallow as her. At one point she complained about the nerds at Comic-con seeing the equivalent of a pair of breasts with legs when they look at her but then she goes and objectifies Detective Kildaire the same way. I get that eye candy is called eye candy for a reason. Because it’s something easily accessible for the eyes to enjoy. But don’t stand on a soapbox and put yourself above others and then do the same things you judge them for.  MG also hated it when people put her in a box but she talked about types of nerds she hated, lumping them all in the same box too. She's a huge hypocrite. Part of the book was MG’s journey from angry hermit like nerd to less angry, friendlier nerd, but the two previously mentioned aspects of her were so distracting that I didn’t care.

When all is said and done the story isn’t bad. It may be basic. It may have been done before. And MG may be an insufferable character, but I’ve read worse. A lot worse (Seanan McGuire anyone?). But I’ve also read a lot better. Unless I get many MANY people telling me the second book is worth my time, I will forever leave MG and her ultra-nerd life behind me.

The Frame-Up by Meghan Scott Molin gets a 4 out of 11

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