My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Sex Hell was a remarkably unique experience for me, to say the least. Looking for something funny and easy to get lost into, I decided to pick this up and give ‘er a shot. Romance is not a genre that I read often, so I thought this would be different than my recent indulgences. Mind you, I was provided with a free copy in exchange for an honest review. This book was extremely hilarious, but at the hefty cost of quality.
The story is about a young specs-wearing lady named Debbie. She’s in a relationship where she has virtually no chemistry with her beau. This leads to some very bad sexual experiences, and understandable issues for her and the relationship. Exhausted from her terrible luck in the sack department, Debbie consults a witch where she strikes up a deal to have mind-blowing sex in exchange for… a plant. That’s right folks, a very unlucky African Violet. Meanwhile, you have a sleazy yet handsome Spanish musician who is tired of ladies getting too attached with what he hoped would be “casual” encounters. After conferring with the same witch, he also makes a deal for “no strings attached” rendezvouses for a very costly ten years of his life. Certain plot happenings take place and the duo find themselves in Sex Hell. The basic premise of Sex Hell is that Debbie and Juan can only have intercourse with each other. If they find themselves in a naughty situation with someone else, they’ll get transported to Sex Hell where porn-film-esque scenarios provide a backdrop for kinky and absurdly strange sexual interactions with one another.
I’m going to be honest, within the very first pages of the novel, I laughed out loud. It was gross and refreshing to be able to read something that was able to make me laugh in such a way as to startle my cats from sleep. The clever and colorful descriptions had me flipping through the book with great pace. I thoroughly enjoyed how the atrocious sex was described. I could clearly imagine Debbie thinking these insane and inappropriate things mid-deed because I’ve had friends share their bad encounters in such a fashion. It gave the story an element of pragmatism that I wasn’t really expecting, being a satirical fantasy romance and all. I loved that. But as you continue to get further along in the book, this same round of forthright, anecdotic prattling begins to feel stale and supremely overdone. I reached a point where instead of laughing, I was rolling my eyes because I was just so done with the forced humor. I mean, it gets really freaking bad. There’s a point where a comment was made about Samurais wielding nunchaks that I found to be utter crap.
Debbie makes a point of complaining about certain sexual dynamics early on in the novel; things that she’s not really interested in at all. I know that everybody has those secret fantasies that are totally unrealistic and ridiculous, but on some level they’re a turn on. I understand that fully. But when she’s seemingly against a kink or scenario and then finds herself enjoying it in another instance, I begin to question the consistencies of her character. No matter if this is a sardonic piece of writing or not, consistency should still mean something, right?
As for the cinematic copulation that occurs, what the freaking frick? The settings in Sex Hell get more and more preposterous, way over the top and unnecessarily flagrant. I felt like the book was trying to see how farfetched the schemes could get while still maintaining an air of entertainment or amusement. Let me tell you, it does not. They are neither sexy (which I sincerely hope was not the intended reaction), or funny by the time the halfway point rolls around. The sex turns into a regurgitation of grunts, moans, and other sounds associated with the act in horrendously cheesy locations.
Sex Hell started off very promising, spewing an air of a fantasy-kissed satire in the realm of romance, however, that is utterly short-lived. With a combination of emotionally self-absorbed and frustratingly typhlotic characters, awful sex scenes, and repetitive tropes in humor, the book ended up being a colossal waste of my time. I don’t recommend this at all, unless you have absolutely nothing else to read, or enjoy grossly over-the-top, eccentric comedies; two monkeys outta of five.