I came across Misconceptions courtesy of Girl, Have You Read, who did a feature on favorite romance tropes on Instagram. This one seemed outlandish with a high potential for drama, and I was lucky to find it available on Kindle Unlimited.
The book is told from the perspective of Alex Stone, a recent MBA graduate who has a bright future. She jets up to New York after one last fling with her “Bad Habit,” and seems poised to take on the marketing world. Too bad she finds out she’s pregnant a few months later. Then finds herself jobless. Oh wait, on top of that, she’s actually having four babies, not just one. She reluctantly tells Bad Habit, assuming he’ll let her live her life as a mother in peace, but when he moves her down to Atlanta, she finds out she’s getting more — and simultaneously less — than she bargained for.
In all honesty, I vacillated between loving and hating Alex. She’s young and sometimes acts more immaturely than I think most would given the circumstances. I also recognize that in many ways, she’s between a rock and a hard place, which is a catalyst for much of what she does. She’s not a villain by any means, but she definitely isn’t an innocent party, which becomes clearer as the book goes on. Alex spends most of the book trying to get Bad Habit to fall in love with her because she wants the happily ever after with him. She’s not naive, however. She knows he’s bad for her — hence the nickname — but she does not possess the fortitude to walk away. Admittedly, it was hard to stomach the level of disrespect she endured from him for the duration of pregnancy, which is part of why it’s hard to entirely like her – I just wanted her to stand up for herself and not debase her self for his sake.
Bad Habit, on the other hand, is extremely unlikable from his introduction. His and Alex’s relationship has always been predicated on him using her as a sexual hook-up, which is the origin of Alex’s nickname for him. He’s detached emotionally, communicates poorly, and is generally disrespectful and dismissive of Alex, even as they stare parenthood in the face. Like Alex, he becomes clearer as the book goes on, but I still felt like he was very much a stranger by the end of the book. I respected him a bit more as a father, but he still left a lot to be desired as a man. It was clear that so much hadn’t been shared about him, his motivations, fears, etc. It’s fitting that the reader doesn’t even learn his given name until the very end of the book.
As for the plot, it’s far-fetched, but not totally unbelievable. The fact that two methods of birth control failed and they ended up with multiples is a lot to take in, but it makes for good entertainment. There’s a pretty accurate portrayal of the not-so-sunny side of pregnancy, and I appreciated that Alex isn’t immediately the maternal type. She has fears and reservations about becoming a mother, that play out in myriad ways throughout the story. The cast of family and friends in this story make for good foils to both Bad Habit and Alex, though most of the interactions are with Alex. One character in particular stands out, Ellen with the adoption agency, because the most honest feedback about the situation and Alex’s abilities comes from her.
This is not the book I was expected, but was much more. I definitely recommend it, because it is an honest portrayal of how complicated relationships can be and how the strain of life can impact them. The characters are believable and realistic, despite how flawed they are. I’m definitely planning to read the follow-up, Bad Habit, which focuses on his attempt to manage his playboy tendencies in the face of his new responsibilities.