For weeks I've been promising a post on the Ashley Stockingdale series, and while it has been sometime since I've completed the books I haven't been able to come up with a suitable blog. I've thought of posting everything from a three-part series examining the three main characters, to a simple one line post that would read, "These books are ridiculous." I think I'll compromise though and tribute one blog to our dear friend Seth, and conclude with the fact that this series was truly ridiculous.
Short biased synopsis for those who haven't read the books (beware, spoilers!):
This series was popular in our class at church by many of the girls in class, and thus I thought I would see what all the intrigue was about. Essentially the plot consists of a self-centered, materialistic, over-indulgent Christian female who is a successful patent lawyer in Silicon Valley. Her main goals in life consist of shopping and trying to get married. Enter hapless computer engineer, Seth. He's a sweet guy who is incredibly itelligent and balding. Unfortunately he suffers from being socially awkard like the rest of us guys who don't have a clue. Ashley is in love with him, and they even date for a considerable time although eventually he isn't ready to commit. Thankfully Ashley is rescued by a pediatrician doctor who looks like Hugh Jackman (whoever that is) that must have memorized all of the romantic lines from Casablanca. The story ends with, surprise upon surprise, her marrying the cute, suave guy leaving the computer engineer in the dust.
I really liked Seth in the first book. Probably the reason why is because I identified with him the most. As much as I would like to think I look like Hugh Jackman and can quote Emily Dickenson, truth is I probably am a lot more like the goofy, bumbling Ben Stiller. Unfortunately we never get all of Seth's story and we are left to wonder what his life consisted of before the Ashley drama started. I like to think that he tried to start relationships with several girls who broke his heart, and thus he gradually becomes increasingly more passive in his attempts to meet girls. So by the time he becomes interested in Ashley he is so confused of what a girl is looking for he doesn't know what to do.
Unfortunately this perspective is never told, and we see Ashley constantly ragging on him for being a weak, timid male. Thus we start to see the true nature of Ashley in that she has no understanding of humans outside of herself. Even in her relationship with Kevin (the cute doctor) we constantly see how the relationship revolves solely around her which was frankly disheartening.
Back to Seth. In the end I was disappointed by him, because he wasn't bold enough to put it all out on the line. When he finally got up the courage it was too late, and he had missed his opportunity. However, in some ways I think Seth got the better end of the deal since I was never a big fan of Ashley! :)
This is a very consise editorial, and I'm afraid it doesn't do the series justice. The books were ok, although should only be taken as a merely entertaining read. The editor missed a ton of mistakes, and the books will only truly be relateable for probably ten years since they are inundated with current cultural trends which will eventually fade. But, if you are looking to kill some time and perhaps some brain cells, knock yourself out! You may even learn there are more brands of clothing then Gap and Old Navy.