Published by Simon and Schuster on March 1st 2002
Genres: African American, Erotica, Fiction, General, Romance
Buy on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks
Before there was E.L. James’s 50 Shades of Grey, there was Zane’s Addicted. Once described as “the hottest paperback in the country” by the New York Times and now a major motion picture distributed by Lionsgate, this wildly popular novel by the Queen of Erotica follows one woman’s life as it spirals out of control when her three extramarital affairs lead her down a dark and twisted path.
For successful African-American businesswoman Zoe Reynard, finding the pleasure she wants, the way she wants it, is not worth the risk of losing everything she has: marriage to the man she has loved since childhood, a thriving company, and three wonderful children. But Zoe feels helpless in the grip of an overpowering addiction…to sex. Finding a compassionate woman therapist to help her, Zoe finally summons the courage to tell her torrid story, a tale of guilt and desire as shocking as it is compelling. From the sensitive artist with whom she spends stolen hours on rumpled sheets to the rough and violent man who draws her toward destruction, Zoe is a woman desperately searching for fulfillment—and something darker, deeper, and perhaps deadly. As her life spins out of control and her sexual escapades carry her toward a dangerous choice, Zoe is racing against time to uncover the source of her “fatal attraction”—as chilling secrets tumble forth from the recesses of a woman's mind, and perilous temptations lead toward a climax that can threaten her sanity, her marriage…and her life.
After seeing the intriguing trailer for Zane’s novel, Addicted, which has been adapted to film, I thought I would check the book out. The story is about a young successful woman who cheats on her husband and discovers she’s addicted to sex. Her addiction takes her to places she never thought she would ever go to, and nearly costs her everything – husband, kids, and business. On the verge of destroying everything she loves and has worked so hard for, Zoe seeks help for her addiction and hopes to rebuild her life.
I will admit that the premise was interesting, and I mostly enjoyed the majority of the book. However, the problems I have with it are huge, and make me grossly dislike this novel. For one, I found the main character Zoe to be very unlikable. I don’t know if it was her overly cocky demeanor that was off-putting, or the annoying way she spoke, but nothing about her backed up the fact she was supposedly a successful, self-made, businesswoman. She appeared very “ghetto” acting in many situations, and very snooty in others. I originally had the impression that she grew up in a middle class family, yet she often talked as if she was straight out the hood. Which is fine, if that is who she was meant to be, but I don’t feel that the character was very defined. She seemed to be a contradiction.
“Love is indeed blind, and it makes you imagine qualities in a person that don’t exist.”
The other thing I didn’t like about the book was that after the main story of Zoe’s addiction was wrapped up, the story fell into melodrama. It read as if Zane finished writing the book, and her publisher told her the book was too short. So then in a haste, a bunch of unnecessary twists, and unbelievable events began to happen. By the end, if a unicorn pranced through the Renard home, I wouldn’t have batted an eye.
Overall, this book was not worth my time. Zoe was reduced to a stereotypical black woman, which I actually found insulting. She was a sista that would curse and act a fool when she didn’t get her way, and yet expected to be treated like a queen. She was a hypocrite who would get angry at her lovers for sleeping with other people, yet she was married. She did and said bad things to people, and yet her reasons for doing so should mean she was forgiven. All of these instances, by the way, have nothing to do with her addiction. This behavior permeated every aspect of her life. By the time I finished the book, I began to wonder if Zane was even really an African-American female, since James Patterson, a white male, writes black people monumentally better (*Waves at Alex Cross.*). To make matters worse, this book is about sex addiction, and it seemed highly uninformed on the issue. Plus, *spoiler alert* Zoe is raped in the book, and yet her rape is brushed off like she forgot to buy milk at the store. Ugh! This novel put me off the upcoming film, but who knows, it may actually be way better. If you’re interested in seeing the film, let me know how it is. Then maybe I’ll consider opening my wallet. I sure won’t be opening it for another book by this author.