I was browsing in the library and recognized the author's name (Maggie Stiefvater), and since I've enjoyed some of her other books I picked it up on aI was browsing in the library and recognized the author's name (Maggie Stiefvater), and since I've enjoyed some of her other books I picked it up on a whim. I didn't realize until I logged in to goodreads to write a review that this is the fourth book in a series. I imagine I would have enjoyed this book more if I had read the three previous books, but since this book didn't do it for me, I'm not inclined to seek them out now. I see the author describes it as a standalone https://www.goodreads.com/questions/8... but IT IS NOT.
The writing is smooth and enjoyable enough, and I picked out a number of quotes (see bottom) that particularly delighted me. The plot is fine; I felt shortchanged that a lot of the specifics of this "world" were never clarified at all (is the general public aware of werewolves? how does one become a werewolf in this world?) but that makes more sense if this is the fourth in a series. Considering that it's definitely NOT a standalone, it would have been nice if the cover (front or back or SOMEwhere) had made that clear. That absence of world-building wasn't terribly confusing because the bare bones are sketched, it was just frustrating that things felt murkier than they needed to be.
But that's not the book's weakest point, unfortunately. It's structured as a reconciliation romance novel without anything to explain why these two characters are so drawn to each other in the first place. Basically, they both repeat how they find each other irresistible, but the "why" is missing. Probably that's in the first three books, too, but see above--LABEL IT so I don't wander in. Do not pretend this is a standalone novel. If I already knew these characters and had read about their apparently tempestuous early relationship, I bet I would have enjoyed this book a lot more. I hope I would also have liked them better; they were interesting enough to read about, but I thought they were both rather selfish jerks and didn't especially care about their finding lasting happiness.
At least they're both young enough that maybe they grow out of it, so it's not totally hopeless. Although (view spoiler)[ the Epilogue is kinda BS--Isabel is graduating medical school so it's EIGHT YEARS later? How old is Cole now?! It seems weird that he says "I've always wanted to date a doctor." Is it really still "dating" after eight years? Maybe it's just that I know WAY too many doctors for med school graduation to seem like a happy ending--it's more like a miserable beginning of years of residency...and Isabel as described in this book is definitely NOT someone I'd want as my doctor.
And to back up, now that I'm talking spoilers--the way Cole treated his parents was so incredibly awful, it infuriates me to think about it. I liked Cole well enough, until I found out that he hadn't even told his boring-but-not-abusive-nor-horrible parents that he wasn't dead. For TWO YEARS. Just....wow....no. (hide spoiler)]
Favorite quotes: p. 97 "Those crafty damns found ways to give themselves when I was least expecting them." p. 175 "Well, I would have started one, not joined one, because I don't really like team sports unless I've invented both the team and the sport." p. 275 "It took a long time, and it was really boring, and it didn't include any of the details I would have included, and it did include a lot of the details I wouldn't have."["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This review from SBTB is the reason I bought and read this book, and I'm delighted to report that it's spot on accurate: http://smartbitchestrashybookThis review from SBTB is the reason I bought and read this book, and I'm delighted to report that it's spot on accurate: http://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/re... Yummy, fluffy fun, and at the end I too gave a happy sigh. No regrets, will read again, highly enjoyable light fiction.
I do agree with the review I linked to above that the plot was a hair too dramatic at times but that's a minor quibble. I've never sought out books because the characters were actors, so for me that was an interesting change of pace, and I enjoyed the strong sense of place even though I have no idea how accurately it reflects London's theatre scene. This story is well written and edited, and the plot pacing is pretty solid. Misanthropic heroes and Cutting Edge situations (where the hero and heroine are forced into close proximity, do NOT like each other, verbally spar, and ultimately change each other for the better while falling in love) are catnip for me; if you also enjoy those things, you should definitely read this book!...more
I read this for my YA book club and found significant parallels between it and The Royal We: a romance where the American heroine meets the seemingly-I read this for my YA book club and found significant parallels between it and The Royal We: a romance where the American heroine meets the seemingly-perfect-hero-beloved-by-all-but-truly-known-by-few while studying abroad in Europe. I far prefer this book; Anna's attitudes and mistakes are completely forgivable in a teenager, and she demonstrates significant yet believable growth throughout the book.
The plot twists are entirely predictable to an adult who has read many romance novels; this takes nothing away from the story. This is a really sweet, funny piece of modern YA romance....more
3.5 stars; I did like this book and will be checking out the author's backlist (Gena Showalter--I'd heard her name before but this was my first time r3.5 stars; I did like this book and will be checking out the author's backlist (Gena Showalter--I'd heard her name before but this was my first time reading her). The setup isn't my catnip and the ending felt a touch abrupt, and along the way there were several times that things were implied or you could guess how the loose end could/would be resolved but then it was never revisited (maybe in future books, even though they're centered on different characters?). This book was a fun quick read nonetheless, and free as a teaser for the rest of the series. I'll probably choose a different series from this author next time, rather than continuing with the Original Heartbreakers; on the other hand, I am interested in her other books now, so I guess the free sample sort of worked. YMMV, as always....more
So yummy that I stayed up way past my bedtime the first night and then benign-neglected my children the next day to finish it. :-) I love how RainbowSo yummy that I stayed up way past my bedtime the first night and then benign-neglected my children the next day to finish it. :-) I love how Rainbow Rowell writes even her most minor characters, even in a work of fictional fan-fiction as three dimensional and "real" feeling....more
I waffled over how to rate this book, because I definitely enjoyed reading it...but after I finished it and had time to think about it, the flaws contI waffled over how to rate this book, because I definitely enjoyed reading it...but after I finished it and had time to think about it, the flaws continued to bother me. The writing is snappy even when the plot drags, so I never wanted to put it down. However: the plot and (lack of) character development frustrated me.
Very minor/vague spoilers ahead, so I'm not using the tag, but consider yourself warned.
I don't mean that the characters aren't fully drawn--they are--but that they didn't grow enough emotionally considering the time span covered in the book is well over six years. I found myself impatient with the immaturity of the characters even as I was reading, and much moreso after I finished the book and reflected on it. The hero and heroine are in their late twenties by the end of the book. I wanted them to *grow up* sooner. I would have been a lot more tolerant of foolish antics if everyone in the book had been younger; as it was, I fairly frequently wanted to shake some sense into them. 40 may be the new 30, but 25 is not the new 15....more
I really enjoyed this story and am looking forward to the other books in the series. Mariah is 30 when, in 1885, she finally finds the courage to leavI really enjoyed this story and am looking forward to the other books in the series. Mariah is 30 when, in 1885, she finally finds the courage to leave her awful mother and the only life she's known as a seamstress in Philadelphia, by answering an advertisement to be a housekeeper in California. Logan doesn't think he wants a housekeeper (his mother placed the ad) or a wife. Since this is a romance novel, so you know things turn out well even though/because the characters drive each other nuts at first. I enjoyed their verbal sparring.
A couple of turns of phrase struck me as anachronistic but I'm not confident enough in that assessment to say that they're actually wrong. Nevertheless, because they struck me as modern phrases, they felt "wrong" and pulled me out of the story. Luckily they were rare enough not to detract much from my enjoyment. Nicely plotted, with fun and dimensional supporting characters and a solid sense of place. This is my first Beverly Jenkins but after I finish this series I plan to seek out her other books, too.
I usually don't care/don't like covers, but this one is so great that I want to draw attention to it: it looks like an artist actually *read the book*--the characters resemble their description in the book! Even the pose and location are plausible from a specific scene! They look natural and intimate! Other book covers should take notes and get their acts together....more
The second book in a trilogy is frequently the weakest but I actually liked this one better than the first, although I definitely advise reading themThe second book in a trilogy is frequently the weakest but I actually liked this one better than the first, although I definitely advise reading them in order (they're not really meant to stand alone). One especially nice feature is how well-developed the secondary characters are, and the plot pacing in this book is better than in the first, IMO....more
This is the first book in a trilogy that came highly recommended; it started well, then bogged down a bit/I got impatient for the heroine to figure ouThis is the first book in a trilogy that came highly recommended; it started well, then bogged down a bit/I got impatient for the heroine to figure out stuff that was already clear to me. The end picked up again such that I immediately started book #2....more
I know someone/something recommended this to me but I can't remember who or why. The format was interesting but I would have been more enthusiastic abI know someone/something recommended this to me but I can't remember who or why. The format was interesting but I would have been more enthusiastic about this meet-cute romance a few months ago, before #yesallwomen got me ruminating on the pervasiveness of misogyny in modern culture. I think some aspects probably lost a bit in translation, too, but the snapshot of Japanese culture a decade ago (when my husband and I were dating and roughly the same age as the protagonist, so I had a useful comparison point) was my favorite part.
I see that it was made into a movie, and I suspect this might be one of the rare instances where I prefer the film (based on RottenTomatoes)....more
I wanted to love this book, which is sort of a mash-up of the fairy tale/House (tv show)/regency romance, particularly as the doctor-earl-hero swims lI wanted to love this book, which is sort of a mash-up of the fairy tale/House (tv show)/regency romance, particularly as the doctor-earl-hero swims laps (in a tidal pool on the coast of Wales) to help alleviate his leg pain. But it drove me bonkers that he swam, and taught the heroine to swim, front crawl! I found this anacrchronism very jarring--In this place & time, they definitely would have been swimming breaststroke. I still really liked it but since swimming is a pretty important part of the story, this inaccuracy knocked a star off. 3.5 out of 5, rounding down because I care more about the history of swimming than most people and it would've made absolutely zero difference to the plot to have them swim the correct stroke. Breaststroke....more
I had extremely high expectations after seeing several recommendations for this book. It lived up to them. Many other people have written great reviewI had extremely high expectations after seeing several recommendations for this book. It lived up to them. Many other people have written great reviews (see above) so I just want to note something that was a minor part of the book but a major revelation for me. I'll do this in a way that is as non-spoiler-y as possible, but consider yourself warned anyway (if you want to avoid any hint of spoils, why are you reading reviews?!?).
One of the characters is a non-reader, a person who is smart and able to read (and not dyslexic) but does not retain knowledge well from reading and consequently does not enjoy it. Until I read this book, I did not understand how that could be, even though I know people like that (thinking of one friend especially). I really appreciate that insight--maybe it sounds obvious that a person could be smart and enjoy good stories and be *able* to read yet not enjoy reading/books, but I never really grokked that until I read this book, because I love books so much myself. It seemed incomprehensible, nonsensical, ludicrous. I get it now. Thanks, Fangirl!...more