I had a hard time rating this book. I liked it well enough to get invested in the main character, and to finish the book to find out what happened. ThI had a hard time rating this book. I liked it well enough to get invested in the main character, and to finish the book to find out what happened. There were a lot of things that were hard to overlook, though, and I found I was disappointed by the time I reached the end.
First, I'll start with the good stuff. The protagonist (Julia) was relatable, likable, and well-developed. The premise of the story was unique and interesting, and I felt like it made me really consider what fame must be like from the other side (from the perspective of those thrust into the limelight; particularly those who are placed there against their will).
Now, for the rest...(WARNING: SOME SPOILERS AHEAD)
Prologue: What was this about? Normally I am used to the story looping back to the prologue so that it makes sense. Maybe I missed something, but I didn't get that with this book. When are the events in the prologue happening? What is the point? It's almost like the author forgot about it. Honestly, I'd love it if someone could shed some light on this.
Editing: There were so many typographical and punctuation errors, I felt myself fighting the urge to go in and make corrections myself (if that were possible on the Kindle)! It's hard to get lost in a story when it's constantly interrupted by poor editing.
Rushed plot development: The plot was developed pretty well up until the protagonist's 30th birthday, and then the whole thing felt rushed and thrown together, like the author was just trying to finish up. Instead of continuing to develop the narrative, we just get a line saying that Julia had a big blow-out fight with James. Instead of actually watching the relationship fall apart gradually, we see them closely bonded and happy, then are basically told: Oh, by the way, the relationship fell apart over the last 5 years.
Odd switch in voice: The chapter where we learn Julia's fate is narrated by her good friend. This wouldn't seem so strange if the narrative voice had switched periodically throughout the book, or if Julia were truly dead and it were the end of the book.
Did Julia fake her death?: It seems this is the case by the last chapter, but the whole resolution is so rushed it's hard to be sure (particularly because of all of the temporal jumps back and forth throughout the narrative). How exactly did she accomplish this? An accident like that would be pretty hard to engineer. Staying hidden for years afterward would probably be even harder. Was she in cahoots with Kevin and had money stashed away in an offshore account so she could live in secrecy? Or what? With as famous as Julia supposedly was, she would have needed a serious change in appearance or someone to help her while she stayed in seclusion, or else she would surely be recognized (especially if she stayed in the United States). The whole thing just seems so implausible that the author really needed to come up with something to explain.
Additionally, I understand the parallel between Julia and Princess Diana, but it's not exactly plausible for the U.S. public to remain obsessed with the wife of a rock star for almost 20 years. The believability factor just isn't there. Since the last 14 years of the plot was rushed and patchy, it might have made more sense for the author to make the accident happen 6 or 8 years into the story instead of 18. The American public just doesn't hold love affairs with its celebrities that long before moving on to the "next big thing."
Sorry for the lengthy review, but I just felt like I needed to explain my 2-star rating. I felt like the basic idea of this book was unique and the characters were interesting and likable. The execution just didn't quite follow through. I felt like I was reading a rough draft that could be developed into a really awesome novel, instead of actually reading a finished product....more
I have to agree with the reviewer who said this book was about a third too long. In one section of the book, I felt as though I was reading the same iI have to agree with the reviewer who said this book was about a third too long. In one section of the book, I felt as though I was reading the same information over and over again, slightly re-worded each time. With a little editing, the book could be more concise and still contain all the same information.
That said, I found it a helpful book. After a basic rundown of all the benefits of BLW, the author gives some great suggestions for first finger foods, as well as ideas to use as baby gets older. I plan to hold onto the book to utilize those lists and tips.
Overall, this book is a good resource for parents interested in trying a Baby-led Weaning approach to baby's mealtimes....more