kari's Reviews > The Two Lives of Miss Charlotte Merryweather

The Two Lives of Miss Charlotte Merryweather by Alexandra Potter
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's review
Jun 21, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: 2011
Read in June, 2011

Intriguing premise, not well executed......and tedious.
This could have been a great story if the author had actually committed to what she was setting out to create, but she didn't seem to know how to actually do that.
If the story is about going back in time to help yourself make other decisions, then the characters should do that and as an author you should do that and not have it that she can't actually change anything. Other wise you've wasted not only the character's time, but also mine and I'm not happy about that.
Charlotte, in her present life, seems stupid for a woman who owns a company and all. She goes back in time to stop the one thing that she recalls changes her life from a happy-go-lucky girl into a driven cold-hearted name-that-someone-calls-her-which-she-deserves. And yet she fails. She just thinks she's so smart and, of course, her younger self is still her and she outsmarts herself.
Again, if this is the moment life changed, then put everything else on hold and make sure this one event does. not. happen. I was so angry reading that and then on page 339 what decision she made because of it. First of all, don't toss that into what's a light breezy read and expect me to just say oh, I see. Well that makes me dislike her quite a bit and not make me sympathetic toward her. And then this subject never comes up again. So why the heck is it even in here? A life-changing moment gets one page and yet there are page after page after page of lots of busines matters and her boyfriend and her friend's marriage.
If the premise of the book is how she goes in time to change the past, then the past should have been changed. Otherwise, Charlotte could have simply be remembering and this book could have been a w h o l e lot shorter. It is way too long for what's here and if the premise isn't actually going to be a part of the story, then why have it here?
Oh and one more thing, okay a few more things. Constantly telling me about how her groin feels whenever a particular guy is around is. not. amusing. It also isn't romantic or hot or making me want them to get together. It terms of romance, I don't want to read the word groin. And while we're at it, please leave out the word turgid as well. It doesn't appear in this book but just in general, not sexy.
And speaking of the romance, if that's the story being told, then again, tell me that story and not all of the stuff about her business and the skeevy dentist and her young self partying and all of the other stuff. The romance appears in almost the last page. And not worth waiting for, btw, although he is an interesting character who could have been developed more.
I was bored throughout most of this and I doubt I'd pick up another book by this author.
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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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message 1: by Eva (new)

Eva Leger The groin descriptions you mention remind ne if an urban fiction pet peeve of mine. A lot of books in that genre will use the most horrid words for 'vagina' and 'penis'. Ugh, I think I've seen it all. Maybe it's me because I don't go for erotica but 'love box' or 'cave' doesn't really set the mood if you ask me. Oh, and 'sweet nectar' - WTF?! Can you imagine saying that to someone?! "Hey honey, come on in my love cave and taste my sweet nectar." Oh God.
(Maybe I should be an author!)

message 2: by Eva (new)

Eva Leger Uh, I'm not really illiterate - on my iPod and have been awake for all of 5 minutes. No coffee yet. :-)

kari "Hey honey, come on in my love cave and taste my sweet nectar."
That is some fabulous pillow talk! I think you have a promising career ahead of you! LOLOLOL
Great laugh for first thing in the morning. Oh, I don't know what some of these writers are thinking in their descriptions. No sentence that has the word groin is sexy.

Dana I think you've missed the point. I agree, the book should've been much shorter without lots of irrelevant useless parts (and maybe more elaboration on the relevant issues, like her main regret. I agree, that was crazy so briefly mentioning it and not talking about it again at all) but the whole point was for her to not be able to change her past. The author was successful in delivering her message to her readers. You need to let go of your regrets, not let them hold you down but make you stronger, "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger". Charlotte went back to change her past, to save her younger self from all the hurt she endured but ended up learning that she can't stop herself from making mistakes and instead of hiding them inside and losing herself in the process of escaping her past she needed to regain herself and acknowledge her mistakes to become a smarter, wiser, stronger women. To finally be happy.

It's not my favorite book, and i do agree it was a bit boring but nonetheless, she sent a great, very important message. Never have regrets, for everything you went through happened for a reason, learn from your mistakes and be grateful they made you who you are today. Don't let your past keep you from the life you want and above all, hold on to your self and your dreams.

kari Dana wrote: "I think you've missed the point. I agree, the book should've been much shorter without lots of irrelevant useless parts (and maybe more elaboration on the relevant issues, like her main regret. I a..."

You make some very good points and I did like the message, so to speak. I agree with a lot of what you said.
However, the reason for her unhappiness, the ruination of her life or what she considers ruined her life or made her unable to forgive herself, was so glossed over and so quickly tossed aside, that just for me, it didn't work. Breezy chik-lit shouldn't go down a very serious path unless the author plans to actually continue that journey. I felt that she tossed it in and then backed away from it at the same time. So, for me, that didn't work. I think you liked it a bit more than I did.
Thanks for the comment.

Priscilla But thats the point, you cant change the past just learn from it! Thats what I got from this book and so did the character. ;)

kari I get that was the message, but still feel it was not well crafted. The big reason was just barely slightly hardly mentioned. If that was the momentous moment of her life, it deserved more focus. I felt that the author lost her nerve over a very polarizing subject and failed to actually commit to it. But I do understand about accepting and not changing the past. Thanks for the comment.

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