Sarah's Reviews > Unlocked

Unlocked by Courtney Milan
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Jul 24, 2012

Recommended to Sarah by: Rebeca Willis-Conger
Read on July 24, 2012

This was recommended to me by several members of my book club when I said I hated historical romance. It was free on Amazon yesterday, so I gave it a try.

I think for the genre it is, it's very, very good. There's a very interesting and compelling story arc related to the two main characters, and I love the path toward a redemptive ending. I also thought the dialog was incredibly snappy and clever without seeming out of place in the historic setting.

With that said, the reality remains that I just don't like this genre. The English upper-class setting with all the trappings of the titles of nobility (I actually find all those social conventions very distasteful, which probably has a lot to do with 1) my being American and 2) my spending quite a bit of time living in Ireland where those English hierarchies were a very, very bad thing in terms of their historical influence over that country) does not appeal to me at all. I just prefer contemporary settings without the social conventions that are so off-putting to me.

So, I totally get what all the fuss is about regarding this book (the story is great), this is probably an awesome example of this genre, but ultimately I'm just not into the setting and had a very hard time getting past that. But, I'm glad I read this nonetheless--since I keep trying to push myself out of my reading comfort zone--just so I know that it's not that when I've tried this genre previously has sucked, it's that it's just not for me.

Highly recommended for people who like historic English settings.
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Comments (showing 1-17 of 17) (17 new)

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

I keep forgetting that you don't like historical novels! I really need to remember that for future recommendations. Sorry it wasn't your cup of tea!


message 2: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah Rebeca wrote: "I keep forgetting that you don't like historical novels! I really need to remember that for future recommendations. Sorry it wasn't your cup of tea!"

I wanted to like it--and I liked the essence of the story and Milan's writing is great and the characters (especially Evan) were well-drawn. I think I would prefer a historical if it took place in a country other than England, I just can't get beyond my aversion to the social structures. I hope that doesn't make me sound ignorant.


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Nope. We all have our reading preferences, doesn't make us ignorant. I have a hard time with dystopians myself. Will keep this in mind for the future!


Ticktock I wonder if I can come up with some good historicals in other countries. I do go through phases where I'm bored of lords and England and whatnot, but then I just go read SF or contemporary or dystopia and then come back later. (Unlocked is one of my fave novellas ever.)


message 5: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah Sarah T wrote: "(Unlocked is one of my fave novellas ever.)"

I'd love to try a non-English historical!

Seriously, in terms of the structure of this novella, it is amazing--she packed a fully developed story into so few pages, it's very impressive.


Ticktock I thought that was the craziest thing. Most novellas (even the one I wrote) feel more like short stories than books to me. But that one was a full-on story. And I have a soft spot for the girl everyone picked on because I had a bad high school experience...


message 7: by Ticktock (last edited Jul 24, 2012 04:41PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ticktock I will have to consult my extensive list... go figure, both of my fave non-England historical romances are, I strongly suspect, because they're in Egypt. Egypt is one of my Irresistible Things. My Sucker List. But a bunch of people still have titles. Darn it. LOL

I will read anything in Egypt or India. But then you have the whole Imperialism problem, which is icky.


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

How do you feel about the old west? Harper's Bride by Alexis Harrington might be a good fit if you're okay with westerns. It's historical, doesn't feature an super-controlling jerk as a hero, and doesn't feature English social structures.


message 9: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah Rebeca wrote: "How do you feel about the old west? Harper's Bride by Alexis Harrington might be a good fit if you're okay with westerns. It's historical, doesn't feature an super-controlling jerk as a hero, and d..."

Does the hero wear a cowboy hat? Because if I can visualize him looking like Raylan Givens/Timothy Olyphant, that may work for me. ;)


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

I believe he does. And I believe in the power of visualization.


message 11: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah Rebeca wrote: "I believe he does. And I believe in the power of visualization."
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message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

Rebeca wrote: "I believe he does. And I believe in the power of visualization."

YAAAY! I love how you use your computer skills Sarah!


message 13: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah Rebeca wrote: "Rebeca wrote: "I believe he does. And I believe in the power of visualization."

YAAAY! I love how you use your computer skills Sarah!"


I know, my mad computer skillz are very handy. (Also, have you noticed that my celebrity crushes are totally a type yet?)


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

Who else can I add to the list? I thought Taylor Kitsch was more Laura's oeuvre.


message 15: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah Rebeca wrote: "Who else can I add to the list? I thought Taylor Kitsch was more Laura's oeuvre."



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message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

Have mentioned your fabulous taste recently?


message 17: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah Rebeca wrote: "Have mentioned your fabulous taste recently?"

My taste really is fabulous.


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