Karen's Reviews > The Secret of Everything

The Secret of Everything by Barbara O'Neal
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's review
Oct 31, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: first-reads

This is probably closer to 2.5 stars. If I hadn't won this one through GoodReads, I doubt I would bother to write a review. It's a completely inoffensive read but certainly not a terribly thought-provoking or deep one. It's a typical romance novel -love (and lust, of course) at first sight which neither of our protagonists are prepared for. Issues, issues, issues... then the inevitable happy ending that can be spotted from, oh, page 2 maybe. The author does do a good job of creating plot tension because it was hard to put down. I enjoyed reading it but probably won't remember it next week.

My main critism of the book is that I learned nothing. NOTHING. In even the most contrived Harlequin romance plots, I can usually find one tiny tidbit of new information. For example, that fluffy dogwalker book I read a few months ago explained how the dogwalkers in NYC pick up the dogs and walk with them. Hmmmm... interesting. But this book had nothing. I think the author was trying to address this by (rather randomly) throwing recipes into the book at the end of chapters. The problem with this is it's been done too much and came across as contrived. The main character is a self-confessed non-foodie who doesn't like to cook, so adding recipes just didn't flow with the book. Finally, none of the recipes were terribly original or interesting -- oatmeal, cinnamon rolls... who cares.

There were a couple of ludicrous plot twists and some of the characters didn't ring true -- the children in the book acted more 13 and 10 than 8 and 5.

So, if someone happens to give you the book, it's an easy little read that is rather compelling... at least until you put it down. If you are contemplating investing some money to get this book, don't bother.


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Michelle I'm glad I'm not the only who thinks the recipes are random. The only one that fit the plot was oatmeal. A recipe for oatmeal is a bit insulting.

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