ARC REVIEW: HOUSE RULES

Author: Ruby Lang
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository .
Publisher: Carina Press
Genre: Romance; Contemporary; Contemporary Romance.
Release Date: February 10th 2020.


synopsis

Seventeen years ago, different dreams pulled Simon Mizrahi and Lana Kuo apart. But when Lana takes a position as a chef back in Manhattan, her apartment search puts her right in her ex-husband’s path. Music teacher Simon is also hunting for a new place to live, and when Lana proposes they be platonic roomies, well…it’s not the worst idea he’s ever heard.

A sunny uptown two-bedroom sounds far more appealing than the cramped, noisy space where he’s currently struggling to work. Still, Simon has seen firsthand that Lana’s a flight risk, so he agrees on a trial basis.

Three months. With strict boundaries.

Living together again feels wonderfully nostalgic, but when the ex-couple’s lingering feelings rise to the surface, the rules go out the window.

Of course, chemistry was never their problem. But while Simon’s career feels back on solid footing, Lana is still sorting out what she wants. With their trial period soon coming to an end, they’ll have to decide if their living arrangement was merely a sexy trip down memory lane or a reunion meant to last.


review

House Rules caught me by surprise. It was a pleasant read, which I honestly had not expected it to be.

I had definitely not expected to like the set-up of how the exes would come to live together. Because, a premise like that is hard to sell. But the author does a stellar job of making the set-up convincing. And she does that in a very effective way of the characters voicing the doubts that the readers might have with the whole arrangement. Of course, the state of the New York real estate helped make it more convincing too.

I had not expected the story to play out the way it did. There were no awkward encounters. That is to say, there was plenty of awkwardness in their interactions, but no silly or used tropes that we usually find in cohabiting romances. I also enjoyed the refreshing absence of any plot-device like jealousy or a third person’s involvement.

The lack of denial was also unexpected. Both Lana and Simon are very conscious of their lingering feelings and attraction towards each other. Simon more than Lana. Both in their forties, they are mature enough to make conscious efforts to not make the arrangement uncomfortable. There is no bitterness or efforts to one-up each other.

I could relate to Lana very much. She quit a career mid-way because she realized her happiness lied elsewhere. She is pragmatic and grounded. Simon, on the other hand, is more ambitious and stubborn. The author does a good job showing us their contrasting personalities through their actions, rather than just telling it to us.

There was no drawn-out angst. The main conflict was also resolved very quickly. A little too quickly if you ask me. It only takes a conversation with an elderly for Simon to realize his mistakes. It felt almost like a cop-out. And while I like that there was not too much focus on their past, I still would have liked a more layered look into their relationship and what led to its derailment in the first place.

Overall, it’s a short and sweet read. The writing is engaging, and the story is believable, aside from the want of a little more depth. I think I’ll definitely read more of this author in the future.


ratings

★★★☆

ARC REVIEW : THIS TERRIBLE BEAUTY

Author: Katrin Schumann
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository .
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Genre: Historical Fiction; World War II; Romance.
Release Date: March 1st 2020.


synopsis

On the windswept shores of an East German island, Bettina Heilstrom struggles to build a life from the ashes. World War II has ended, and her country is torn apart. Longing for a family, she marries Werner, an older bureaucrat who adores her. But after joining the fledgling secret police, he is drawn deep into its dark mission and becomes a dangerous man.

When Bettina falls in love with an idealistic young renegade, Werner discovers her infidelity and forces her to make a terrible choice: spend her life in prison or leave her home forever. Either way she loses both her lover and child.

Ten years later, Bettina has reinvented herself as a celebrated photographer in Chicago, but she’s never stopped yearning for the baby she left behind. Surprised by an unexpected visitor from her past, she resolves to return to her ravaged homeland to reclaim her daughter and uncover her beloved’s fate, whatever the cost.

 


review

Reading historical fiction is always enlightening, because even through fiction I get to learn some part of history that I was previously unaware or uninformed about. But sometimes they make me feel aware of my ignorance. Throughout my reading of This Terrible Beauty, my own ignorance nagged at me.

Majority of this novel is set in the post-world war II Germany, a part of history I had no idea about. The story is told on alternate timelines. In 1960s, Bettina has become a distinguished photo journalist in Chicago. When her sister’s ex-husband visits her, she is forced to revisit memories of her time in East Germany, which was still under the control of the German Democratic Republic.

We see through her eyes the harrowing experience of war, and being left to fend for herself in her father’s fisherman’s cottage after he dies. It is loneliness that compels her to marry a man she does not love, and also later cheat on him.

I could connect to Bettina, even in her mistakes and wrong decisions. Her helplessness and fears are portrayed with a depth that can’t be ignored. She married a man believing he was kind, and wanting to be a mother. But when after years of marriage, she cannot conceive and Werner starts to get deeply involved with the secret police and their misdeeds, life becomes even more suffocating for her.

Affairs are not my cup of tea. But the author sets a compelling stage for Betting to fall for Peter, the pastor’s son, an idealistic man who has had to fight his own demons. Her escalating fear of leaving Werner, who had started to grow more dominant over her while amassing power through his position .

The author does a commendable job in portraying the dangerous ambience of East Germany, with the government’s frightening grip on every facet of living. The characters are also very real. Even Werner, maybe a villain at first impression, forces you to sympathize with him more than once.

Bettina’s journey was believable and compelling. We see her grow from a lonely girl to a helpless wife and mother to an independent woman.

One thing I did not like about the story was how it ended. Not the ending, mind you. But the manner of the ending. The epilogue left the possibility of a sequel, something I wouldn’t mind.


ratings

★★★★☆

 

 

 

ARC REVIEW : CHASING LUCKY

Author: Jean Bennett
Links
: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository .
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: Young Adult; Contemporary; Romance.
Release Date: May 5th 2020.


synopsis

In this coming-of-age romance perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Sarah Dessen, scandal and romance collide when an ambitious teen returns to her hometown only to have her plans interrupted after falling for the town’s “bad boy”—a.k.a. her childhood best friend.

Sometimes to find the good, you have to embrace the bad.

Budding photographer Josie Saint-Martin has spent half her life with her single mother, moving from city to city. When they return to her historical New England hometown years later to run the family bookstore, Josie knows it’s not forever. Her dreams are on the opposite coast, and she has a plan to get there.

What she doesn’t plan for is a run-in with the town bad boy, Lucky Karras. Outsider, rebel…and her former childhood best friend. Lucky makes it clear he wants nothing to do with the newly returned Josie. But everything changes after a disastrous pool party, and a poorly executed act of revenge lands Josie in some big-time trouble—with Lucky unexpectedly taking the blame.

Determined to understand why Lucky was so quick to cover for her, Josie discovers that both of them have changed, and that the good boy she once knew now has a dark sense of humor and a smile that makes her heart race. And maybe, just maybe, he’s not quite the brooding bad boy everyone thinks he is…


review

This is the second Jean Bennett book I read. It’s also the second book with ‘Lucky’ on its title (the other being Lucky Caller). Incidentally both made it to the list of my favorite YAs of the year so far.

There is so much to love about this book! Josie is moving back to her hometown with her flighty single mother. It’s supposed to be only for a year, as she keeps reminding her mother, before her grandmother returns from a trip to Nepal. But Josie has plans of her own that her mother doesn’t know her. She wants to graduate her high school and move to LA to be apprentice to her famous photographer father. Her life has been a blur of one city after another, when at 12 years of age, her mother took her and left town after a fight with her grandmother. So she wants stability for once, even if it means breaking her mother’s heart. But she didn’t foresee Lucky.

Lucky was Josie’s best friend until she suddenly left town. Now he’s a mystery with danger written all over him. Josie goes through wariness, annoyance, guilt, and fascination towards him. I, however, was fascinated from the start, and became more and more besotted with each page. Much of the book is spent on Josie and us getting to see the layers of his character get peeled slowly. And that kept me glued to the pages all along. Josie can be a little impulsive and selfish, but her heart is in the right place. And I adored her. But Lucky is the real scene stealer for me. He has my heart, okay?

Now, what else did I love about the book? Josie’s relationships with her mother and cousin Evie, for starters. Lack of communication runs in the family. There is love between Josie and her mother, but the latter’s unwillingness to communicate has turned Josie bitter. Evie has her own problems – a toxic relationship with the town’s golden boy. But this is a family that simply doesn’t talk with each other. I also loved Lucky’s family, who are polar opposite to Josie’s, but just as lovely. Most of all, though, I loved Josie and Lucky, and their relationship.

If I have a complaint about this book, it’s that it could be longer. I wanted to see certain characters like Josie’s mom and Evie being explored. Their arcs felt unfinished. Also, there is this whole thing about their family being cursed in love, which is mentioned a lot, but not explained enough in my opinion.

Despite these flaws, I loved the writing, the characters and this universe. It’s only a good thing when you don’t want a book to end. But it’s a bad thing when you can’t have a Lucky of your own! Be back bawling.


ratings

★★★★★

 

ARC REVIEW: WHERE THE LOST WANDER

Author: Amy Harmon
Links
: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository .
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Genre: Historical; Romance.
Release Date: April 28th 2020.

synopsis

ARC REVIEW : HEADLINERS (LONDON CELEBRITIES #5)

Author: Lucy Parker
Links
: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository .
Publisher: Carina Press
Genre: Contemporary; Romance.
Release Date: January 20th 2020.

synopsis

Sparks fly when two feuding TV presenters are thrown together to host a live morning show in Lucy Parker’s latest enemies-to-lovers contemporary romance.

He might be the sexiest man in London, according to his fan site (which he definitely writes himself), but he’s also the most arrogant man she’s ever met.

She might have the longest legs he’s ever seen, but she also has the sharpest tongue.

For years, rival TV presenters Sabrina Carlton and Nick Davenport have traded barbs on their respective shows. The public can’t get enough of their feud, but after Nick airs Sabrina’s family scandals to all of Britain, the gloves are off. They can barely be in the same room together—but these longtime enemies are about to become the unlikeliest of cohosts.

With their reputations on the rocks, Sabrina and Nick have one last chance to save their careers. If they can resurrect a sinking morning show, they’ll still have a future in television. But with ratings at an all-time low and a Christmas Eve deadline to win back the nation’s favor, the clock is ticking—and someone on their staff doesn’t want them to succeed.

Small mishaps on set start adding up, and Sabrina and Nick find themselves—quelle horreur—working together to hunt down the saboteur…and discovering they might have more in common than they thought. When a fiery encounter is caught on camera, the public is convinced that the reluctant cohosts are secretly lusting after one another.

The public might not be wrong.

Their chemistry has always been explosive, but with hate turning to love, the stakes are rising and everything is on the line. Neither is sure if they can trust these new feelings…or if they’ll still have a job in the New Year.


review

Lucy Parker yet again delivers a winsome addition in what has become one of my favorite contemporary romance series.

It’s  always a delight revisiting the world of London Celebrities that I’ve come to adore. This time we move to the world of television. And although this book can be read as a standalone, the protagonists are still suffering the aftermath from the incidents from the previous book The Austen Playbook.

Rival presenters Nick and Sabrina are forced to work on a morning show. This is a last resort for both of them to bring their careers back into track, after a scandalous year for each of them. Nick was caught saying some very harsh things about a media mogul on video, and Sabrina punched her cheating ex and an actor by profession on live TV. Suffice it to say, they have to make this morning show work. But the problem is – they can’t stand each other. It became worse when in the previous Nick broke the news about a big family secret of Sabrina to the world that affected not only Sabrina but her sister Freddie too. Nick has since felt remorseful but Sabrina will have none of that.

No trope gets me as excited as enemies-to-lovers. And adding workplace romance to that works like cherry on the top! But none of that matters if it’s not executed well. And how well does Lucy Parker execute it? Sabrina and Nick had sparks even in the previous book. And I’d been excited about their book ever since. Also, I loved Sabrina. She’s a hot headed mess but also fiercely protective over those who she cares about. Nick is my favorite kind of hero. He’s charming and handsome. And he is aware of it too.. That gives him a self-confidence that is adorable and annoying at the same time.

The thing that always that end up disappointing me about enemies-to-lovers is how often the characters act immaturely and go way of out line in their self righteousness. But here there’s no such thing. Both Sabrina and Nick are mature and professional. They also respect each other. And while the previous books in the serious have had sub-plots of some mystery or intrigue that I felt unnecessarily got out of hand, that wasn’t the case here.

This book also had a suspense element to it about an mysterious crew member sabotaging things for the show. And although it created for some hilarious mix-ups, nothing was outlandish or over-the-top about it. The pace and the sub-plot did not drag down the story, which was one of my issues with the last book.

The focus throughout the book is very much on the two characters. I loved the progression of the relationship between the two from unresolved sexual tension to a conscious acknowledgement of their attraction that evolves into mature relationship. I particularly loved how these two always communicated with each other and respected each other’s individuality. A healthy relationship and oodles of chemistry made this my favorite book of the series!


review★★★★★

ARC REVIEW : A JEWEL BRIGHT SEA

A whirlwind of intrigue, lies, politics, and adventure swirls around one woman—and the prize she’s been sent to reclaim …
 
It was her talent for tracking magic that got Anna Zhdanov sent to catch a thief. A scholar’s daughter sold as a bond servant, she has no desire to recover the Emperor’s jewel for herself. But a chance to earn her freedom has driven her to the untamed Eddalyon province, awash with warm breezes, lapping waves, and more danger than she could possibly guess.

Within days her cover as an indolent noblewoman is in question, and it’s clear there’s more to Anna’s task than she knows. Soon she’s the captive of the unpredictable pirate captain Andreas Koszenmarc, hunted by the Emperor’s guard, besieged by a brigand queen, and at odds with her only friend. She must trust someone if she is to survive. But when all that’s certain is that everyone is hiding something, it’s no simple thing to choose 


review

This book has two of my favorite things combined together – magic and pirates! Who doesn’t like that?

Anna is on her way to find an important gem that was stolen from the emperor, before falling into the clutches of pirates, who also happen to be looking for the gem. She is forced to join hands with the pirate captain Andreas. She doesn’t trust him but she has no other option. What follows is a journey filled with magic and mayhem.

It took me some time to get into the story. Because we’re dropped into this strange world without any warning. The world building throughout the book left me wanting for more. I wanted to know more about the world, its history, the system, culture, everything. But the author doesn’t really go into the details.

We get introduced to a lot of characters at first and so much is happening right off the bat that I felt like a fish out of the water for the first quarter of the story. I wish the author took some time to absorb us into the world. I had to take a break from the reading because I found it all too much. But thankfully, after a point, I could find myself getting into engrossed.

I love Anna. She’s a fierce and brave protagonist. She knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go after it. I also liked the secondary characters. Andreas is another interesting character. He’s got this quiet, unpredictable vibe that I enjoyed. But he remains a mysterious character even in the end. Having said that, I’d have liked a little more backstory to more of the characters.

Another qualm I have with this story is the romance. It had this almost slow-burn quality, but didn’t get enough breathing space amidst all the action and adventure, to build upon. And that’s just such a waste.

This was the first book in a series. So we can’t be too disappointed with all our unanswered questions. But at the moment, I’m feeling slightly indifferent about the next book.


ratings

★★★☆☆

Publication Date: 3rd September, 2019.
Source: ARC from Publisher -Kensington Books (via Netgalley)

Links –  AmazonGoodreads Book Depository

ARC REVIEW : WE MET IN DECEMBER

Following a year in the life of a twenty-something British woman who falls hard for her London flat mate, this clever, fun, and unforgettable romantic comedy is the perfect feel-good holiday read.

Two people. One house. A year that changes everything. 

Twenty-nine-year-old Jess is following her dream and moving to London. It’s December, and she’s taking a room in a crumbling, but grand, Notting Hill house-share with four virtual strangers. On her first night, Jess meets Alex, the guy sharing her floor, at a Christmas dinner hosted by her landlord. They don’t kiss, but as far as Jess is concerned the connection is clear. She starts planning how they will knock down the wall between them to spend more time together.

But when Jess returns from a two-week Christmas holiday, she finds Alex has started dating someone else—beautiful Emma, who lives on the floor above them. Now Jess faces a year of bumping into (hell, sharing a bathroom with) the man of her dreams…and the woman of his.


review

Okay. Look at that title and the synopsis. Can you blame me for having subconsciously compared it with my absolute favorite “One Day in December“? I’m unreasonably angry with this book as if it’s intentionally mislead me to compare the two.

Not that there are no similarities between the books. Both take place over a period of time. The characters are forced not to act on their feelings. There’s an involvement with a mutual friend. But that’s where the similarities end.

There’s no angst. No unresolved tension. No heartache. No sparks. No chemistry. Whatsoever.

Jess falls for Alex right off the bat. She can’t stop self-gushing over his handsome looks. And before we know it, she’s telling us about how she can’t stop herself from falling in love with him the more time they spend together. But that’s the thing. She’s telling us this. We don’t see these things happening. And there was nothing remotely convincing about her words.

On the other hand, the first time we get into Alex’s head, which is quite far in the book, he can only talk about his ‘friends with benefit’ thing with another housemate Emma, and his worry over how to navigate it, as he has no interest in starting a relationship  after a disastrous break-up with his ex Alice. His feelings for Jess simply don’t get enough breathing space to convincingly develop.

This book is supposed to be a romance, but we get more time spent on secondary characters and their stories than the central romance. Nothing interesting happens. We get excruciatingly minute details on Jess’s new life in Notting Hill, but not on her feelings for Jess, except for one line here and there. There’s no proper buildup of the romance. Even the character development is lacking. The author barely scratches the surface when it comes to developing the romance.

I simply wanted more from the book that has been compared to Richard Curtis romances. Are you freaking serious? If you want me to go into this book thinking it will be similar to Love Actually, Notting Hill and Bridget Jones, you better deliver on the awkward heroes, the amazing chemistry, great one-liners. At least give me some semblance of a romance!

The only good thing about the book was that it’s a fast read.


ratings

★★☆☆☆

Publication Date: 5th September, 2019.
Source: ARC from Publisher (via Netgalley)

Links –  AmazonGoodreads Book Depository

ARC REVIEW : THE LOVE SOLUTION

It’s all in the chemistry…

Sisters Sarah and Molly are close, but they couldn’t be more different. Sarah runs a craft business and is obsessed with all things shiny and glam, whilst Molly is much more at home in her white coat and goggles, working in a science lab.

When Molly is put onto a new assignment, she’s over the moon. It’s a high-profile, top secret project – and she has a handsome new boss to ogle at when she’s not bending over a petri dish…

But when Sarah finds herself on the painful end of a disastrous break-up, no amount of Ben & Jerry’s or trashy rom-coms can cheer her up. She wants to take a more drastic approach to dealing with her heartbreak, and one that only her sister – and perhaps a sprinkle of science – can help with . . .

Will Sarah find love where she least expects it, or is it really all in the chemistry?


reviewI never rule out a book just because of the morality of the characters. Even if I don’t agree with their decisions, as long as I can understand where they’re coming from, I can bear with the questionable morality. But that never happened in this book. Not only the way the author plays with morality and ethics in this story is hugely problematic; But I also could not make sense of any of their actions.

Take Molly for example. She’s a scientist working on an important project which has to stay confidential. It’s top-secret. And she discloses it to her sister Sarah without any qualms. That was the first strike for me.

The second strike was Sarah using the secret project to get back her ex. Here’s where the morality of the characters come into question. I was confounded by the utter disregard of the characters for all the ethical aspects of this action and ignorance of a concept as important as consent.

Look, if you want to sell a story about characters doing questionable things, at least take some time to justify their actions. But no, for the life of me, I couldn’t understand what was so special about Sarah’s ex that drove her so crazy in love. All the love interests were unimpressive. And where was the hell was the romance that the synopsis promises? The focus was on all the wrong things. I would’ve at least liked the bonding between the sisters, if not for my irritation at the two of them and their absurd stupidity.

This was just a very problematic story with little to offer.


ratings

★☆☆☆☆

Publication Date: 15th August, 2019.
Source: ARC from Publisher (via Netgalley)

Links –  AmazonGoodreads | Kobo

 

ARC REVIEW : CARNEGIE HILL

Deception is just another day in the lives of the elite.

At age thirty-three, Penelope “Pepper” Bradford has no career, no passion and no children. Her intrusive parents still treat her like a child. Moving into the Chelmsford Arms with her fiancé Rick, an up-and-coming financier, and joining the co-op board give her some control over her life—until her parents take a gut dislike to Rick and urge Pepper to call off the wedding. When, the week before the wedding, she glimpses a trail of desperate text messages from Rick’s obsessed female client, Pepper realizes that her parents might be right.

She looks to her older neighbors in the building to help decide whether to stay with Rick, not realizing that their marriages are in crisis, too. Birdie and George’s bond frays after George is forced into retirement at sixty-two. And Francis alienates Carol, his wife of fifty years, and everyone else he knows, after being diagnosed with an inoperable heart condition. To her surprise, Pepper’s best model for love may be a clandestine romance between Caleb and Sergei, a porter and a doorman.

Jonathan Vatner’s Carnegie Hill is a belated-coming-of-age novel about sustaining a marriage—and knowing when to walk away. It chronicles the lives of wealthy New Yorkers and the staff who serve them, as they suffer together and rebound, struggle to free themselves from family entanglements, deceive each other out of love and weakness, and fumble their way to honesty.


review

It took me a long time to review this ARC even though I read it some time ago. The words just did not come effortlessly for this one. That happens when I’m really underwhelmed by a book.

Carnegie Hill follows Pepper as she tries to find meaning in her life. She joins a co-op board. But even if she’s the central character, the story is as much as about her neighbors as it is about her. And unfortunately for me, I didn’t find a single character worth rooting for.

Let’s start with Pepper. She’s a heiress, and her problems echo that of someone just out of college, not in their thirties. The only difference is that she has a fiance she’s very serious about. Not that I have any problem with the idea of what the synopsis labels ‘belated coming-of-age’. My problem lies with all the bark and the little bite Pepper has. She spends all her time being indignant and outraged about everything, and does very little to change things. I also found her to be very intrusive, with little respect for personal boundaries. Over the course of the book, she kept growing on my nerves.

There’s a fiance who Pepper seemed to be obstinately holding on to. The little I say about him, the better. He’s even more unlikable than Pepper.

We also get POV of other residents from Pepper’s building. The three couples that Pepper looks to for answers about marriage are Georg and Birdie – who are trying to navigate their lives after a sudden retirement for George; Francis and Carol – who are suffering due to Francis’s secrets about his health; Caleb and Sergei – the everyday life couple whose lives and views are a little too simplistic. The switch from one character to another took away from the writing. The story was disjointed. And it didn’t help that I found most of the characters to be tiresome caricatures, who only tested my patience.

Books like these make me want to be more selective about requesting for ARCs.


ratings

★★☆☆☆

Publication Date: 20th August, 2019.
Source: ARC from Publisher (via Netgalley)

Links –  Amazon Goodreads Book Depository

 

 

 

 

 

 

ARC REVIEW : 100 DAYS OF SUNLIGHT

When 16-year-old poetry blogger Tessa Dickinson is involved in a car accident and loses her eyesight for 100 days, she feels like her whole world has been turned upside-down.

Terrified that her vision might never return, Tessa feels like she has nothing left to be happy about. But when her grandparents place an ad in the local newspaper looking for a typist to help Tessa continue writing and blogging, an unlikely answer knocks at their door: Weston Ludovico, a boy her age with bright eyes, an optimistic smile…and no legs.

Knowing how angry and afraid Tessa is feeling, Weston thinks he can help her. But he has one condition — no one can tell Tessa about his disability. And because she can’t see him, she treats him with contempt: screaming at him to get out of her house and never come back. But for Weston, it’s the most amazing feeling: to be treated like a normal person, not just a sob story. So he comes back. Again and again and again.

Tessa spurns Weston’s “obnoxious optimism”, convinced that he has no idea what she’s going through. But Weston knows exactly how she feels and reaches into her darkness to show her that there is more than one way to experience the world. As Tessa grows closer to Weston, she finds it harder and harder to imagine life without him — and Weston can’t imagine life without her. But he still hasn’t told her the truth, and when Tessa’s sight returns he’ll have to make the hardest decision of his life: vanish from Tessa’s world…or overcome his fear of being seen.

100 Days of Sunlight is a poignant and heartfelt novel by author Abbie Emmons. If you like sweet contemporary romance and strong family themes then you’ll love this touching story of hope, healing, and getting back up when life knocks you down.


review

I really tried to like this book. And I failed.

I could compare my feelings towards this book to that of what I felt after The Fault in Our Stars. Two young teens, both with their own diseases (disabilities in this case), finding solace in each other. And here also, I struggled to connect or relate to either of the two.

Okay. Here’s the first thing that I was not impressed by – Weston suddenly out of nowhere deciding that he would be a friend to Tessa. We see him right off the bat decide to make Tessa see the beautiful things in life, even in her temporary blindness. Okay. But why? They didn’t know each other beforehand, and Tessa was horrible to him from the start. I get the idea that it’s supposed to be because Tessa is the first person who can’t look at him pity for his condition, because she’s blind, and he likes that. But the writer does not expand on these feelings, except maybe a line or two.

Second thing that I didn’t like was how quickly Tessa and Weston grew an attachment. I get that they’re forced by their proximity and in Tessa’s case, isolation from the rest of the world. But I still would’ve liked them to take some more time to build their connection towards each other. But this is not any major issue.

My major issue was not being able to connect Weston and Tessa. Weston came off as a little too self-righteous and self-assured on his decisions when it came to Tessa. That was a turn-off. Tessa, on the other hand, was just unlikable. I get that she has a lot of problems but her character development felt lacking to me. I just couldn’t bring myself to sympathize with her.

I commend the author for touching upon many difficult and serious themes in this book, particularly that of mental health, family, etc. but I think that the quality of the writing needed to be better for these themes to have more of an impact on me. There were some genuinely cute and funny moments. It brings me back to my first point. I wanted to like the book, because it had an important message. But the writing made that difficult.

definitely think that this book would appeal more to younger newer readers. But I’ve read too many YAs in my days to have found anything novel or unpredictable about this book.


ratings

★★★☆☆

Publication Date: 7th August, 2019.
Source: ARC from Publisher (via Netgalley)

Links –  Amazon Goodreads Book Depository