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Hello Love Paperback – September 16, 2014
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“Karen McQuestion just keeps getting better! Hello Love is an enchanting, impossible-to-put-down novel about big hearts and second chances.” —Claire Cook, USA Today bestselling author of Must Love Dogs
From the Author
"Karen McQuestion just keeps getting better! Hello Love is an enchanting, impossible-to-put-down novel about big hearts and second chances." --Claire Cook, USA Today bestselling author of Must Love Dogs
"The plot is fast paced and easy to dive into, making this a quick and exciting read." --School Library Journal on From a Distant Star
"I devoured it in one sitting!" --New York Times Bestselling author Lesley Kagen on Edgewood
"I feel like I've been waiting for this book. It's kind of like all my favorite comic books rolled into one awesome package... I'm eagerly awaiting the second book, I'm hooked!" --The Kindle Book Review on Edgewood
"At first glance Favorite is a story of a girl and her family learning to cope with loss. But at some point it morphs into a psychological thriller. It's an unexpected but welcome turn that will leave readers on the edge of their seats." --Jessica Harrison, Cracking the Cover
"This story featuring a strong protagonist who has mastered the art of being the new girl will appeal to girls who are fans of this genre." --School Library Journal on Life on Hold
"An emotional and engaging novel about family..." Delia Ephron on A Scattered Life
McQuestion writes with a sharp eye and a sure voice, and as a reader, I was willing to go wherever she wanted to take me. After I finished the book, I thought about how I might describe it to a friend, and I settled on...: "You should read this. It's good."--Carolyn Parkhurst on A Scattered Life
- Publisher : Lake Union Publishing (September 16, 2014)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 262 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1477824944
- ISBN-13 : 978-1477824948
- Item Weight : 10.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 1 x 8.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #57,506 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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Dogs understand our emotions, I believe, more than most every human because of their unconditional love. When you can open yourself to that level of commitment & love anything is possible - even reading the others thoughts & feelings - which is what I feel with my dogs.
Thank you, Karen, for putting yourself out here by writing this! I'll be recommending it to every dog group I belong to on Face Book, as I know they all feel the same as I do about their "Fur Kids."
Top reviews from other countries
Anni, the dog, is about the only character who didn't make me want to reach through the page to strangle her, the rest of them need a good slap.
All of this is made worse because, apparently, McQuestion is of the school of thought of why bother with plot when you can use coincidence instead? There are innumerable instances of unlikely connections - people who just happen to bridge the gap between two people - and on the other hand, the number of times our hero and heroine 'nearly' meet is absurd. Oh, and this absolutely shameless passage:
"If this were in a book or movie, people would say it was too much, that it was contrived and way too convenient..."
*headdesk* pullease. If you feel the need to write this sentence in your book to excuse your plot, then you need to rewrite it.
The characters are on the whole an unlikeable bunch. We are supposed to feel sorry for them for the bad luck they've had in life, but it would be easier if they were actually likeable. The author tells us they're good, nice people, but telling doesn't overcome the way she shows how they're quite a shallow, whiny bunch. Andrea and her horror of hat hair (excuse me while I roll my eyes), Dan droning on about his beer company's business deals (adding nothing to the plot). Andrea at one point says of Dan that she hardly knows him, so "How could I be totally in love with him?" The simple answer, of course, is that the poor character's author is way too lazy to show how she's in love with him, and instead relies on telling us.
Andrea is supposed to be sweet and loving, but she's pretty ungrateful to her new neighbours trying to be friendly, and her attitude to visiting her "Gram" in a care home doesn't exactly paint her as the character McQuestion wants her to be. Her ex husband is a piece of work, and about the only times I truly sympathised with her was when Marco was being his repellant self in her face, but the rest of the time she was just average. Which would be fine, except the author keeps trying to make her out to be a saint and then contradicting that with how she acts.
Then you have Dan, who's not quite so offputting, but does have some moments where, if we weren't being told he's supposed to be our romantic hero, we'd have to label him a creepy stalker. And honestly, IMO, at times he really is exactly that. "If it took all night, he was going to wait for Andrea to come home." "He could have looked at her all day." Dude. 8-o Given he's a man with a teenage daughter mourning his beloved dead wife, it's almost impressive McQuestion managed to make him into a creep. Way to go!
On the other hand, one thing she shows way too much is the exact details of irrelevant stuff - likewhich side of the bed/sofa/car someone is for example - extraneous, boring details that add nothing.
The book did have a cute ending, although I disliked that after the loooooong buildup, the actual denouement of the relationship was mostly summarised in a few paragraphs with a leap of some months, and we are supposed to just accept that after forty chapters, all the near misses and coincidences and transparently manipulative plotting, everything will get neatly tied up in a bow in a few pages.
It feels less like an actual decision and more like like she was scared to actually bring the characters together and show their growing relationship, so instead she relied on increasingly absurd ways to keep them apart and then failed to actually show much about them getting together, or making their eventual relationship feel real or credible.
Overall, I didn't expect masses from this book, it is just supposed to be cheesy romance after all, a pleasant way to while away a few hours, but it didn't even deliver on those meagre expectations. Too much of it just plain wasn't cute or sweet or romantic, the coincidences became a drag, and the characters weren't enjoyable people to spend time with.
I ended up listening to the audiobook, because I was finding it so tiresome to read, and even that ended up feeling like a chore. (In relation to the audiobook, also, I thought the narrator wasn't great. All his women were variations on a theme of whiny, and he just wasn't enjoyable to listen to. It did not add to the experience.)
For a book that's well under 300 pages, according to my Kindle, it seemed to go on forever, and I wish I'd read it sooner so I could have returned it for a refund.
I can't recommend it to anyone unless a pile of coincidences with added cheese is your style, and if this is representative, I won't be buying any more McQuestion.
This book was a super sweet contemporary and I throughly enjoyed it. I really liked seeing the bond between both Dan and Anni, and Andrea and Anni. Dog people are the best people, and I think I want to go to Cafe Mocha with my dogs! This was a really fast read and it could be enjoyably frustrating at times when Dan came so close to finding Anni again and again. I did like the ending overall, though I do think a lot of stuff got summed up very quickly in the last chapter, and I feel like there could have been more done. I also think there would have been room for a nice sequel to this that could have ended up with the proposal and a wedding starring Anni as ring bearer obviously