Top positive review
Surprisingly fun book in a genre I rarely read.
Reviewed in the United States on September 1, 2020
None of the First Reads choices interested me this month. Normally I would go with the thriller but... Somehow I was not really in the mood for it at the moment. Most of the time I like books that reflect reality, but I think most of us want to escape reality right now. The only two that sounded interesting were the one about the 91-year old and the romance.
Now I don't read (contemporary) romance novels. I don't mind a love story in books I read, but it's not a genre in itself I generally choose.
But it seemed to be the book the first few readers were enjoying the most and I DO like comedy... So i chose a genre I normally would never pick first...
I was rewarded with a surprisingly fun read.
The book starts with dialogue. I love when books jump right into the action with a good conversation that introduces the reader immediately to the characters. Happily, the book alternates between lively conversation and fun 1st person narrative. I very rarely like when an author chooses to tell a story in 1st person. However it works in this case because the main character, Madison, is such a fun character and it reads almost like a very natural diary entry hashing out the day's events and emotions.
Madison's instant and repeatedly mentioned attraction for the hero has the potential to be annoying but the book is redeemed by the her self-deprecating humor and the fact that the characters are so likable. A little less talk of her attraction would have been nice, but then again, it very naturally follows the back and forth thought-process and self-doubt and electrical frissons when we fall in love with someone. The snappy dialogue and occasional fun situations save the book and make for a good escapism read. Despite being raised by a selfish, narcissistic family, somehow Madison is human in all the good ways.
I liked some of the (very small) side stories, like how she helps one of her students. That could have been developed a little more.
It follows a very predictable rom-com pattern of attraction, a few bumps in the road, things heading right way, a near mutual declaration, misunderstanding that threatens to separate the couple forever, and final happy ending.
What this is: Unapologetic, over-the-top, attraction-at-first-sight, feel-good romance.
What this is not: "Trashy" romance. I really dislike when main characters jump into bed with each other a few chapters in. This is contemporary, but a relatively clean, romance. That was refreshing. And much more romantic in my opinion.
Who this is not for: if you are in the mood for deeper, more meaningful reading material, or prefer action over dialogue this won't be your cup of tea.
Who may enjoy it: if you are looking for a quick, fun, feel-good read, and are willing to overlook how light and unabashedly, well, a romance, it is.