Book Review: A Couple of Almosts

This post isn’t focusing on one specific book. It is devoted to a few of the books I’ve read this year that were…okay. They were readable and I enjoyed them but overall they left me saying “it could have been better.”

1) When the World was Flat (And We Were in Love) by Ingrid Johach

This book’s title hooked me in. The plot interested me enough to buy the book. It’s a short read, which is part of the problem. The plot includes almost sci-fi elements, though it comes off contemporary, possibly paranormal, romance. There’s some scientific gargin involved that I usually revel in, but in this case it was just…confusing. The plot moved too quickly. There wasn’t enough explanation. The author could have used a few more words to make sure her reader understood what was going on, but Johach didn’t. It left me dissatisfied, feeling like it would have been a great book if I had known what was going on.

2) First Comes Love by Katie Kacvinsky

The first pages of this book were addicting. I was laughing out loud, so ready for the entire book to be as good. But as the plot progressed, everything fell apart. The characters, which I had fallen in love with from the first pages, became unreal as their backstories were revealed. They got annoying. Certain parts of the boy’s character bugged me personally, though all I will say is it has something to do with a death in the family (PLOT POINTS) that didn’t strike me as real. By the halfway mark I was thanking the author that the book was short and promising myself that I would finish it on principle alone (I hate not finishing books). And though the plot began interesting and new, by the end it was following every ChickLit’s go-to plot. I was frustrated when I finished it because I could still remember how great I thought it would be.

3) Burn for Burnby Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

This book was actually pretty good. The plot was interesting and the characters were well done. But as a story told from three points of view in alternating chapters, with each character interacting with the same cast of characters as the others but in slightly different ways, it just got hard to keep track of. And near the end, the book swayed from straight-up contemporary romance into paranormal, something I didn’t expect. This threw me off and left me wondering what type of book I was reading. Some authors can to this and I follow blindly, because the plot makes sense. But this one didn’t. I still want to read the second book in the series (Fire with Fire), but I probably won’t get around to it for a while, especially because I will have to reread book one to remember all the subtle character interactions. If that sort of plot is your thing, go for it. But it just didn’t work for me.

It might seem like from this post that I just don’t like ChickLit (AKA contemporary romances) in general. But I really to. They are one of my guilty pleasures. But once you’ve read as many as I have, you get tired of the same old plot, wishing authors would break out of it and do something to surprise you. A few that did this were: The Trouble with Flirting by Claire LaZebnik, Peace, Love, and Baby Ducks by Lauren Myracle, and The Distance Between Us by Kasie West. Check them out.

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