Friday, February 7, 2020

Backlist Mini-Reviews

We Met in December by Rosie Curtis (2019)

I really wanted to love this book - the concept appealed to me (two housemates feel a connection but spend the next year dancing around each other), but unfortunately, this turned out to be just an average read for me.

The story is told from two POVs - Jess, who recently moved to London to start a new job at a publishing house, and Alex, a former lawyer who is now going to nursing school.  I liked that we got to see the story from both of their points of view, because the reader could clearly see all the near-misses and misunderstandings.  It made me want to root for Jess and Alex to finally get together, yet at the same time that was hard because I felt so little chemistry between them.  I could understand Jess' crush on Alex, but I never got the same feelings from him, especially since he's carrying on a months-long friends with benefits situation with another of their roommates (it also didn't sit well with me that he kept proclaiming he wasn't the FWB type - if you're doing this for months, you're that type of person).  Jess was such a bland character, as well - I feel like the only thing I know about her is that she loves her grandmother and Instagram.  The secondary characters weren't much better - all everyone did was eat, drink, and complain how tired they were all the time (ok, maybe I identified with this a little bit!).   However, it's a quick read and if you enjoy slow-burn romances, you may enjoy this one.  3 stars

 The Peacock Summer by Hannah Richell (2018)

This book wasn't even on my radar, but I came across it while browsing the shelves at my library.  A dual timeline, a crumbling English estate - I couldn't resist!

In the summer of 1955, Lillian is rather unhappily married to Charles Oberon, the wealthy owner of the Cloudesley estate, when the arrival of artist Jack Fincher changes everything.  In the present, Lillian's granddaughter Maggie returns home to take care of her ailing grandmother and figure out how she can save the family home.

A bit Gothic and very atmospheric, I enjoyed reading this novel.  Richell's writing is smooth and elegant without being stuffy.  Lillian's storyline appealed to me more - her life isn't what she imagined it would be, and her sense of honor and duty is simultaneously respectable and heartbreaking.  I couldn't help but feel for her as she experienced true love for the first time while knowing it might not last.  Although not necessarily ground-breaking for the genre, there were a couple of surprises contained within the pages that helped elevate the story.  If you enjoy books with dual timelines, family secrets, and forbidden love, try this one.  4 stars

22 comments:

  1. Okay Alex seems shady if he kept proclaiming he isn't the FWB type when he clearly is.
    The Peacock Summer does sound a whole lot better. LOVE dual timelines!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I liked We Met in December a bit more than you. I had a love/hate relationship with how many missed opportunities these two had. I was frustrated with Alex and his FWB situation, but part of me understood why he did it, and why it took him so long to end it, so, it didn't bother me that much. I just hated that he did it in general.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't really like his reasons, and thought it was kind of an odd plot device.

      Delete
  3. I love finding a fantastic library read! We Met in December is one that I have my eye on for a holiday read next year, but maybe I will skip it. The lack of chemistry would bug me, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought it was going to be more of a holiday read than it actually was!

      Delete
  4. We Met In December really caught my attention when I first saw it. And the synopsis seemed right up my alley. But then I started seeing reviews that overall seemed pretty... meh. Based on your review I think I’ll just give it a pass.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had seen a lot of good reviews for it, and then I checked Goodreads and I was really surprised at the overall rating.. but when I finished it made more sense.

      Delete
  5. Oh no, We Met In December looked cute, I am sorry it was such a miss. I will skip it. I am glad though that your library find was a win!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Well Met in December looks fun, sorry to hear it wasn't better than average. Love the cover of The Peacock Summer- definitely gives off that English estate vibe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly! As soon as I saw that cover, I wanted to read it!

      Delete
  7. Aw, that cover for We met in December looks utterly aforable, I’m sorry it didn’t work out! But isn’t it the best when you find something unexpected and it is so much bette than you thought?!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sorry We Met in December didn't turn out well for you. I'm still kind of interested to read it since I saw others comparing it to One Day in December which I absolutely loved.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I loved One Day in December, too - I don't think they were that similar!

      Delete
  9. That's a shame the characters in We Met in December weren't very well developed. I had been on the fence about that book so I'll probably skip it after hearing that. The second book sounds great though. I'm all about dual timelines and family secrets!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I like dual timelines, so might ant to take a closer look at The Peacock Summer. Maybe in the summer when things slow down for me!

    ReplyDelete
  11. YES! That whole mindset of Alex's in "We Met in December" is just too contradictory for this character. *sigh* Not sure why authors create characters like this. As a reader, this does nothing to endear the character. I enjoyed reading your review, thanks, Angela. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Rissi! Yes, I totally agree - I'm not sure why that had to be part of Alex's character arc.

      Delete

I'm so glad you stopped by, and I would love to hear your thoughts! Comments are always greatly appreciated!