Thursday, January 31, 2013
Title: The Widow of Larkspur Inn
Author: Lawana Blackwell
While I appreciate that a truly Victorian-time novel would have quite a few links to the church, and God, I did feel that it was a little too heavily laid-on here. Maybe it's just because of my views on religion (I'm an atheist), but it just didn't sit very well with me. It felt a bit like the book itself was preaching, trying to convert me the entire time. Now, despite my religious views, I have nothing against religion, and/or religious people. I don't even mind people trying to convert me. I enjoy getting to know the dogmas of different religions - perhaps there is still a small part of me that wants to find one creed that I can believe in heart & soul, rather than agree with bits and pieces of different religions. I've been to Mormon services (quite a few, too. Long story, and I digress), Baptist services, Catholic services and even some Church of England and Spiritist ... "service" (I forget the name of what the Spiritist do, but I'm pretty sure it's not a service), and I highly enjoyed them all. I talked to priests, pastors, and all that, and am starting to build my own Bible collection, one from each different religion. So, no, it wasn't the fact that it felt like the book was trying to convert me that bothered me. It was just a little too excessive. I can see why a recent widow would turn to God for help, and like I said before, in the Victorian Era, religion was a BIG part of society, but still.
Not only that, but the ending was rushed. After all those chapters creating a rapport for the various characters (and what characters! Oh, so wonderfully three dimensional, all of them! This is character heaven), the last quarter of the book skipped various months and weeks at a time, and frankly, I felt cheated of time with my friends. I know that, for the sake of healing, more time needed to have gone by before wounds healed to the point where a happy ending was possible, but it still bugged me a bit, the jumping.
HOWEVER, as previously mentioned, the characters! Oh, they are so delicious to read! Not one person in the quite extensive cast of characters in 'The Widow of Larkspur Inn' is the dreaded one-dimensional character. They all have rich, wonderful, intriguing back stories. Even the smallest, most insignificant characters has more behind him/her than what first meets the eye, and that is what gives this book a 3.5. If religion puts you off, you HAVE to read this, even if it's just for the characters. Please do. Everyone deserves to read such wonderfully real characters.
Tuesday, January 01, 2013
Author: Colleen Hoover
I just finished it, so forgive me if this comes out more rambling and sobbing than reviewing decently.
Hopeless... wow. Colleen Hoover has once again blown me away completely. I didn't even know what my heart was doing half the time I was reading this book, it was just such a huge roller-coaster of emotions.
Holder, what can I say about Dean Holder that doesn't sound cheesy and infatuated? Because, to be honest, that's exactly how I feel about him. Though, I remember when I first started reading the book, I just thought he'd be the bad boy she fell for - and we all know I have a weakness for bad boys, so it's a moot point, I guess - but OH MY GOD he was so much more than that. Holder is everything that makes girls read romance books and sigh, silently wishing boys in real life were like that. He's not perfect, not by any stretch of imagination, but he loves Sky so much, so purely and so entirely, that pretty soon you stop seeing him as a bad boy we all love to kind of fear, and he becomes The Guy. You know. The one you'd marry if he ever crossed your path. The one you'd jump on and would never, ever let go. He's broken, but he still loves her passionately, and that made me love him more than his bad boy side ever could have.
As for Sky herself... well. I cried so much when I realised, about 100 pages before she did what had happened, that I had to put the book down, or run the risk of showing up with red, puffy eyes in all of the New Years pictures. There's something so horrible, so absolutely inhuman about what happened to her, and yet she somehow still found the strength to keep going. That made me love her. It's rare that in a book I love both sides of the couple; usually I fall madly in love with the guy, and accept the girl as either worthy of his love, or as a lucky bitch who doesn't deserve him, but end up having to deal with it because they're fictional. With Sky, though, I fell utterly in love with her, just as much as I fell for Holder (though in a different way, thanks). Both of them are so broken, so alone and so lost in the world, and yet, they refuse to give up. I honestly don't know. Lesslie might have taken the selfish way out, but it's also the easiest one; and the fact that doing that never even occurred to Sky just made me love her even more. When I grow up, I want to be just like her.
Only down point in the book, is that I wish we'd gotten to see more of Six; she sounds like a right character, and I would have loved to know her more.