Thursday, February 13, 2014

Book Review: Work in Progress by Christina Esdon

NOTE: I received the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Where to begin, where to begin...

I want to start off by saying that I expected something different from this book. Firstly, I was told this was a clean romance novel. Ehhh.... Not.

Secondly, I expected a well edited, well structured novel, where the characters were realistic enough to actually capture my attention. Well... Not on the first two, and the third one could be argued upon.

Writing style:

I'm not a huge lover of third person POVs. Unless the writer can pull it off, and if that happens I usually end up LOVING the book. I'm sad to say that Ms. Esdon's writing could not grab me. The narrative sounded detached and observant to the point of crossing over to the non-fiction genre.

Story line:

I think that there was way too much going on in this book. I had to pay attention to three couples, one major and two minor ones, when honestly, it would've been so much better if couples two and three had been left to deal with in books of their own. I would've at least liked the book, if we only looked over Josh and Reece's shoulders, instead of having to deal unnecessarily too much with Drew and Julia and Nikki and Chase.

Other than the ginormous cluster that all those couples produced, I think the storyline has potential. It is, however, as the title says, a work in progress.

Themes:
- running away from problems is not the way to solve them;
- running away from people who love you can only hurt you and them;
- giving away your heart is not necessarily a bad thing;
- trusting a person can be a difficult idea;
- living in the past can ruin your future;

Characters:

Josh was literally too good to be true. Or perhaps he was too naive. Or too trusting. At any rate, I don't think that a man who's been played as many times as Reece played Josh, would actually endure more. Or ask for it. But he seemed to be so incredibly forgiving, I actually felt like slapping him across the face and shouting at him to get himself together. I mean, seriously? Are you a man, Josh, or are you not? And while I like considerate guys who can take a woman under the starry sky and promise her the world, I did not hold any such affection for Josh. To me he was unrealistic and I couldn't get past that.

Reece was one extremely confused woman. I understand where her pain lies and how it has sculpted her as a person. But come on! Even the greatest tragedy of your past can't be allowed to ruin your future! The way Reece was holding on to the death of her sister was way overdone. She was incredibly determined to just, I don't know, never go forward? For goodness sake, she didn't want the hospital room where her sister died to ever be changed!!! That's borderline psychotic! Guess what - remembering the past has nothing to do with leaving it control every waking (and not) moment of your life! So no, I did not have any sympathies for her either.

Nikki, Reece's best friend, only kept pushing her to date. And to eat. I'm not sure how I feel about this woman, except I think she's as stuck up on the past as Reece is, just not in the same way.

Chase, Reece's brother was one huge pain in the butt. I can't believe the plan is for Nikki to actually end up with him. The dude needs to grow up.

Julia and Drew are perhaps the only characters in this entire novel who make sense to me. Julia is overly romantic, trying to match all her friends. But when her prince charming comes knocking, it's a surprise to her. And besides, Drew isn't attempting to make it easy on her either. At any rate. I'd be curious about Julia and Drew's story.

In conclusion I want to say that this book has potential, but not the way it's written right now. The romance can really work and melt hearts, if only it gets more attention.

My rating is: