Welcome to a stop on the blog tour for Lisa Maliga's novel Out of the Blue. The tour is hosted by Collette over at ABG Reads. OK, sooo...I'm just going to get this out of the way right at the start - I didn't like this book. I know you can't like everything but it's always a disappointment when I don't enjoy a novel.
Here's the synopsis:
Sylvia Gardner is a naïve cashier who lives with her mother in Richport, Illinois. Upset with being dumped by her first boyfriend; she later falls in love with an English actor after watching him on a TV show. For two years she researches Alexander Thorpe's life and career, saving her money to travel to his Cotswolds village, intent on meeting him. Staying in the village's only hotel, she gets room and board in exchange for working at the Windrush Arms Hotel. Complications ensue when the drunken proprietor, Harry Livingstone, takes a fancy to Sylvia. As in her fantasies, Sylvia and Alexander get together—but with unexpected results.The first thing that got me was Sylvia's obsession with Alexander. It wasn't creepy or anything...just...odd. The biggest issue, for me, was the age gap between the two. Why was a young, attractive, and, yes, naive, twenty-ish year old so obsessed with an man who lives in another country and seems to be twice her age? (he's not really...but I'm not quite sure because the ages never seemed clear to me and I'm not very good with numbers anyway!) Also, once we get to meet him, he seems like an alcoholic pig who just wants to sleep with anyone who crosses his path. I mean, I can understand being attracted to older actors (hello, George Clooney...who actually is twice my age, plus a year) but Sylvia kind of takes it a little further.
The other thing was just the way the novel was written. It jumped around in time with flashbacks that weren't set up clearly enough. At one point I'm reading along in "present" day (I'll get to that in a second) and then all of a sudden it's back to before Sylvia went to England. There were lots of unnecessary subplots and explanations. For example, at the end of the book, I got updates on what every other character was up to at that time. That did not add a single thing to the story and I was confused and expecting something huge to happen. It didn't.
I mentioned "present" day. I use the quotations because the book starts off in the late seventies and ends in the early nineties. I'm all for books taking place in different time periods but this one seemed odd to me. I mean, the eighties? It wasn't set around any historical event or anything. The only explanation I could come up with was that the author needed to set the book in a time when a random girl could get that close to a famous actor.
So. There we have it. Unfortunately, Out of the Blue by Lisa Maliga was just not my cup of tea. I think she could probably do well if her novels get a bit more polished. But, as it is now, I can't recommend this novel to anyone. Ah well. You win some, you lose some.
Happy reading :)