Saturday, May 25, 2013

Taking It Off the Shelf: Beginner's Greek

Welcome to my first review for my new feature! As you may recall from my intro post, I decided to read Beginner's Greek by James Collins. I have had this on my bookshelf since October 2009. About time I read it, eh?

Once again, I'll provide you with the synopsis:
Is love at first sight possible or just an old-fashioned romantic idea? And what if, to further complicate things, you meet the love of your life and then lose her phone number? Then what if, after the impossible happens and you find her again, she's now about to marry a roguish lothario who is also your best friend? The complications don't end there for Peter Russell, the winning hero of James Collins' charming, generous, and romantic first novel. Part modern-day Jane Austen, part Tom Wolfe,is a romantic comedy of the highest order, with characters who are perfectly, charmingly real as they swerve and stumble from fairy tale to social satire and back again.
I can't remember what it was exactly about this book that made me want to pick it up. Perhaps it was because of the interesting twist on a romance and a second chance at love. Even if it wasn't because of that, the romance aspect was my favourite part of the novel. Peter and Holly had to deal with so many obstacles and I worried that maybe they wouldn't ever get together. I really like second chance novels so it really isn't surprising that I liked this story.

What really took away from my enjoyment of this novel was all the background information on every character. Seriously. I think every character who was featured for more than five pages had a whole back story. It was a little bit ridiculous and a tad frustrating. I found myself skimming a lot because I just wanted to move the action along and was irritated when I had to learn all about the childhood of Peter's fiancée's step-mother. I wanted to learn more about Peter and Holly and I felt like their stories were lacking because they had to share so much page space with the other characters.

All in all, I liked Beginner's Greek by James Collins but it definitely won't make any favourites lists for me. I was worried about this one being a let down since I've had it for so long but I still think it was worth a read. The core plot is a good one. I just wish the story was written in a different way.

For my next pick, I'm going to read Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close (after writing this review I realized that I'm going with two J.C. authors in a row!). The story behind this one is that I had heard amazing things about it and then asked a friend for it for my birthday last year. I haven't had this one nearly as long as Beginner's Greek by I have a shiny new hardcover of Close's new novel The Smart One that I really want to get to soon. Check back next month when I review the next book off my shelf!

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