This Week, I Read… (2017 #12)

46 - The Princess Saves Herself in This One

#46 – The Princess Saves Herself in this One, by Amanda Lovelace

The emotion is real, the topics are heavy, but the packaging? Simple, obvious, even at times juvenile. I suppose I’m too much of a classicist when it comes to poetry. I know styles change, and I know everyone has their own voice, but the poetry I studied was, at its heart, filled with memorable imagery and keyed to the sounds it would make being spoken, even when it didn’t rhyme.

This, to me, doesn’t have any of that. It’s brutally honest, it contains valuable messages of self-love and empowerment that have obviously connected with a great many people, and it’s framed thoughtfully as the emotional progression of a life; but this is more like reading someone’s diary than a book of poetry. The single- or double-word lines strike me as space-filler; each page has no more than a sentence or two of text total, and I read this in fifteen minutes.

I don’t doubt it was a labor of love, but I can’t help wishing it had more sophistication and polish.

47 - Welcome to Paradise

#47 – Welcome to Paradise, by Rosalind James

It’s rare that I like a book better as it goes along, but this story started out with two major strikes against it: a HUGE cast of characters, and Mira, who as our heroine was on the borderline of TSTL. Or at least, too stupid to date, because Scott is never anything but a Grade-A controlling asshole. It was hard for me to believe anyone could fall for his blatantly obvious emotional manipulation.

However, like any contest-style reality TV show, the huge cast of forgettable characters quickly gets pared down to a small handful of memorable ones, so I guess the initially overwhelming amount of names is forgivable. I mean, I love Top Chef, I can probably name all the winners if I dig through my memory banks, but the people who got eliminated in the first few challenges each season? There’s no way I remember their names.

And Mira, well, we get to know Mira, and it turns out she’s not as stupid or naive as she first appears. I’m not entirely sure I ever really liked her, but by the end I could tolerate her.

So why does this book still get four stars from me? GABE. I like my heroes thoughtful and considerate, and boy howdy, is Gabe just about the best of them. Can I marry Gabe? Because I would.

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