Romantic Book Reviews For Valentine's Day

Original found here.

I've been quite busy reading every spare moment trying to meet my book quota for February (2 books). While I haven't quite finished all of my February choices, I did manage to finish two yesterday, one of which I'd like to review today along with my choices for January. The great thing about the 3 I have chosen is that they are all romance, making them absolutely perfect for the pending holiday this weekend. :) If you need a great love story to read over the weekend, perhaps one of these stories will be just the ticket.

1. I Sold Myself to the Devil For Vinyls … Pitiful, I Know

Found on Wattpad, I read this story after seeing many, many positive reviews and recommendations. I had been doubtful that I could find yet another story on Wattpad that would keep me entertained longer than a few minutes … and to be honest, I almost gave up on this story only a few chapters in. The title is silly and perhaps a bit childish. Do I really want to read a story about the devil? … And then when I realized that the "devil" in this case was a rich high school jock? It almost seemed too cliché to be worth continuing.

Approximately halfway through the book (or maybe it was 1/4?) the plot twists were interesting enough and confusing enough to have me going back for more. At 2 in the morning I would be so tired but the thought of something wildly exciting and different happening was enough to keep me on my toes and reading just a few minutes more … until 7am when it was time to get my day started. *sigh* It was fun, but tiring; I promise. :)

The story itself is about a girl (no, not this one!) who is trying to make it through the perils of high school, and more specifically her senior year. She's a tomboy at heart, her last (and only) boyfriend turned out to be gay, her parents are going through a rocky divorce, and, to make matters worse, the school bully has chosen to pick on her. He helped her get out of a difficult situation with her mom, but then, after the fact, told her that she "owed him". What more could he possibly do to torture her?

While it's not exactly a surprising story (what romances are?), it is a page turner (what romances aren't?). The author's first language is French, but given that her major in the university is English, the story is well put-together even if there are a few minor errors here and there. In fact, one of the things that I absolutely loved about this story is the inclusion of French and German … and various other languages. It makes the book even more of a page turner because, given that my French is extremely limited, I wanted to know what was being said… :) The characters were also well-developed over the course of the novel with my only (minor) complaint being the main character's nickname of "Pumpkin". (Ick. Really. Who does that?) I also wasn't too thrilled with the end. It almost seemed like the authoress gave up and couldn't really decide what was important or how to portray it. It makes me feel that a second or third book could have only improved the story by breaking up the subplots and really allowing the authoress the chance to develop a more concise and cohesive story.

I'm particular though. If you're looking for a romantic page-turner, I definitely recommend this book. The maturity level is well below After (although they both have a lot to build on), but the story is far sweeter.

2. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (buy here)

When I went to pick up this book for the first time, I was a bit hesitant. The movie had been phenomenal … could the book offer anything new for me? I worried that I was going into the story knowing too much about the plotline. There is something to be said for reading books before watching movies that feature the book's story. Ninety percent of the time the story is changed or altered in an infuriating way between book and movie almost making you regret your choice of taking in both.

Luckily for me, the story and the movie were similar enough … but they still had some differences. Or at least enough differences to keep my attention. (It's not easy to keep my attention when I'm watching kids…)

If you haven't seen the movie or read the book, it's another one of those "old person telling the tale to a young person" stories. It's what you see in The Notebook, The Princess Bride, and Titanic. Only this time the older guy is telling the story to his nursemaids in the old folks' home. :) Another fellow had mentioned carrying "water for the elephants" when he worked at the circus many, many years ago, and, when he said that, main character Jacob Jankowski got offended. Apparently his memory of his days in the circus were nothing like what his friend suggested. He remembered that the water for the elephants was far too heavy for any single person to carry and naturally found himself angry that this "friend" was lying. And so, over the next few days, he tells his story, dreaming about it in his sleep and remembering all that led up to the greatest circus disaster that ever was, the break up and disbandment of the Benzini Brothers Greatest Show On Earth.

As someone who has never been to the circus, I found the story to be thrilling and fun. The research that went into the story is clearly eveident and the love of the animals for their caretakers is cleverly shown. I, once again, did not like the ending (do I ever?), but it was definitely an enjoyable read that I highly recommend.

3. Summer Rain

I've only read the first half, which is supposedly a book in and of itself. I finished it at like midnight last night and when it said "epilogue" I have to admit I was pretty excited to have finished it. The story was boring me and skipping around so much that I found it hard to follow as I sporadically read when I had time. Turns out there is a sequel that is part of the same book that I only just now realized means I have another 30 chapters to get through. Argh!

Anyway, here's the plotline for the first half of the story:

Summer is finally here and Raine is excited about all of the time she will get to enjoy living in her rich best friend, Kallie's house while Raine's parents are out of town in Europe for a month long vacation. Things get a bit out of control when Kallie suggests a challenge with boys against girls. The losers will have to be the winner's servants for a month. Obviously Kallie is paired up with her significant other which means Raine is paired up with the one guy she can't stand, Kallie's twin brother Kayd. Worst of all: Kallie is playing matchmaker and trying to set Raine and Kayd up! Who will win the challenge? And will Kallie succeed?

While there are a few plots twists and turns, the story didn't feel cohesive at all. It was written like I write my blog posts – a new subject every day, nothing really truly relating yesterday's post to today's. If you're bored and want a fast read on Wattpad, this will get you that… Otherwise, I recommend skipping it.

If the plotline of the second half of the story gets any better, I'll let you know. :)

Will you be reading any romance novels in honor of Valentine's Day? Have you read any of the books I mentioned in this post?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...