Tuesday, March 8, 2016

11. If You Only Knew

Guys, I finished A Clockwork Orange!! No, that's not what this post is going to be about, but it's really exciting for me. It's probably the book I struggled with the most so far, though I also ended up loving it, so there's that. I promise, I'll have much more info about that when I write the actual post, but I wanted to share my excitement with the class.

I'm working hard to catch up with my reading schedule, and to keep with my new posting plan. And that's where today's post comes in! The first official "Tuesday Review" of the new posting schedule. It's a fun book this time, a book club book, and one that goes a little "off brand" for me.

The eleventh book of Project 84 is...


If You Only Knew
If You Only Knew
By Kristan Higgins

I talked a bit about my book club in my post about A Darker Shade of Magic. Well, it's still going strong, and for February, I made the suggestion that we read a romance novel for Valentine's Day. The leader of our group picked out If You Only Knew, by a local author named Kristan Higgins.

We met at my house this time to discuss, and we all agreed that this probably wasn't really a "romance novel", at least not in the traditional sense. But it's definitely "chick lit" with a happy ending, and that was exactly what we needed for a New England February. Across the board, people seemed to like it.

And I was no exception.

The book is mostly plot and dialogue driven, so, as usual, we will start there. The book centers on two sisters - switching point of views for each chapter. Jenny is a newly divorced wedding dress designer, who moves home to upstate New York from the city in order to open a boutique and start a new, single life. Her sister, Rachel, is happily married with two daughters...until she discovers a dirty picture from a female coworker on her husband's cell phone.

While Jenny begins to move on with her life, and even start a hopeful flirtation with her landlord, Leo, Rachel feels like her whole world is coming apart, and she struggles to pick up the pieces.

That's probably the easiest plot summary I've written in the history of this blog, and there's probably a reason for that. This book is, for lack of a better word, fun.

I don't read a ton of fun literature. If anything, I should probably read more fun literature. But most of the books I gravitate towards are heavy, complicated stories with complex narrators that leave me more or less wrecked at the end. This was so far from that, and it's part of what makes my book club for fun. They pick books that I would never choose to read on my own, but then I end up loving them far more than I expected.

There's not a whole lot to say about this book. It wasn't complicated, it wasn't really challenging. I went through the entire book without writing down a single quote, which is rare for me. I usually have tons of page numbers to choose from, and to remind me of what I enjoyed. This wasn't that kind of book. I got through it quickly, smiled through most of it, and didn't get bogged down in the specific things I wanted to remember.

That's not to say it was badly written. Far from it. The characters were round and interesting. The dialogue and emotions were real. And, perhaps most importantly, the plot was compelling and didn't seem contrived, despite being a happy ending. I often find that well plotted and happy ending are, unfortunately, mutually exclusive, but that was not the case here.

Obviously, I would recommend this book. It's good! It's fun, and light, and I could see many of my friends picking this one up and enjoying it. It's not a complicated book. It won't change your life or affect your view on the world. But it will give you some fun for a week, and, really, what else do you want?

***
So, my first Tuesday review is a success! As I have mentioned several times, I have a stack of books ready to be blogged about, so I have no intention of slowing down. Stay tuned for my Thursday review, and, if you're looking for something else, go get involved with my weekly discussion over in the Sunday Update post. I'd love if we could get those more active in the future.

Happy reading!

Next Review: The Safety of Objects by A.M. Homes (Posting Date: Thursday, May 10th)



**All quotes and annotations refer to this version of If You Only Knew, published by HQN Books in 2015**

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