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Review: Talk Bookish To Me, by Kate Bromley

This is I think going to be a very short review (but just a hair too long to only include in my round-up review), but basically this book was meh enough to just qualify as bad.

Basically, this book takes the trope of miscommunication causing issues so far that it is no longer miscommunication, it is intentional miscontruing of situations to fit your own pre-determined narrative. You don't get to say it's a miscommunication when you assume the woman's voice on the phone is another girlfriend and not the sister that the man told you about 3 pages ago; and you don't get to say it's miscommunication when you omit to mention that you have a secret fiancée (also, did that plot point make sense? No. No it did not. It made none whatsoever). Also this book is almost 400 pages long. It did not need to be that long. In fact, it needed to not exist at all. But here we are.

Oh right plot breakdown. Kara is a bestselling novelist, she has a manuscript due in a week and hasn't written any of it, she and Ryan broke up in college because they couldn't do long distance and she thought Ryan was cheating on her, and then it turns out Ryan is childhood best friends with Kara's best friend's fiancé and they run into each other at the engagement party or whatever. Cue 400 pages of blaaaaaaaaaah.

There was one scene where Kara spends three paragraphs explaining the breakdown of romance as a genre to Ryan to explain why it's not porn. Kate Bromley, despite being a romance novelist, copy-pasted this from Wikipedia. It was the most robotic attempt at explaining why a character likes something that I have ever in my life beheld.

And the big hang up between Kara and Ryan getting back together is that Kara thinks... their relationship killed her father and if she gets back with him, her dad will be disappointed in her beyond the grave. Her reasoning for this is that, because she and her dad had an argument about Ryan the day before he died in a freak car accident, she can never get back together with Ryan because if they hadn't been arguing her dad wouldn't have been in that accident. Does this make sense? No. No it does not. Because this is not how normal people's brains work. I realise that grief makes people do funny things, but still. Come on. HOW have none of her friends or, like, a mental health professional seen to it that she no longer thinks this completely bonkers thing?

Also the sex was bad and Ryan was not a compelling romance hero. I'm sorry, but the whole "I got engaged to this woman because she asked and it was convenient but I've been pining for you for 10 years" incredibly off-putting. And then she just TURNED UP AT A WEDDING AS RYAN'S PLUS ONE AND HE THOUGHT HE COULD GET AWAY WITH IT EVEN THOUGH HE KNEW SHE'D BE TURNING UP AT THE WEDDING????? HOW DID HE THINK HE COULD GET AWAY WITH THIS???? DID HE THINK KARA WOULD JUST NOT NOTICE SOMEONE INTRODUCING HERSELF AS HIS FIANCÉE TO EVERYONE????? Honestly, the infidelity doesn't bother me as much as the stupidity does. And since I don't find stupid people attractive, I could not for the life of me understand what Kara saw in this schlub.

Some round ups of other reasons this book was bad:

  1. Bad, unsexy sex;

  2. Truly bad dialogue;

  3. Too much telling and not enough showing;

  4. Significant pacing issues (it was TOO LONG guys);

  5. Lots of pointless digressions;

  6. Bad editing.

Right, that's it from me folks. Don't read this book, it's basically garbage.

Happy reading,

Amélie xx

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I’m Amélie, I love books and reading, and I also love talking about them.

I’m incredibly lucky to be bilingual, so I read books in both French and English, and will talk about both of those on here – although I will do more in English, since I know that’s probably what the majority of the people who ever find this blog will be interested in!

I also like history, traveling, Shakespeare, coffee, cheese, musicals, Italian Baroque art, the ballet, Mock the Week and Have I Got News For You, flowers, makeup, high heels, and baking. Yes, I’m a walking cliché. I am aware.

Please do tweet at me with any suggestions/book recommendations/thoughts.

In case you’re curious – yes, Pride and Prejudice is my favorite book of all time.

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