Tuesday, May 27, 2014

2 Heart Review: Just Like Heaven by Julia Quinn

Just Like Heaven (Smythe-Smith Quartet #1)
Julia Quinn

Page Count: 374

Release Date: May 31st 2011
Publisher: Avon (Harper Collins)
Source: Complimentary ARC provided by Romance Novel News in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you, Carolyn!)
Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Honoria Smythe-Smith is:
A) a really bad violinist
B) still miffed at being nicknamed "Bug" as a child
C) not in love with her older brother's best friend
D) all of the above

Marcus Holroyd is:
A) the Earl of Chatteris
B) regrettably prone to sprained ankles
C) not in love with his best friend's younger sister
D) all of the above

Together they:
A) eat quite a bit of chocolate cake
B) survive a deadly fever and the world's worst musical performance
C) fall quite desperately in love

It's Julia Quinn at her best, so you know the answer is...
D) all of the above
I kept this book on my nightstand and my "currently reading" shelf for about a year before finally deciding to just mark it as DNF (did not finish). It's not that the book is SO bad that I couldn't keep reading, but rather, I kept putting it down, forgot about it, and was never really inclined to pick it up again... that went on for about a year. There are way better books I could be spending my time on.

Overall Just Like Heaven just bored me; nothing was exciting, and nothing intrigued me enough to want to continue reading. There's very little action both romance- and plot-wise; even by page 158—which is how far I got—hardly any of Honoraria and Marcus's relationship is built. If there is no swoon-worthy romance by the halfway mark, we've got a problem.

Honoraria isn't a dreadful heroine but she's rather desperate for a husband and childish, blushing at ever sight of skin and brush of fingers, and so on. I can understand these traits were meant to color her "cute" and "clumsy," but I just found it annoying. There's almost no chemistry between her and Marcus, which bothered me a lot considering this is a historical romance, and the dialogue and description scenes drag on forever, which made this one even more difficult to digest.

Pros


Well written // Playful, readable style

Cons


Romance moves at a snail's pace // Honoraria is annoying and Marcus is uninteresting // Boring // Not enough action!

Verdict


Containing too much backstory and not enough action, this first title in the Smythe-Smith quartet is rather boring. It isn't a terrible or intolerable—in fact, stylistically, Julia Quinn is a pleasure to read—but I just didn't have the patience to finish it. I was quite annoyed by the "witty" (not witty) banter and passionless relationship that's supposed to pass as a romance. True historical fiction fans may be able to swallow Just Like Heaven, but I definitely wasn't impressed Americanflag

2 hearts: Not completely a lost cause, but could not finish and did not enjoy; potentially could be used as a cure for insomnia (x)