I really wanted to enjoy this story...

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briarrose1021 Avatar


Let me start by saying that I wanted to like this book. I went into it expecting to like this book, especially with all the rave reviews I kept seeing from other readers who have reading tastes similar to mine. So, when I actually got into the book and found it wasn't this amazing thing that everyone kept calling it, I thought it was me. Maybe I had just missed some crucial part? I backed up repeated sections. Nope, I hadn't missed anything.

I was listening to the audiobook, narrated by Cynthia Farrell and Emily Woo Zeller. So, maybe it was because of the narrators? Perhaps I would enjoy it if I was reading it myself? Borrowed the book via KU and started reading from where I was at that point. Nope, didn't make it better. Was it maybe because it was a dual narration? I can answer, definitively, NO, as I had recently finished listening to another dual narration of a book that I absolutely LOVED and could rave about - but I won't because it was NOT this book.

I can't even really tell you what the book was about beyond two women writing back and forth to each other from opposite sides of some war as they travel through time and space. And that description? Yeah, you can get that from the book's own blurb.

When I think about why, specifically, I had trouble with this book, part of it was the overly-flowery language that seemed to be trying too hard to indicate a growing love connection and didn't try hard enough to actually DEVELOP said love connection. Another part is that, while the story is set in a war that is fought through time and space, I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what the two sides of the war were fighting for. Why should I care if one side or the other wins or loses? Why is there a war at all? The only real reason for its existence is to set Red and Blue on opposite sides, to set them up as combatants, and then bring them together - to choose each other over the war they are fighting - because they LURVE each other. Sorry, I didn't buy it.

I didn't buy it so much that I didn't even care at the end. I don't want to say what, specifically, I didn't care about because - spoilers - but suffice it to say that I should have cared about it. If I had been in any way invested in the book, I would have cared about it. But, I wasn't. So, I didn't.

As far as the narration went, one of the narrators - Farrell - was a first for me, while the other - Zeller - I have listened to with several other books. Both narrators did well, though I couldn't tell you at this point, just a few hours after finishing, who had been reading which character. Having listened to other books by Zeller, I know that she is an engaging narrator. I don't know with Farrell, but I suspect she is as well, and the fault of the non-engagement lies solely with the manuscript they were reading.

So, in closing, I wish I could tell you this was a good book, and I highly recommend you read it. But, I can't. That said, I'm not completely writing this book off. It wasn't bad. It just did not hit right for me. I may return for another try at some point in the future - it's certainly short enough that I could warrant giving up a couple of hours to see if a second reading/listening hits differently for me. But, I'm not going to be in any hurry to do that.