Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Review: Just Like Heaven

just like heavenTitle: Smythe-Smith Quartet #1: Just Like Heaven

Author: Julia Quinn

Date of Publication: May 31, 2011

Formats Available: Hardcover, Paperback, E-book

Buy This Book: Amazon

SynopsisHonoria 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

My Review:

Just Like Heaven was one of those reads that, while it was super cute, I finished the novel not really having much to say. There was just nothing new or exciting about this novel that grabbed my interest and while I would say overall it was good, I just don't have anything memorable to remark on.

I really liked Honoria and Marcus and their relationship was adorable, though I wish there had been more time for them to interact. I felt like much of the novel was dedicated to Marcus being sick and Honoria nursing him, which is an okay plot device, but it didn't give them much time to really display their personalities. I didn't necessarily feel distant from them but I didn't feel as connected to them as I would have if more of the novel had been spent on situations that would have caused more character development.

Romance wise the novel was good, but just so uneventful that I don't have much to say about it. Honoria and Marcus moved at a good pace and their relationship was believable, but there just wasn't any spark to it. The end of the novel was cute, especially when he brought her flowers, but unfortunately it just didn't speak to me the same way other romance novels have in the past.

Hands down the best part of this novel was the humor. I wouldn't say it was laugh out loud funny, but the situations Honoria found herself in always made me smile. The quartet and their horrendous music, not to mention all their arguments, kept me entertained and the drama at the end of the book made it all worth it. However, I just wish there had been more events in the story that were significant, there were only two major events, Marcus's illness and the concert, so in the end I finished the novel wishing I could have seen all the characters in more situations so I could have gotten to know them better.

Even though there was nothing attention grabbing about this novel I'm still interested enough in some of the secondary characters to put the next novel on my to read list. Julia Quinn is one of the biggest names in historical romance and, while I wasn't overly impressed with my first novel by her, I can see why her books are so appealing.


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