Monday, August 21, 2017

Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: April 22, 2017 (TOMORROW!)
Source of my copy: publisher
Series: standalone
A smart, funny, and modern retelling of Jane Austen's Persuasion, where a young woman comes face-to-face with a lost love, proving that the one that got away is sometimes the one you get back.

Ruby and Ethan were perfect for each other. Until the day they suddenly weren't.

Ten years later, Ruby's single, having spent the last decade focusing on her demanding career and hectic life in Manhattan. There's barely time for a trip to England for her little sister's wedding. And there's certainly not time to think about seeing Ethan there for the first time in years.

But as the family frantically prepare for the big day, Ruby can't help but wonder if she made the right choice all those years ago? Because there's nothing like a wedding for stirring up the past...

Okay, so, since I haven't read Persuasion (and only saw an old BBC movie version of it years ago and in which the details are now vague) I can't comment on how The One That Got Away compares to Austen's novel. Instead I'm just going to comment on the book on it's own, and not as a retelling.

Actually, when I found out The One That Got Away is a retelling of Jane Austen's Persuasion I wanted to pick it up right away because for me a Persuasion retelling means a second chance trope. It's a romance for a couple who had a messy break up in the past and now, for whatever reason, are brought together again for a second chance. I love this trope! I love watching the couple work out their past and fall for each other again and work their way (finally!) to a happily ever after.

The reason Ruby and Ethan were brought together again after a decade was because Ruby's younger sister is marrying Ethan's best friend in England--Northumberland** to be exact! [I've always wanted to visit the English countryside and see a real live castle, which Northumberland seemed to have an overabundance of--thanks to this novel, I have since added Northumberland on my list of places to visit for this reason alone.] So, we're not told why Ruby and Ethan broke up ten years ago, but it was hinted that the fault lies with Ruby.

Ruby and I are both kind of at the same point in our lives where we're pretty secure in our careers as well as finances (although still mostly poor) and still single, while our friends from college are married and/or have kids. There was this scene in the beginning of the novel where Ruby was looking at her best friend Jess in a domestic tableau with her 2-year-old son and couldn't quite wrap her mind around the fact that this goddess of motherhood was the same girl who used to do the craziest shit in college. And this is me whenever I see my now married with kids college girlfriends. It was great connecting with Ruby in that way.

I also liked Ethan, our bartender-turned-app-millionaire-entrepreneur. Right away you know that he's a really good guy, and you're like, Ruby, how can you let this guy go?

The One That Got Away alternated between the past (from the start of Ruby and Ethan's relationship to their eventual break up) and present. The present was told in Ruby's first person POV while the past was in third person where we got to see things unfold in both Ruby and Ethan's perspectives. In the "then" parts, we really get to know Ethan more intimately, which gave us a better insight to his character in the present, which was told entirely through Ruby. 

We're also introduced to several secondary characters, and the ones I found the most interesting were Ruby's stepmom, Candace, and her dad, Alec. I really enjoyed the development of Ruby and her sister Piper's relationship with Candace. It's not often I come across a stepmother/daughters relationship like the one in this novel and I really liked it. As for Alec, he had a very successful real estate business in the past and was the richest man in town, but he was always treated as "new money." He eventually lost all his money and lives modestly in Florida in the present. At first glance, he comes off as kind of a greedy, pompous jerk but he also worked hard for his business and cared about his family--I mean, he's a jerk with a crass sense of humor, but a lovable one. I really liked his and Candace's multi-dimensionality. 

Through the now and then chapters, we finally start to see a better picture of Ruby and Ethan's past relationship and I wouldn't say that I was surprised when it was finally revealed why they broke up and we learn Ruby's secret. That was heartbreaking and I felt so sorry for Ethan and also Ruby. But, will they finally have their happily ever after in the present?

I rooted for Ruby and Ethan to finally find their HEA. The One That Got Away was a fun beach read. While reading it I kind of wished I was familiar with Persuasion so that I can compare the characters and the different scenes--seeing bits of the original in the modern interpretation is half the fun in a retelling and all that, alas, flew over my head. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the story for what it was--a wonderful second-chance romance. 

About the Author

Melissa Pimentel
grew up in a small town in Massachusetts in a house without cable and therefore much of her childhood was spent watching 1970s British comedy on public television. These days, she spends much of her time reading in the various pubs of Stoke Newington and engaging in a long-standing emotional feud with their disgruntled cat, Welles. She works in publishing and is also the author of Love by the Book.

**Come back here tomorrow because we have a special post tomorrow by author Melissa Pimentel about why she chose Northumberland as the setting for The One That Got Away.**

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Hi everyone,
It's been so long since I blogged! It wasn't that I was in a slump exactly--it was just pure laziness. 🙈

But, I felt an urge to blog today so I thought I'd list some of the bookish things I did this summer.

1. I went to New York!
A view of Downtown Manhattan from Jersey City
Okay, not entirely bookish, but I did take a bunch of bookish pics. Basically, I brought a book with me everywhere I went and took pictures of different sites with it like the picture above. You can see more of my pictures on my YA Instagram account.

2. I finally started reading the ACOTAR series.
A very tiny portion of my ACOTAR series merch collection
Okay, say what you want about this series and its fandom, but holy cow does it have some of the best merch out there. I was buying the merch even before I picked it up. And then once I started reading it, I wanted even more merch. (If you're curious, I rated ACOTAR 3 stars--pretty good start to the series--and I am at the last quarter of ACOMAF, but had to put it down for a while because other books were calling my name.)

3. I defaced a book!
Only my second mandala ever (the first being my practice one) + some of my favorite quotes from TWatD
I came across book defacing videos on YouTube and they looked super fun so I decided to try it out myself. I was especially intrigued by this Youtuber's art where she created these gorgeous mandalas for her books so I thought I'd do the same. I can't draw to save my life so a mandala was the way to go. I ended up defacing one of my all-time favorite books, The Wrath and the Dawn. (Haha, check out my Feysand pouch!)

4. I became obsessed with Giant Days.
The summer of 2017 will be forever associated with Giant Days
I'm fairly new to the adult graphic novel scene. I've read quite a bit of middle grade graphic novels because it's what my students (I'm a school librarian) love to read most and I wanted to have conversations with them about their favorite books, but when it comes to adult graphic novels I mostly just stuck to Saga. That is until I discovered Giant Days and I fell head over heels in love with Esther, Susan, and Daisy. I've read and reread Vols. 1-5 countless times this summer and I'm rabidly anticipating Vol. 6, which won't be out until Oct. 24th 😭

5. I read my first "dubcon" (aka dubious consent) erotica.
This book is not for the faint of heart
If you had a chance to read my review of Torrid by Nikki Sloane I mentioned that I was reading Sordid, which was actually set prior to Torrid and was about the older brother of the male main character in Torrid. Man, I thought Torrid was dark but it was tame compared to Sordid. I've never wanted to take a shower more while reading a book than I did while reading Sordid. 😖😖 It was like a bad car crash--I couldn't look away, or in this case, I couldn't put the damn book down no matter how disgusted I felt. I can't even really rate it, and afterwards Sordid put me in the biggest romance book slump. Like, I didn't want to pick up a romance (even the fluffy, romcom ones) for a long while after. I was so disturbed.


In a nutshell, summer 2017 for me was basically New York/ACOTAR/Giant Days/book defacement. The Sordid episode was the dark stain that I try to forget. I did eventually got my romance reading mojo back, and who knows I might even pick up another dark romance in the near future. Maybe not a dubcon book, though. I don't think they're my kind of kink.

Hopefully, I'll be posting more often from now on. And not just the mandatory posts for blog tours and review books, but also random ones like this. 

Happy reading,