Love Walked In

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

This novel had me going back and forth between lukewarm delight and lukewarm annoyance (and, as I am learning in Dante, the lukewarm have no place in either heaven or hell. Reading Dante makes you crazy. More on that later). My book club friendly posted a review of this book on the joint blog that our book clubbers and friends write on (mer ungrammatical, just took endocrinology test, and am too brain-dead to fix it...) Anyway, I was instantly attracted to the book. I got a sample on my lovely Kindle and was even more excited. I went to the library to get a library card, so I could check it out. (I then waited several weeks for it to come in). Anyway, all things considered I was expecting to like this book quite a bit.

And I did like it quite a bit. In moments. I won't summarize too much because this book has several plot twists (some expected, some un-). But the basic premise is that Cornelia, an unsatisfied, educated barista at a trendy cafe, meets a man who looks like Cary Grant and her life begins to change.

Here's what I liked. I loved Cornelia's obsession with classic films, one I share, although I'm not as well-versed in the subject as she is. (The book gave me many ideas for some movies to look up! First on the list: Philadelphia Story).
I also really loved the characters. Cornelia is charming, Martin is human, (despite his apparent perfection), Clare is precocious and endearing and Teo is Teo (and possibly not human). The story is entertaining and definitely drew me in. All these things = lukewarm delight. Nothing overwhelming with wonder, but certainly a good read.

As for what I didn't like... I had a few problems with Cornelia's voice. I don't know exactly why, but sometimes she annoyed me. I think if she was a real person she would talk too fast and always expect you to know what she was talking about. However, I grew to like her. So maybe if she was a real person, she would be one of those people that, when you first meet them, annoy you to no end but then are charming and endearing and you end up loving them.

I also didn't love how convenient everything was. Whenever there was a huge, insurmountable problem (and there are several... I can't say what they are without giving away important plot twists, though) things just fell into place neatly around the main characters. Maybe I shouldn't complain too much, I have been known to say that I like to read novels for fun, not for a taste of realism. I do like happy endings, or at least endings that convey some ray of hope for the future (think "Tomorrow is another day!" versus "the fledgling family that cracked open"). But it is nice when they are believable.

All in all though, I liked this book. I would recommend it. It was a good escape (especially during this lovely week of many midterms). I liked it enough that I put de Los Santos' next book on hold at the library (which is also about Cornelia). 3 stars.

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