Sunday, September 11, 2011

What I Read This Weekend

What I Read This Weekend . . .

My One and Only by Kristan Higgins -- Adult Romantic Fiction

Harper James is a successful divorce attorney on Martha's Vineyard (an island off the coast of Massachusetts). She's pretty, successful, owns her own home and has been dating a sweet, lovable firefighter named Dennis for two years. Harper is about to turn 34, a year younger than her mother was the last time Harper saw her. Harper is convinced it's high time to get married and have children. She makes a checklist of what she wants and decides to propose to Dennis. So what if he's a "fixer-upper"? She can change him and make him into what she wants. However, Dennis isn't too interested in marriage at this point. Then a phone call from Harper's step-sister Willa sends Harper on a trip to Montana to witness her sister's (third) wedding. Harper loves Willa and is always bailing the younger woman out of trouble and Harper is convinced this is another one of Willa's big mistakes. After all, Willa is marrying Harper's ex-huband's half-brother. (Complicated enough for you?) Harper's step-mother BeverLee couldn't be happier for her little girl and Harper's dad never says much at all. Harper tries to counsel Willa and offers her help once again. Harper's ex Nick thinks the young couple should be made to sink or swim on their own. Harper and Nick exchange many angry words over the course of the weekend but they are still undeniably attracted to each other. A problem at the airport forces Harper and Nick to take a cross-country road trip together where they enjoy the scenery and spending time with Harper's dog Coco. Nick wonders if they can rekindle their romance but Harper is cynical and cautious. The story follows the typical romantic plot: meet cute, argue, kiss, separate, realization of love, happily ever after. However, this book is different because of the realistic elements of the plot. There is a reason for Harper's cynicism and she has some demons to confront before the happily ever after can happen. Because of those demons and cynicism, Harper is really an unlikeable character. She's described as a cold-hearted *itch which she is until the end of the novel when she has an epiphany. Nick is amazing but a little too perfect to be true. The secondary characters aren't quite as quirky as in Higgins's other novels. BeverLee especially is a carbon copy of Barbara Jean on the TV show Reba. I liked the road trip plot but I felt the rest of the story after that really dragged on. I wasn't as interested in this book as I was in the previous Higgins novels I have read. It took awhile to finish this book and the ending was rushed and the rest of the story told in an epilogue when it really needed to be part of the actual plot. The story should have ended after Chapter 18 or at least after Chapter 21. I also disliked the original swear words and other slang that I have never ever heard anyone in Massachusetts ever use before. (And believe me I've heard plenty of Massachusetts swearing).  The book probably resembles a Lifetime movie so if you like that sort of thing, read this book. If not, skip the melodrama for not even the cute little dog makes this book great.

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