Thursday, November 20, 2014

Review: Louder Than Love by Jessica Topper

In this powerful debut novel, a young librarian grieves the loss of her husband...and discovers a love that defies classification.

It's been over three years since a train accident made a widow of Katrina Lewis, sending her and her young daughter Abbey back to the suburban town of her youth...the only place that still makes sense. Lauder Lake is the perfect place to hide and heal.

Recluse rocker Adrian "Digger" Graves survived the implosion of his music career, but his muse has long lain dormant. Until Kat hires him to play at her library—not on the basis of his hard rock credentials but rather, because of the obscure kids' TV jingle he wrote years ago. In a case of mistaken identity, Adrian stumbles into the lives of Kat and her comically lovable daughter.

Using tattoos as a timeline, Adrian unfurls his life for Kat. But as the courtship intensifies, it's unclear whose past looms larger: the widow's or the rocker's. Will their demons ever rest, or will they break these soul mates apart?

This is really the part of reviewing novels that I dread. I don't like saying that a book just isn't good for me. And I REALLY don't like saying that I just couldn't finish a book. It doesn't happen very often with me but it does happen. I could go on and on about how guilty I feel because this is what someone worked on for a long time. Novels don't happen overnight. They take tons of work and I'm sure worry over what is or isn't what the author is looking for. All of that is understood and while it doesn't change my views, I needed to say it just for me. So that whoever reads this understands that I really do this review with a heavy heart.

That being said, not every novel is made for every reader. And this one just didn't tickle my fancy. Right from the beginning, I could just feel a disconnect. I didn't really understand why the book was so slow to me or why it felt like I was riding shotgun with a student driver. It would just start getting good and then BOOM! Someone stomped on the brakes. Damnit. Those first 70 or so pages were just terrible for me. I really struggled to stay interested and to be perfectly honest, I started reading this one around the first of October and I had to put it down a few days later after only having read about 100 pages. Then I picked it back up after a couple of days and tried again. Same thing. I got about 20 pages and had to put it down. I finally progressed to about halfway through the book and that was it. What little interest I had left in the book was completely gone and I felt really guilty for giving up.

Like I said, I don't like having to just DNF a book. Reviewers really owe it to the author to put everything they can into a novel so that they can give their honest opinion. Well, honestly, I just can't go on. I would be lying if I said I would try picking this up again later because I probably won't. The writing isn't bad, per-say. It was just completely uninteresting. I didn't enjoy the flashbacks or the rapport between all (what seemed like) 700 of the main characters friends and their babies. I didn't really like any of the interactions between any of the characters because I just couldn't connect with them for some reason. For a split second, I really enjoyed what was going on when Adrian (the rocker dude) came into play in the novel but then that too, fizzled off. 

All in all, this was definitely not the book for me. 

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