Friday, July 31, 2015

Review: Unexpected by Lilly Avalon

Ever had one of those days? Alina Lyons is having one. Everything keeps falling apart and going wrong. Just when she thinks it couldn't get worse, it does. After a case of mistaken identity and a broken heart, she finds herself questioning the things she thought she knew. She wonders who she can turn to or trust anymore.

An unlikely bond with her former best friend's ex, Ryan Wilcox, sends her life in a new direction. He offers her a place to stay while she gets her life back on track. His friendship is exactly what she's been missing—what she's been needing. Alina's never felt this alive. As time goes by, the dynamic of their relationship becomes more than either of them expected. A few innocent kisses could lead them in a new direction, but are they prepared for what's on the other side?

Only one way to find out.


I'm just going to dive right into this review this time. The synopsis is pretty on track, no reason for me to put it into my own words. Plus, I just have too much to say about this one. Too. Much. But before I let loose on all of that, there is one thing that you should know. This book isn't ... bad. I gave it three stars, so there must have been something that I liked about it, right? Well, there are. Just not enough for this to be one of those "holy crap, you have to read this or you are dead to me" books that I enjoy so much. 

I liked how the story was written, with the switching POV's. Not every author can pull that off and it was almost seamless with Lilly Avalon writing it. I also enjoyed the twist on cheating. Cheating at the beginning of a romance novel is not a new thing but Avalon took an interesting path to get to that point and an interesting way of wrapping the story up in it. Basically, the bones of this story are great.

Unfortunately, that's it on the high points for me. For this, you'll need to buckle up and bring a snack, because I have a lot of things I want to go over. Well, the first thing that I noticed is that the main character, Alina, is supremely immature. This girl is 22 and the way she handles things, talks, even sex ... seems immature. Somehow, this chick made talking dirty seem immature. I don't know what her deal is. Her character comes off as being a bit scattered during the first part of the story due to all of the bad things that just keep happening to her but even through that, I found her to be a bit ignorant, not genuine and once again, immature. To be honest, both of the main characters were super shallow and I don't mean conceited ... I mean their character had no depth. There was no grit to either of them, even with all of the things going on in their lives. I didn't relate to Alina at all ... not even as a woman. No connection whatsoever. 

Since I brought up characters, we need to chat a bit about our twenty-something Ryan. I'll just list off his attributes for you:
1. Sexy
2. Sweet
3. Protective
4. The perfect gentleman
5. All muscle-y and hunkalicious
  6. Good with children
7. Perfect with a girl's parents
8. Knows how to cook
9. Knows his way around a woman's body
10. Ready to settle down and have children
11. Good manners
12. Doesn't mind cleaning

Here's the deal. This Ryan character is human unicorn ... you hear all of these stories about guys like this but no one has ever lived to see one. I mean, I like reading about dudes like this ... the ones that can do no wrong but come on! Let's be realistic, he's got to have at least one flaw to make him seem real and this dude did not have one. 

About a quarter of the way through the book, I kinda realized why I was so disengaged from this story. It's because the book feels like it's talking AT you rather than enveloping you and drawing you into the pages. It was monotone. There were no ebbs and flows to emotions or things happening in the book ... I mean bad stuff happened in the book to where you should be thinking "DAMN!" but instead, it went right over my head as I tried to search for another connection. It felt one-dimensional. I would have enjoyed more of a struggle, any kind of struggle. One of them could have screwed up dinner at least. Something. While the bones of the book are great, things seemed to work themselves out entirely too quickly. Any time one of the characters needed or wanted something, it miraculously happened. But that goes back to needing a true struggle and some grittiness within these pages.

The last thing is the ending. Ugh. You know how sometimes when you are blowing up a balloon and you're almost done but somehow that slippery bastard slips out of your fingers and does that screaming fart across the room? The ending was like that. It was building up to something great and then BAM! it's over. It was a bit disappointing to have it end just like that but it is what it is. 

I don't know for sure what to think about this book, now that I've written all of this. I just feel a big meh about the whole thing. Which is unfortunate but that's how it is sometimes. And it's worth saying that I'm definitely in the minority on my views for this one. Unexpected has received pretty high ratings on Goodreads, so it is worth you looking in to, at the very least. Well, on to the next book.

* I received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review *

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