By the Book- DNF

I didn’t finish this book because the third person narrative wasn’t working for me this time. I didn’t like how there’s a bunch of mini flashbacks that I hadn’t been a part of, such as:

“as they had descended into LA, she’d determined that she was going to enjoy this trip, no matter what.”


“…a very drunk guy at a bar had told them each, separately, that she was devastatingly beautiful.”

Both of these could’ve been shown in real time, or shown in conversation. It feels a bit awkward.

There’s lots of telling words like, wondered, considered, wanted… etc that takes me out of the story.

Here’s my thoughts while reading the beginning:

Izzie starts a new job in the prologue at a publishing company. I love books about books and also wanted to pick up a contemporary romance by a Black author. So the prologue felt too positive like Disney princess fluff with all the exclamation points. There was too much telling and not enough showing so I’m hoping the novel fluidity changes once we hit chapter one. It starts out two years later.

She’s not thrilled about her job anymore since it feels more like stressful homework and not the whimsical bookish career she has envisioned. And on top of that, every attempt to write her own book has failed so far.

Here’s the blurb:

Isabelle is completely lost. When she first began her career in publishing right out of college, she did not expect to be twenty-five, living at home, still an editorial assistant, and the only Black employee at her publishing house. Overworked and underpaid, constantly torn between speaking up or stifling herself, Izzy thinks there must be more to this publishing life. So when she overhears her boss complaining about a beastly high-profile author who has failed to deliver his long-awaited manuscript, Isabelle sees an opportunity to finally get the promotion she deserves.

All she has to do is go to the author’s Santa Barbara mansion and give him a quick pep talk or three. How hard could it be?

But Izzy quickly finds out she is in over her head. Beau Towers is not some celebrity lightweight writing a tell-all memoir. He is jaded and withdrawn and—it turns out—just as lost as Izzy. But despite his standoffishness, Izzy needs Beau to deliver, and with her encouragement, his story begins to spill onto the page. They soon discover they have more in common than either of them expected, and as their deadline nears, Izzy and Beau begin to realize there may be something there that wasn’t there before.

Best-selling author Jasmine Guillory’s reimagining of a beloved fairy tale is a romantic triumph of love and acceptance and learning that sometimes to truly know a person you have to read between the lines.

Published by CassieSwindon

Fiction author

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