I'm trying to keep up with all my reading a little better this year, as in attempting to write my review in the not too distant aftermath of reading a book. So! That means I have more mini reviews for y'all! :)
I don't know how Ms. Wade does it, but she excels at writing romances that make me swoon! John has some serious and oh-so-sizzling chemistry with Nora. And Nora herself is a bookworm librarian who loves period dramas! Perfect combination in my book. :) I loved their interactions, and how totally gone over him Nora was. It was pretty much love at first sight for her, and while John took a bit more time (silly man!), their genuine friendship was a wonderful build up to their eventual romance. They simply complemented each other, in spite of all the ways they were so vastly different. And the plot twist near the end was completely unexpected! (In a good way.) As was how very anxious I am to read the other two sisters' stories now. Aaahhh, I dislike waiting! ;)
Yet I also have to mention that, for as much as I love this story, I have a few quibbles with it as well. The main one being a particular plot point. After all the angst Nora feels in the beginning due to what had happened to her in the past, I was disappointed that she essentially does the same thing to someone else. I do realize it wasn't intentional on her part, but I just wasn't a fan of the fact that she ends up helping hurt someone else the same way she was hurt, unintentionally or not. I will say that Ms. Wade does handle the situation very nicely overall, so that helps. Quibbles and all, I thoroughly enjoyed this story and highly recommend it!
I love Harriet Manners! I mean, how can you not? She's a bit clumsy, a lot insecure, fabulously geeky, and all around awesome! Her adventures never fail to make me grin. And her knowledge of all things random is the BEST. I love how she spouts off all these odd facts to everyone around her. Yet it's not just her intelligence that endears her to me, it's how she learns and grows through the story. She has much to learn about life and much to enjoy at the same time! And she is constantly working her way through the myriad of characters surrounding her, some becoming the best of friends and some not so much, especially in this book. I'm not sure whether Japan was really ready for Harriet, nor that she was ready for it, but there she goes anyway. Through everything that happens, she never loses her inherent "Harriet-ness", for which I am grateful! I love her to pieces, faults and all, and cannot wait to read about more of her adventures in the next few books. Harriet Manners for the win! :)
Sophie Kinsella writes very addictive stories! Catchy and fun, I pick them up and can't put them down until I'm finished. While I admit that it took a bit before I decided I liked Katie herself, once she leaves the city behind, I quickly found myself swept up into her life. She doesn't always make the right choices, but is smart enough to figure out ways to make the best of them. Once Demeter enters her life again, the fun really begins! I simultaneously laughed and cringed my way through Katie's antics, and the friendship that slowly springs up between the two is wonderful to watch.
The romance bits were cute and funny as well. I wasn't sure about our hero for a while, but he gradually tugged me over to his side, and he and Katie's chemistry was rather nicely complementary to the rest of the story. They moved a bit more quickly than I had anticipated, but overall I liked watching them figure each other out and grow closer. This isn't a perfect story by any means, but has just the right amount of sweet and serious, coupled with several laugh out loud moments. Very enjoyable!