In general, I have steered clear of self-published works and I have done so for two reasons: fear of a horribly written novel and fear of a horribly edited novel. In this instance both of those fears were proven wrong. T. B. Markinson (link to her new author blog), aka TBM as I’ve known her from her wonderful personal blog, asked me to provide a review of the novel, for which I received no compensation. So let’s get on to the book and my thoughts.
Once again I either didn’t fully read or, most likely, misinterpreted the blurb for the story. For some reason I got it into my head that this was going to be a traditional mystery novel. Clearly, I was wrong; I mean you could argue there was a bit of mystery, but if anything it was more just the suspense of romance. What this novel is, and what it was great at, was a fast-paced and entertaining romantic comedy of errors.
I felt TBM created believable characters that were easy to identify with, especially the protagonist Lizzie. I basically was reading about myself in the female lesbian form and it was hilarious to imagine myself in these types of predicaments. I mean it really was a comedy of errors, how many times can Lizzie get into a questionable situation and yet survive without completely destroying her relationships and friendships. Needless to say they don’t all end well and they don’t all end happily.
The parts of the book I loved the most were when Lizzie interacted with her best friend Ethan. There was just something about those parts which not only helped to clarify Lizzie as a character, but more importantly served to show her progress as a character. These sections also showcased TBM’s wit and sense of humor which was great. I also enjoyed the inclusion of an ambiguous (sexuality wise) character who was a southern transplant that served as a reflection for Lizzie to find herself.
The ‘negatives’ of the book are all very minor with the largest being the character Maddie. I’m sure that just comes from my dislike of her, but I felt that she wasn’t as fully developed as she could be. For a chunk of the story she just goes missing, for a purpose, but it just felt like oh she disappeared for a while and she’s back. When I finished reading I wasn’t mad at the character, but I also didn’t love her character either. She just felt so immature and not quiet flushed out, but that could have been the choice of the author which isn’t necessarily a wrong one.
The only other thing that I noticed is TBM has been in London a bit too long as there were a couple of British-isms that a really good copy editor would have questioned, unless they are commonplace enough elsewhere and I just didn’t know them before I lived in the UK.
Recommendation: Overall, this was a great book and I enjoyed reading it. As a debut novel it is definitely worth a read. I finished it in two sittings and felt there was very little missing. I can’t wait to see what TBM writes next!
Opening Line: “Hello.”
Closing Line: “And she was right. It was her. It was finally all about her.” (Whited out.)