Review: As You Wish

I received this book for free from Netgalley in order to prepare an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: As You WishAs You Wish by Jude Deveraux
Series: The Summerhouse
Published by Mira Books on March 6, 2018
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 416
Goodreads
two-stars

FINAL DECISION: This book isn’t really for me. The intertwined stories of three women combined with time travel/alternate realities was just too odd women’s fiction. Not a bad book, but not one I would pick up again.

THE STORY:  Sixty year old Oliva is a newlywed with regrets. Not over her marriage, but over the years she wasted away from the man she loves. Forty year old Kathy is married to man who is in love with someone else. Elise is married to a man who seems to want to get rid of her — in any way possible. The three end up at Summerhouse with the opportunity to change everything in their lives and make things right.

OPINION: I’m not the audience for this book because something really bothers me about the entire premise of the story. I don’t like the “let’s have a redo” on stories in general. It’s tricky because it feels to me like a cop-out on having to accept the choices one makes. I am often willing to suspend disbelief, but this premise always bothers me.

The multiple storylines also kept me disconnected from all of them. I prefer my books more emotion and this book just felt like a gimmick based on the plot. The story wasn’t bad and neither were the characters, but the resolution just didn’t work for me. I think someone who was willing to look past the plot twist might enjoy this one better.

On the positive side, I like seeing the Montgomerys.

WORTH MENTIONING: I’m not sure I like the impact of this story on THE GIRL FROM SUMMER HILL.

CONNECTED BOOKS: AS YOU WISH is the third book in the Summerhouse series, but I haven’t read those books. For me, the book is a sequel of sorts to THE GIRL FROM SUMMER HILL.

STAR RATING: I give this book 2 stars.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley. I was not required to write a review and I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.

two-stars

Review: The Girl from Summer Hill

I received this book for free from Netgalley in order to prepare an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Girl from Summer HillThe Girl from Summer Hill (Summer Hill, #1) by Jude Deveraux
Series: Summer Hill #1
Published by Ballantine Books on May 3rd 2016
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 384
Goodreads
four-stars

“There was a naked man on Casey’s back porch. She would have called the police or, at the very least, screamed if he hadn’t been so damned beautiful.”

FINAL DECISION: The funny and poignant drama of a cast of townspeople who perform Pride and Prejudice and live a version of it as well, THE GIRL FROM SUMMER HILL updates the story enough to be interesting while keeping the essential elements of Jane Austin’s timeless story.

THE STORY: Casey Reddick was a successful chef who allowed her career to take precedence over her love life.  After a failed relationship, Casey decided to take a break, spend time in Summer Hill and decide what to do with her life.  Unexpectedly she ends up being Elizabeth in a local production of Pride and Prejudice. Darcy is played by Tate Landers, a Hollywood star, who winds up in the production as well.  Tate has a rough, prideful exterior which ruffles Casey.  The two start off on the wrong foot and their romance is played out through the play itself which mirrors their romantic journey.

OPINION: This is an enjoyable light romance.  For me, the best part was the similarities and differences from Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice.  The story explicitly embraces its homage to Pride and Prejudice which makes the twists clever and funny.  It also allowed me to accept reactions that might otherwise annoy me such as Casey’s willingness to accept stories which paint Tate as a bad guy. In this reimagining of P&P, I am willing to forgive story twists which also annoyed me in P&P.  (FYI: I’m not really a fan of Austin’s P&P but I liked the romance between Elizabeth and Darcy).

One difference for me what that I liked Tate a lot more than I liked Darcy.  Tate is incredibly sweet which is typified by his incredibly lovely relationship with his niece.  I liked him so well that it made up for my meh feelings toward Casey until the middle of the book.

One thing I always love about Deveraux’s books is the great sense of place and community. This book is especially sweet because of the multilayed storytelling techniques — play, P&P and the actual events in this novel.  This sense of being in the play is especially emphasized by the chapter divisions which reflect the scene divisions in the play.

Adventurous fans of Pride and Prejudice should be tempted by this modern adaptation which respects Austin’s vision while providing enough contrast to provide modernity and creative contrast.

WORTH MENTIONING: This story actually has several secondary romances which mirror those in Pride and Prejudice — but also some surprises.

CONNECTED BOOKS: THE GIRL FROM SUMMER HILL is the first book in the Summer Hill series.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.

four-stars