The Last Letter From Your Lover by Jojo Moyes

Reviewed by Brittany Morgan

 

Two star-crossed lovers are put to the ultimate test. In 1960 Jennifer Stirling awakes from a horrific car accident that left her without recollection of the accident or herself. Feeling like an outsider in her elite world of London’ wealthiest families, her husband, Laurence, tries to reintegrate Jennifer and start their marriage over again. His plan changes when Jennifer stumbles upon a love letter written by the mysterious and heartfelt ‘B’ and is determined to discover his identity and rekindle their passionate affair.

Nearly 40 years later, struggling journalist Ellie, stumbles upon Jennifer’s love letters from ‘B’ and promises to turn her career around with a knock out feature piece. The journey to write the story hits too close to home for Ellie as she risks her career, friends and married boyfriend in the name of Jennifer and ‘B’. This utterly romantic – yet gut wrenching – page-turner fully captures the reader and takes them along for the ride.

The Last Letter from Your Lover is the second novel by Jojo Moyes I have read and I am 100% a fan of her work. I love her writing style and the way she creates her characters to be either likeable or evil when necessary. Moyes’ plot line is well thought out and peppered with characters that are the perfect vehicle for the story and theme. Jennifer is neither annoying nor whiny, which is common in contemporary romance novels, when making hard and life changing decisions.

Predictability is the enemy is any author and is Moyes had one fault in the story that was it. The conclusion of the novel was more obvious with each passing page towards the end of the text. With that being said, it was an ending that left the reader wholeheartedly satisfied.

RATING: 4 Stars

Brava, Valentine by: Adriana Trigiani

Reviewed by: Brittany Morgan

Gianluca made his intentions clear to Valentine in Capri yet it was not meant to be. While attending her grandmother’s wedding in Tuscany, Valentine comes face to face with Gianluca once again. Their simmering romance ignites once again as the couple embark in the uncharted territory of a long distance relationship. Valentine’s work life stability is not much better as her grandmother names Valentine’s brother, Alfred, partner the family shoe company. As life continues to throw curve balls at Valentine, she can either step up to the plate or never reach her full potential.

I did not realize that this book was a second in a series and I have to commend Trigiani on providing background information in the story so readers understood the context. I read this novel via audio book and it was one of the better ones that I have listened to. I enjoyed the narrator and her various accents for the English, Spanish and Italian characters.

“Brava, Valentine” is a classic tale of a character maturing over the course of the story and developing into who they are supposed to be by the last page. The problem that Trigiani and ultimately Valentine ran into is that she is in her 30’s and acts with the maturity of a teenager. The highlight of the novel was Valentine’s quirky family that anyone could find some relatable aspect with.

In short, this book was underwhelming at best. Trigiani tried to do too much in a relatively short novel and bit off more than she could chew. There were too many subplots, undertones and social concepts that she tried to employ but it came off as sloppy. The protagonist Valentine was far from likeable and even verged on pathetic on several dozen instances.

 

RATING: 2 Stars

The Best of Me by: Nicholas Sparks

Reviewed By: Brittany Morgan

“The Best of Me” is Nicholas Sparks’ latest book. It follows the lives of Dawson and Amanda years after their high school romance ended. Amanda is now married with three children and Dawson is single working at the oil rig in New Orleans. When they both meet up for a funeral, they rekindle their once in a life time romance and think about their future together.

Over all I was extremely disappointed by this read. I found most of the story stating the action, rather than experiencing in it. It included complex outside stories that have little meaning to the overall plot. I never connected to Dawson and Amanda to like, or respect for that matter, as characters. And the ending, not to give it away, was predictable and at best.

This book has been made into a film that is scheduled to come out October 17, 2014. It stars James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan. 

RATING: 2 Stars