I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts in this review are entirely my own.
I DNF at 50% – I tried to finish it but I just wasn’t enjoying it
This book looked really good at first glance— a romance between two female characters, a scandal in the fashion industry, and the premise of a fairytale retelling (though I wasn’t sold on yet another Beauty and the Beast retelling. See my ACOTAR review for more info). Unfortunately, this book didn’t really do it for me, but I’d still like to touch on what I found enjoyable and what I found problematic.
Successful fashion designer and company SEO, Ellis Renois, finds herself in trouble when two of her employees turn on her and attempt to destroy everything she’s worked for by stealing and leaking the year’s fashion designs. In order to salvage her reputation and company, she must turn to budding fashion designer and intern, Charlotte Hamner, in order to completely redesign the leaked fashion line before an impossible deadline.
What I Liked:
- Sexuality — I liked how the novel included a romance between two female characters. I feel like we don’t see enough of this in literature.2. Amis — I really enjoyed her character. She was by far the most unique.
3. Description where it existed — one of my big problems with this book is the lack of description, but where there was description it was very well done, making things quite visual and easy to picture.
4. Ellis & Sawyer’s relationship — I wasn’t fond of Ellis, and I had a few problems with Sawyer, but I liked how these two interacted in the book. It was a really nice factor of the book.
What I Disliked:
- Too much sexuality! — Ellis is a lesbian character. That’s fine— I picked up the book knowing that. But I didn’t really enjoy how every woman that seemed to cross Ellis’ path was suddenly trying to have sex with her. I’m pretty sure that’s not how sexuality works, considering a large scale of the people we encounter in everyday life are just straight. The thing that really bugged me was the scene with Brandi, whom we knew nothing about. She came out of nowhere, literally flicked Ellis’ nipples in the street, then proceeded to continue on as if they were just friends but then ask if she wanted to be more after flicking her nipples, and then they had sex. And mind you, this is all in the space of about five pages. What just happened?2. Ellis — Out of all the characters, Ellis is the one I had the most issues with. She was incredibly bipolar, being nasty and bitchy one minute, then sweet and caring the next, and her kindness seemed to come from a place that wasn’t fully developed, which was a little lacking with her character. What kind of person gets offended by a potential intern in their interview, then hunts them down to invite them to live with her so that she can help rebuild an entire fashion line?
3. Lack of description— as I mentioned above, the majority of the book really lacked basic description. I’m not talking about places and settings— I’m talking about simple actions between characters. I found the story very hard to follow because characters seemed to be jumping around from place to place and popping up at random times without warning, all due to their movements and sensory actions not being described properly.
4. Characterization issues— this is a hard one, because to a certain extent, Ellis, Sawyer, Amis and Charlotte had great backgrounds and relationships that really strengthened their characterization, but the rest were sort of sprinkled in where needed, making it hard to connect with them. In addition to this, I still had trouble connecting to the main characters because, again, it was hard to follow the story, and this made it hard to focus on the story and invest in the character’s emotions and struggles. At times, I felt like we were just told what to think of them, or informed where the relationship was at, instead of seeing it unfold.
There are a lot of characters, and I had trouble keeping track, so I’m just going to cover the main ones.
Ellis: She’s kind of bitchy and controlling, and she seems to have very little care for her employees unless it’s Ruby or Charlotte— at one point she defends Charlotte by screaming at an employee who’s been with her for longer than Charlotte. I don’t know, I just feel like that employee might deserve a more… civilized talking to?
Charlotte: She seems rude and closed off, but for good reason. Except she takes offence to everything Ellis does, even if it doesn’t deserve such a huge reaction— and sometimes, even when Ellis is trying to be nice.
Sawyer: I was really confused about Sawyer at times because she sounds very mature for her age, but at other times she comes across as a genuine kid.
Rueben: I don’t really understand a lot about him because he’s either keeping himself busy and popping up to give unsolicited advice every now and then, or drinking himself stupid.
Amis – Again, I already said I liked her above, but she was quite interesting. I liked her speech mannerisms and personality towards Sawyer and Ellis.
Jennifer & Dalton – These were our bad guys (which was made abundantly clear in the second chapter) and they just seemed like your typical, love-to-hate, greedy, evil, villainous duo. Not all that interesting, or fearful, for that matter— they came across like a pair of jealous idiots who were clearly going to fail. Which I guess is fine if you like predictable plots with a promised happy ending.
It wasn’t for me, but that doesn’t mean someone else won’t enjoy it. Someone with a lot more patience than myself, who can really appreciate the good points in this story and follow the plotline well enough for the characters to make an impact.
Chai Tea | This book had cultural/diverse themes in it.