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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

This Close to Okay by Leesa-Cross Smith ARC Book Review


Disclaimer: I received an ARC and it in no way affected my opinion or thoughts on this book. My opinions are my own.

First of all I want to thank the publisher for sending a copy of this my way, the cover is gorgeous and I really enjoyed annotating it as I was reading it, a fun experience for a book to review. 

It is within itself separated in sections which was  a great idea from the author because the novel actually only span over such a small time frame that it helped have a more emotional connection to the characters and story, because it felt organic in a way. While there are time jumps as we learn the past of the characters, it is a very linear story in itself and linear story telling, I found myself enjoying the formatting of it a lot and the author's writing style was super easy to get into. Now that is about all the good stuff, at least for me.

The regrettable thing about this book was the character development, it just wasn't there for me, again this is due to the small time period over which the story spans, nobody grows a bunch in such a small time. I wanted to see growth especially from a character that was as unlikable as our main character Tallie was, she was judgmental and so immature for a 40 years old divorced woman. It was hard to believe to truly believe in who she was supposed to be presented to be, because the whole time she felt much younger. Her thoughts were similar to the wining and immaturity of an adolescent, and she felt like a bad person. Yes she had just saved someone from suicide, but then she judged him about that, went through his stuff without consent and rather than getting him help invited him home after a couple hours of having met him. 

Tallie, was supposed to be a therapist with her own personal issues, but there is a limit to having your own issue and breaching the trust, especially a therapist who knows about this stuff, of someone who she must consider a sort of patient. She should know better and if she is not in the right place mentally to help him it is her duty to get him that right help from other sources because he is clearly a danger to his own safety. 

Anyhow, another thing that really got to me, and rubbed me the wrong way was when they started to fall in love. She kept berating Emmet and telling him about this random lilac-ish something energy she kept being all therapist-ish with him telling him her lingo of words to explain things, which how do you fall in love with someone constantly looking down on you and judging you I don't know (he somehow is unaffected by all this and with the state of mind he previously had it makes me wonder how this is even real). Furthermore this 40 years old woman propels the narrative of not being "that kind of girl", "being different from other girls". I hated those parts of it.

The problem with this book is that it did not feel real, the story in itself was interesting as a concept but unfortunately badly executed. This is supposed to be contemporary fiction and it did not feel real, which is the whole point to reading such a book. 

In the end the writing style of this book could not save it, I had too many issues and for a book written by a woman I was gutted that she had pushed the "different from other woman" narrative. Aren't we as women better than this ? We know better than to judge and put down other women in the hopes of pushing ourselves up, or at least I thought we were past all that. 
A book that left a bad taste in my mouth.
2/5 stars.

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