- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Posted July 3, 2012
Really disliked it...
I did not like this book, and I've summed up all my dislike into two reasons.
1.”Intelligent” characters did not behave intelligently and characters’ decisions (and character traits) did not make sense.
Both the male and female leads in this one are set up as intelligent characters. While it should be safe to assume that supposedly intelligent characters will use their noggins when making decisions, that’s not what happens in this book. Willow’s decisions have no logical basis at all, and I can’t think of a single instance of her intelligence in action throughout the book. James approaches investigating the same way a person would if his entire occupational experience of investigation consisted of his having watched a few episodes of Murder, She Wrote when he was a kid. So what was the point of describing them as intelligent people?
In general, the characters in this book did not make sense. Willow’s mom suffers from some sort of mental illness, so Willow decided when she was about 18 or 19 that she would never marry because it was her duty to take care of her mother. To that end, she discouraged all male attention and made it to age 29 without a single suitor. Then she meets James. She still doesn’t want to marry, but her reasoning doesn’t make sense in light of a much more obvious reason to avoid marrying. I mean, if your mom is crazy, it makes sense to avoid marrying because you are afraid of passing mental illness on to your children. With that reason–perfectly logical–just hanging out there like an unacknowledged elephant in the room, it seems bizarre that Willow is so focused on the idea that she can’t marry because it would be impossible for her to care for both her mother and her family. Her decision just doesn’t make sense, except that, however unreasonable, it can be overcome by a HEA.
James has spent his entire life bucking convention, and we’re given a reason for it, but it doesn’t really make sense. So his uncle got away with a crime because he was a peer (of the realm), and that unfairness prompts James to turn his back on society and all of its stupid rules. What does that have to do with polite behavior? And is James’ haircut (or lack thereof) seriously connected to his uncle’s perfidy? And–-I love it–-he can’t even consider marrying Willow because she’s someone his mom would like, and his most compelling character trait is that he never does anything that would make his mom happy. Isn’t that romantic? I’ve always dreamed of marrying a man who still acts like a 13-year-old.
3. She’s a clever girl, which means she’s almost as smart as a man of average intelligence.
Willow only really demonstrates her cleverness twice in the book (the rest of the time the author just tells you that she’s clever rather than showing you), and on both occasions, the author points out that the proof of Willow's intelligence lies in her having figured out something that James already figured out. When I figure something out right away and it takes someone else a few minutes, hours, or days to catch up, I don't usually assume that the other person is intelligent just for having finally joined me on planet comprende. In fact, I usually assume that the other person is a bit dim for taking so long to get there. But in this book, James figures things out days before Willow does, and when she finally susses it out, he's like, "OMG, U R so smart!" It's ridiculous.