For this blog tour, we’re looking at a tale that seems to describe New York City (at least its yuppie Upper West Side types) to a T. For this blog tour, we’re looking at A Small Affair by Flora Collins.
Here’s what I had to say about it on Goodreads:
NYC To A T. I’ve been trying to think about what to say about this book for four days and I’ve got… nothing. There isn’t anything overly technically wrong here (the time and perspective jumps can be jarring at times, maybe, but that’s about it), and it is in fact a mostly engaging story – you’re going to want to know what happened, and then you’re going to want to know how and why it happened. On both of these points, Collins gets rather explosive. Overall though this book just has the feel of an utterly pretentious New York… witch… who can’t see beyond her Upper West Side aspirations. Certainly for the characters, and maybe Collins herself was simply being a solid conduit of these characters. If you like tales of that particular yuppie New York world, eh, you’re probably going to LOVE this book. And again, even if that isn’t overly your thing, this is still a good book. But if you’re more of a Southern Suburbanite/ hillbilly type who remembers with fondness the old Pace Salsa commercials with their “*NEW YORK CITY?!?!?!?!?* tagline… this is NYC to a T from that perspective. So know that going in. Recommended.
After the jump, an excerpt from the book followed by the “publisher details” – book description, author bio, and social media and buy links.
Continue reading “#BlogTour: A Small Affair by Flora Collins”
This week we’re looking at a book that is a master class in how to take a tale that could veer into the prosaic and at least somewhat uninteresting and elevate it into a captivating and charming tale simply by making smart decisions in exactly how to tell exactly the same story. This week we’re looking at Beyond The Moonlit Sea by Julianne Maclean.
Interesting Case of Storytelling Excellence. This is one of those books where had the author chosen to tell this very same story in a more typical fashion, with just a single narrator that we follow over several decades of her life, it wouldn’t have been near as engaging or near as engrossing as the tale becomes by telling it the way she instead chose to tell it. As a singular narrative, the story is a solid tale of a woman struggling to find herself in her twenties and thirties, both as she finishes college and a bit later in the aftermath of a tragedy, who then has to deal with the repercussions of these events throughout her life. With the particular perspectives that MacLean adds – which do add extra length to the text that wouldn’t be present without them – we get a much more fleshed out tale that actually adds extra depth both to certain characters and to the overall story, and thus the extra length is absolutely warranted in this case. Ultimately a satisfying tale in a vein somewhat reminiscent of the great Robin Williams movie Bicentennial Man, without its length in years. 🙂 Very much recommended.
Rampant Misandry Mars Otherwise Interesting And Compelling Debut. Up front: If you’re looking at this as a potential romance book… it isn’t that. It is more of a women’s fiction book, with an interesting take on the genre and in particular the well-travelled bridesmaid trope. My biggest problem here is the truly rampant misandry – the main character here is *constantly* being so utterly bigoted towards men, to the level that if even a female author had flipped this and done the same thing with a male character towards females, every single review would lead off with how misogynistic the character was. Which is my own standard for bigotry: ok for me, but not for thee. If you can flip the demographics from the targeted to the targetter without issue, awesome. But if you would have a problem if that happened… then there is a problem, period. But again, fun and unconventional story outside of the blatant and rampant misandry, and thus one that truly is worthy of consideration. Just, again, do NOT go into this expecting a romance. More of a train wreck, really. Just a particularly entertaining one. Recommended.
This review of Bad Luck Bridesmaid by Allison Rose Greenberg was originally written on January 12, 2022.
In what is just about the only tradition we have here at BookAnon, yet again Barbara O’Neal has released a new book, and for the fourth year in a row, it is the Featured New Release of the Week on release week. This week, we’re looking at Write My Name Across The Sky by Barbara O’Neal.
Swinging For The Fence… But Not Quite Putting It Over. This was another of O’Neal’s works over the last few years where she is very clearly swinging for the fence in attempting to write a masterpiece that will leave you breathless – which she nailed in 2019’s When We Believed In Mermaids – that doesn’t quite make it over. Ultimately this is a solid double/ stretch triple – powerful and great, but also very clearly not quite what she was hoping for. And honestly, most of that has to do with the ending and particularly the flash-forward epilogue. As at least one other review has mentioned, this could have been better with another hundred pages or so to flesh out that particular area, or perhaps (my own suggestion here) as a duology wherein the resolutions to the varying plot threads are set up, and then executed (with complications, of course) in the second book. Still, truly a solid and compelling read that hooks you in early and makes you want to read all the way through. Very much recommended.
Sometimes You Find Yourself By Accident. Let’s be perfectly upfront: I don’t have one qualm whatsoever in telling you right here, right now that by the end of this book, the couple is together and everything is awesome. *THIS IS A ROMANCE BOOK*, and therefore this is a given. 😀
With that out of the way, this was actually a fun and fast one, reading seemingly much faster than its near 300 page length would generally suggest. It is fairly low angst, as much as that can be said of a romance featuring someone running from their life and another person trying to recover from his. It is utterly steeped in small town Southern charm, even if rooted in Texas (where they somehow think they are different from other Southern towns – you’re not, and football is as much a god anywhere in the rural South as it is in Texas 😉 ). And it has all of the requisite fish-out-of-water / good ol’ boy hijinx. The one thing it doesn’t have, which some romance fans will hate and others love, is that there is little more than kissing in this book, even as the couple is shown in bed overnight together. So for those “sweet” / “clean” romance types, this one is for you. If you *have* to have sex in your romance books… just know up front this one isn’t that. It was a great read regardless of that point, and a solid way to pass a couple of hours on a long summer day. Very much recommended.
This review of Second Chance Summer by Poppy St James was originally written on June 22, 2021.