Wednesday 3 May 2017

Review: Hard to Love

Hard to Love Hard to Love by Sandra Jones
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’m going to be honest through admitting my feelings towards Hard to Love are rather mixed. At times I was really pulled into the story and was considering giving it a four star rating, at other times I was forcing myself along as I wasn’t pulled into it in the way I wanted to be. It had high points, but it also had lows – hence, the three star rating. It had the potential to pull a four star rating from me, but it didn’t quite make it. Despite that, I’m confident the author has the potential to pull a four star rating from me for future books.

Hard to Love is one of those stories that pulls you in from the very start. It starts with a gripping event that leaves you wanting more, instantly pulling you into the lives of the main character. For the first part of the book there is so much going on, so many things that leave you with questions. In a way, it felt as though the author was trying to throw in all the tropes – such as ex drama and lack of trust, to give just two examples. These things are all wonderful, yet I felt as though it was too much for the first part of the book. Although it made for a lot of action, although it gave us numerous events, I feel as though the emotional connection was lacking.

You see, I enjoyed the events, but I didn’t really feel anything. I was watching rather than experiencing. With romance reads, I really like to feel what our characters are feeling. I want to go through the heartbreak and the fear; I want to be along for the ride. This book focused so much on giving us all of the events that I didn’t have the time to make the necessary connection with our characters. I was waiting for it to hit me, but it never quite did. Thus, I may have enjoyed the events (even if I do feel as though there were too many thrown into the first half of the book) but I didn’t feel them in the way I had hoped to.

For me, in quite a few ways, the second half of the book was better. It was much clearer where things were going, as we knew what the focus was to be. Rather than having countless events hitting us one after the other, the story made a move towards specifics. It felt rather slow in places, I’ll admit, but it seemed a lot more put together. I felt more, although I still failed to make the deep connection with characters that I had hoped to.

As a whole, it was an interesting read. This book does have a lot going for it, yet it failed to hit the mark for me. As a debut, it was a very interesting read, and I’ll certainly be interested in seeing how the author’s next book plays out.

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