My rating: ❤❤ of 5!
Length: 350 pages
Published: the 29th of June 2017.
Written by: Kirsty Greenwood
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Olive Brewster is a scaredy cat. She doesn’t do new or risky. She’s happy enough with her job at the local market, it’s cool that she has no boyfriend to fret over, she even likes that she still lives in her childhood home. No drama, no fuss, no problems. Everything is fine. Super duper fine.
Except … Olive’s best friend in the world, Birdie, is dying.
Birdie has one final wish. She wants to track down her first love, Chuck, and because she’s stuck in the hospital she needs Olive’s help to do it. But there’s a teeny problem: Chuck is somewhere in New York and Olive has never even left her home town, let alone roamed the crazy streets of Manhattan.
As if the big city isn’t scary enough, Olive has to contend with Seth, a cocky comedy TV writer who thinks she’s a joke; Anders, a bored socialite who’s taken a shine to her; and the fact that no matter how hard she tries to track down Chuck, he doesn’t seem to want to be found.
Can Olive learn to overcome her fears, abandon her old safe routine and fulfil her best friend’s last wish? It’s going to take extra bravery, one badass attitude and a whole lot of big sexy love to make this happen …
I think one of the most valuable lessons I re-learned with this books is this: just because “they” say it’s funny, doesn’t mean I’ll laugh. As I read this book, I frowned and sighed more than I laughed. Come to think of it, I’m not even sure my lips curled into a smile. This is a perfect example of why it is so very important that authors know how to control the plot. Because in this book it seems like Kirsty Greenwood just kind of let it all run amok, and then only towards the end, remembered that she needed it all to be tied up and connected.
At the start it all seemed promising. I mean, a 27 year old who’s never even left the family home, barely been out of the county she lives in – let alone left the country – is now about to cross the pond, in search of her BFF’s long lost big sexy love. When I was 24 I moved to England from Denmark, and left my family and friends behind. So for me this was an intriguing read. And the potential was endless. I was quickly weirded out by Olive’s life, or lack of the same. This girl is not living life in any way, shape or form. She’s surviving. But I instantly fell for the friendship between Olive and Birdie. Despite being terminally ill, Birdie has so much fire in her and I really like her willpower.
When Olive is packing I started identifying with her, because I am the worst packer. Every time I go anywhere my luggage is stuffed full. I am forever playing fast & loose with the weight rules, because I just have to squeeze one more thing in there. I simply cannot limit myself. I hate the thought of maybe needing something, that I could easily have packed, but didn’t.
I gather the scarves to my chest. I cannot choose between them. It took me thirty minutes to choose these final ten that were still in the running towards becoming America’s Next Top Scarf For My Neck. ‘I have scarves for all occasions here, every type of weather, every type of outfit. What if I leave the wrong ones behind?’
I can relate!
After Olive left the house to go to the airport, it started going downhill fast. Not only is Olive a scaredy cat, she’s also hell bent on blaming everyone around her, for what goes wrong. Seriously, she lives in her own little coo coo bubble, where there’s no room for self reflection or ownership of the mistakes she makes.
- When she grabs Seth on the plane, and ask him to go to the toilet with her. He assumes this stranger wants them to join the Mile High Club, she just wants to be escorted to the toilet for a wee, but she doesn’t find it necessary to explain that part.
- When said stranger uses the absurd wee encounter as material on Saturday Night Live (a US comedy show), she becomes outraged. Though, this is actually funny, her reaction ruins the otherwise funny moment – especially as she claims to know of the show.
- After seeing the show Olive convinces herself, that no one will recognise her as being the girl the sketch was about. Despite the actress showing hair similar to Olive’s, wearing a pink bumbag/fanny pack similar to Olive’s, she doesn’t think to change either of the things. So she briskly walks out of the Air BnB and into a bakery in New York. Yet, when she’s recognised she cannot believe it. This being despite no one else around her, is described as wearing a bumbag.
- The moral high ground is basically where she lives, as long as it suits her. Because when she randomly sees Seth in the street and walks over to yell at him, for using her as inspiration in the TV show, she becomes flustered and distracted. So much so, that she accidentally post the letter from Birdie, that she’s there to deliver by hand. Again, she blames Seth for distracting her, despite the fact she was the one confronting him.
- When she’s recognised in a coffee shop as being the one from the, for wearing her pink bumbag (or as its called in the US: fanny pack), she blames Seth again. At no point is she thinking, that she should have worn something less noticeable.
- When she and Seth tracks down the place her letter ended up, she expects that the guy who works there drops everything, just because she
askstells him to. When Seth bribes him with tickets to the show, and inform her he only gets 6 a year and she just cost him 2 of them, she doesn’t even feel grateful. Because her careless actions are totally his fault.
- She goes from one absurd and ridiculous situation to the next. Each more far out than the last. And at no point does she feel the need to take a good and hard look in the mirror, and maybe revise the way she goes about things.
- She keeps forgetting about the fake fiance she made up on her flight, and when others point it out she has to constantly remind herself. I don’t know if this is a desperate attempt at being funny, or a failed try at making a heavily flawed heroine seem likeable. Either way, it fell flat for me.
- Everyone she meets are only there to serve her. None of the secondary characters seem wholesome, except for Birdie. It’s all about how they can aid her and serve her best.
- The two characters who aren’t smitten with Olive, are not only ridiculed. They’re made villains. One of them being the girlfriend of Olive’s brothers. Admittedly, she’s not the nicest of people but on the other hand, she’s spot on when she criticises Olive for being unable to take care of her self.
Needless to say, that Olive really isn’t a sympathetic character. But what’s more is, that she doesn’t even feel like a real character. You hear about the things she does, but you cannot feel it. To me she seemed too much of a cartoon character.
But then at 65% something truly amazing happens, she stops taking herself so seriously. Instead she starts chilling and have a good time. Unfortunately for me, the damage was already done at this point, and I still didn’t find the book funny or even good. It was barely tolerable, which is mostly because of Olive’s self righteous and immature cry baby attitude.
What I would have liked to see more of, is the interactions between Olive and Birdie. Birdie seems like such a great character, and I kept hoping that Kirsty Greenwood would expand on this bond. But alas, no such luck. Except for the two friends being reunited, and a very touching epilogue, she doesn’t do anything else about it. And I really did want to read Birdie’s letters.
I think I’ll be giving Kirsty Greenwood’s books another chance, and try my luck with another one. Hopefully, one with a more likeable leading lady.
Have you read any books by the author? How do you feel about characters who takes themselves too seriously? Let’s talk in the comments!
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