How Many Wrongs Make a Mr. Right??
I have another long awaited book review for you today. As I said on Monday, I am a bad book blogger. One of the side effects of having the job I do is I'm constantly handling shiny new books, and sometimes they distract me from reading the ones I have on my Kindle. This does not bode well for Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs) or e-books that authors have sent me. I love getting them, and it's a fabulous "perk"...but I am easily distracted by the beautiful pages that pass through my hands on a daily basis at the Library. At least I own up to my flaws...
So, back in January...when I was in the throes of pneumonia and hating life...the author Stella Hervey Birrell contacted me and asked if I'd like to have a look at her book How Many Wrongs Make a Mr. Right? My guilty conscience feels wretched that it's taken me until now to finish it!
The book skips around in time through main character Melissa's life. We see her as a mother with a young son, working on her patience with an energetic child who is constantly pestering her about daddy. We also see Melissa as a teenager, asking her Dad to stop calling her Melly...being fussed at over homework and spending so much time on the phone. But for most of the book we catch Melissa living in the Lake District or Edinburgh, in timelines not too far apart...navigating her early 20's, dating and friendship...and sorting out who she is.
Melissa makes a lot of bad decisions...as most of us did in our early 20's. When you meet her you learn that her father has recently passed away, and she was hospitalized for some sort-of undisclosed mental health issue. She works in a pub...and when she's not working there, she's drinking with her friends there. You find yourself hoping that she has eventually grown up and lived a good life that produces the child you meet from her future.
It took me quite a few chapters to get into this book. I'm giving it 3 stars on Goodreads, but I can't quite put my finger on what's keeping me from giving it a 4. I'm going to try and suss it out though.
I really struggled to keep the two time periods that are close together from getting all jumbled up in my mind. They were just too similar in date and voice. I spent a few chapters getting Gary and Gerry confused...along with mixing up a few of Melissa's other friends. I also didn't love the main character enough to be truly invested in most of it. I think it was just missing that special something really.
But it wasn't a bad book...not horribly written so don't get me wrong. I read until the wee hours to see what was going to happen in poor Melissa's love life. I enjoyed the descriptions of the folk music scene in Edinburgh, and how this young woman still went to church on most Sundays...occasionally with a killer hangover. Plus it made me miss living in Europe.
So, a nice book but it was lacking that indefinable spark that brings a book from good to great for me.
Also...were people really texting much in the UK in 2001?? Someone please let me know in the comments here or over on my Facebook page. It has been driving me crazy since I finished this book. We left England in February of 2001...and I don't remember people texting much. I don't really remember people texting friends until closer to 2006. Or at least texting with regularity. Didn't you have to be using the same phone company, or paying per text message, or some sort-of pain in the ass system back then?? Let me know!!