Sunday, August 2, 2015

Book Review: The Idea of Love by Patti Callahan Henry

The Idea of Love 
By Patti Callahan Henry
Release Date: June 23, 2015
Source: Netgalley
Ella's life has been completely upended. She's young, beautiful, and deeply in love—until her husband dies in a tragic sailing accident while trying save her. Or so she'll have everyone believe. Screenwriter Hunter needs a hit, but crippling writers' block and a serious lack of motivation are getting him nowhere. He's on the look-out for a love story. It doesn't matter who it belongs to. 

When Hunter and Ella meet in Watersend, South Carolina it feels like the perfect match, something close to fate. In Ella, Hunter finds the perfect love story, full of longing and sacrifice. It's the stuff of epic films. In Hunter, Ella finds possibility. It's an opportunity to live out a fantasy – the life she wishes she had because hers is too painful. And more real. Besides. what's a little white lie between strangers? 
But one lie leads to another, and soon Hunter and Ella find themselves caught in a web of deceit. As they try to untangle their lies and reclaim their own lives, they feel something stronger is keeping them together. And so they wonder: can two people come together for all the wrong reasons and still make it right?

It's no secret that romances are my favorite. Why else would I absolutely adore Nicholas Sparks's books? When I read the summary for The Idea of Love, I was hoping for another romance that was sweet and kept me reading all night. Unfortunately, I did not care about the main characters and found it hard to engage with the story at all. 

Ella had thought that she had everything: a loving husband and a great life. Until it's not so great anymore. Ella feels lost and has no idea what to do with herself, but when Ella runs into screenwriter Hunter, Ella is intrigued. Hunter is in the midst of a horrible case of writer's block and is seeking for the inspiration he needs to write the movie that will be his big break. The moment he sees Ella in a cafe in the small town of Watersend, South Carolina, words pour out of Hunter and he can't stop thinking about Ella. The more time the two spend together, the more they start to fall for each other. But both Ella and Hunter are keeping secrets that could ruin what they have before it has even begun. 

I love books about writers, so when Hunter was introduced as a screenwriter of romances, I was so excited. I couldn't wait to see how he found inspiration from Ella and how their romance would play out. Instead of loving his story, though, I found myself annoyed and disconnected from his character. I was not a fan of his past, no matter how much he talked about feeling guilty for what he did. He just seemed like a slimy guy and I did NOT want him to work out with Ella. I wanted that girl to get far away, especially since I wasn't really feeling their "connection" in the first place. 

While I liked Ella, I wasn't a fan of some of the decisions she made. While I understand that she was in a very vulnerable place with her marriage and trying to figure out how to understand her life, she just let others persuade her decisions in a way that I wasn't happy with. I did enjoy her friendship with Mimi and how she started to grow a backbone at work, but I sort of wanted more about her designing life throughout the beginning instead of just near the end when it became a bigger part of the storyline. In the end, I was left unsettled with Ella's character and wasn't on her side as much as I wanted to be. 

Overall, this one missed the mark for me. I wasn't invested in the characters and did not connect with their relationship at all. I did not like Hunter and didn't really care about the outcome of Hunter and Ella's relationship. While the premise sounded promising, The Idea of Love was not the book for me. 

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