Thursday, February 27, 2014

In Your Eyes - Amy's Review of IN BLOOM by Katie Delahanty

Today I want you all to give a warm welcome to Amy, our newest reviewer here at Ficwishes. Be sure to stop by our Meet the Reviewers page to learn more about each of us and follow us on Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
Sometimes I read a book and I just know that I am being unfair. I try not to be, but I have moods. (I am a woman after all.) These moods effect how I view things around me, including books. After I finished reading IN BLOOM by Katie Delahanty, I just knew that my first reaction wasn't a true reflection of this story, so I asked Amy to read it and let me know what she thought.
Below you will find her review.

Thank to to Entangled Embrace and the author for an ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

In Bloom (The Brightside #1) by Katie Delahanty

Synopsis from Goodreads:
My name is Olivia Bloom and I. Am. Free.
I left for LA with everything I owned piled into my old Volkswagen and dreams of becoming a costume designer. Little did I know I’d wind up designing for a lingerie company—yeah, not sure how I landed this gig—and taken under the wing of two young Hollywood insiders. The fashion shows and parties were great, but life really got exciting when the seriously hottest lead singer of my favorite band started to fall for me. 
How does someone like me, an ordinary girl from Pittsburgh, wind up in the arms of the world’s sexiest rock star—surrounded by celebrities, fashion, and music—and not be eaten alive? Berkeley is everything I've ever dreamed of in a boyfriend, but the paparazzi, the tabloids, the rumors, it's all getting a bit too crazy. My life has become every girl’s dream come true, if only I don’t blink and lose it all…

On Amazon
On Barnes & Noble

About the Author:

Katie is a fashion designer turned novelist. She graduated with a BA in Communication Studies from UCLA and a Professional Designation in Fashion Design from FIDM. It never occurred to her that she was a writer until an economic crisis induced career shift from lingerie designer to ecommerce webmistress led her to start the company blog. Not being an expert in lingerie, she decided to write the blog as a fictional serial starring a girl named Olivia Bloom who worked for the lingerie line. And that’s when Katie fell in love with storytelling. She hasn’t looked back since. Katie lives in Los Angeles with her husband.

Author On Twitter
Author's Website

My Review:
I will admit it.  I have been binge reading New Adult novels for the last three months and was starting to become a disillusioned and bitter reader struggling to find a book that grabbed me on page one, had interesting characters, didn’t commit what I consider to be writing crimes (repetitive word use, peppered with –ly words, subplot thrown in with no purpose, etc.), and made me want to put off everything else scheduled in my day to finish the book. I know, I know, I ask a lot as a reader. I don’t really consider it a fault, per say, but it is something I am working on.
And, in the interest of full disclosure, I was ready to be let down by this book before I even started.
It’s been that sort of reading season for me.
I was pleasantly surprised.
What I enjoyed about this book is that even though it is a girl-next-door-moves-to-the-big-city-meets-rockstar love story, author Katie Delahanty manages to anchor her fictional world in reality just enough that all these things are not out of the realm of possibility and I was't left rolling my eyes, wanting to tell the author, “Better luck next time!” Working a party full of celebrities because your friends with someone in the PR firm? Absolutely! Embarrassing yourself in front of A-list celebrities? Duh, who hasn’t! Getting your name on a list to an Oscar party because someone owes a guy in your building a favor? That’s how Hollywood works, dah-ling.
I enjoyed how relatable the story was, even if it is a work of fiction. I think that at one point or another, we have all felt that our favorite musician was speaking to our soul through his/her music and have had daydreams of randomly running into him/her while living our daily life, falling deeply in love, and becoming his/her muse. Some of us know what it is like to escape where we came from to try to live out our dreams. Others know the pain that relationships can bring. In one way or another, on some level, I think this book can speak to nearly everyone.
While the hero and heroine, Olivia Bloom and Berkeley Dalton, are genuinely likeable, there were a few times I found myself wanting to shake Olivia’s shoulders and tell her to buck up! There were a few anti-climactic moments where the author introduced a situation that could have been developed more for depth to the story and main plotline, but these circumstances were not done in such a way it was obvious that the author included these to move the story forward or to add tension. In other words, the writing wasn’t lazy. The hero, Berkeley, in charming in a very Lloyd Dobler sort of way, so you know I was totally crushing on him. And while you are invited to hear about the sex scenes, you are never allowed in the bedroom, meaning if smut is what you are after, you aren’t going to find it here. (On a side note, I actually think the less is more fits this story well).
What I really enjoyed in this book, however, were the minor characters. They were great! From Olivia’s psychic mom, to her friends Blair and Parker, or Mister Willis, each character had a unique voice and it was often the minor characters that had me grinning and chuckling out loud as I was reading and *I* wanted to be their friends more than I wanted to be Olivia’s friend. Not that Olivia is a harpy or anything, the minor characters were just very endearing to me.
Maybe it’s because I still dream of Noel Gallagher or Danny Wood coming to sweep me off my feet (Sorry, husband, you know I REALLY only have eyes for you), but overall, I really enjoyed this book and give it four out of five stars.

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