Hey, everyone! 🙂 I’m back! Well, I wasn’t really away, I just didn’t get to post my review on Thursday. But it’s here now, and it’s about a YA contemporary novel, no less!
Shocked? Thrilled? Both? Neither?
Well, I tried…
This review is completely spoiler-free.
- Title: Wesley James Ruined My Life
- Author: Jennifer Honeybourn
- Publisher: Swoon Reads
- Publication Date: July 18th, 2017
- Page Count: 256
In between striving to save up for her London trip, a grandmother she adores being put into a home, and an irresponsible gambling father, Quinn thought her summer couldn’t get any worse. That is, until her childhood friend, Wesley James, whom she now despises, returned to their hometown and decided he wanted to be part of her life again. Not only that, but he manages to get a job at the same medieval themed restaurant, the Tudor Thymes. All in order to annoy her! Right?
The first time I saw this one was on Mandy’s blog, I think. We both fangirled about it featuring a girl working at a medieval themed restaurant and a hot guy set out to ruin her life… I mean, what could go wrong? Also, I loved the cover… So adorable! Unfortunately, the story itself didn’t live up to my initial expectations. At all.
It’s a short and fast read. I finished it in about two or three days, which for me is quite the record. Despite not being incredibly deep or complex (and to be fair, it did have a lot more to it than I previously thought it would), it served its purpose and entertained me. I found myself unable to put the book down, which I’m not really sure why now, but I didn’t complain.
Like any fluffy, cute contemporary, it had its dramatic moments. I found myself crying a couple times and feeling so much for the characters and their circumstances. It was actually quite heartbreaking.
I also liked that Quinn’s relationship with her grandma, her father, her aunt and her friends took up a considerable chunk of the story. It was nice that it wasn’t all about Wesley and romance. It was especially heartwarming to read about why she wanted to go to England.
I loved reading about the Tudor Thymes and the people working there. They were quite interesting and fun. Quinn’s summer job experience will probably resonate with a lot of readers, although I found it weird that she would feel embarrassed about it and think it was lame. Girl, a medieval themed restaurant is totally not lame!
I did enjoy the last quarter of the book more. I think that, without it, I would have given this a much lower rating. It tied up okay (if ever so predictably) and managed to redeem itself somewhat. I also thought the epilogue, especially, was really cute, if a bit rushed.
I didn’t care much for this story in the beginning, at all. In fact, I was ready to DNF it on the spot. But, because it was so short and I wanted to see how it would change my mind, I stuck around.
The big “secret” behind why Quinn hates Wesley made my eyes roll almost to the back of my skull. It was weak and just completely nonsensical. It also felt like the author had decided she needed a motive to have her main character “hate” this other character, so she made up one on the spot without giving it much thought.
I mean, I would have accepted that Quinn, at twelve years old, would have believed that. It makes perfect sense to me. But no way can anyone convince me she didn’t finally realize the truth a few years later. Especially not at SEVENTEEN.
I could also understand Quinn’s frustration while dealing with Wesley sometimes. What makes no sense to me is how the story progresses. For instance, had she confronted Wesley as soon as he’d step foot into Seattle, none of those awkward and stupid situations would have happened. Of course, there wouldn’t be any story to be told then, but you get what I mean.
Onto the next piece of this book that frustrated me to no end: Quinn’s way of handling the situation. I get she’s mad and she doesn’t want Wesley to work with her, but what she did to him? That is just not okay. Especially when Wesley is so nice and kind to her (and everyone else) ALL THE TIME, not to mention a great professional.
And sure, she’s seventeen and yada, yada, but the author did make Quinn sound like a very mature and reasonable person in several occasions. So I don’t understand why she wouldn’t act like one in this one important situation.
The romance was… Meh. It didn’t do much for me. Wesley was super sweet and adorable, though, and a lot more patient with Quinn than I would have been.
The “wanting to get even” thing got old fast and I stopped sympathizing with Quinn who, despite being one of the most self-aware heroines ever, doesn’t really do much to change her ways. What’s the point of knowing she’s acting crazy and unreasonable when she doesn’t actually do anything to stop it?
Finally, this book’s structure is a bit all over the place. Everything seemed to be skimmed/condensed and not given the proper attention. The little subplots were actually really interesting but not explored enough. The narrative needed to be more cohesive and the characters more developed.
The writing… Well, it was fine at places but really not good at others. In the end, this felt a lot more like reading fanfiction than a published work of fiction.
I had some high expectations for this one, which is probably why I was so disappointed. I mean, a medieval themed restaurant? Hate to love relationship? It sounded so cute and fun and the perfect summer read!
But it wasn’t. The whole “plot” and the reason Quinn hates Wesley is too weak. And the way it was revealed and resolved? Yeah, even worse. The characters were pretty okay, though. They were annoying at times but not totally unrealistic. The writing, however, could use some work.
Everything about this story is as predictable as one would think. Not to say it wasn’t cute, because it was. And addictive. It also made me cry, which was not something I was expecting at all. There were some really nice elements to it, such as Quinn’s relationships and family life, her job, and some cool Seattle exploration. The problem, I think, was lack of development. Everything was there, it just didn’t deliver.
Overall, Wesley James Ruined My Life was just very… Unmemorable. And quick. It was nice at times, sure, but I find it didn’t really hit the mark. Personally, I can’t really recommend it but by all means, read it and see for yourself.
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Thank you so much for reading and until next time!