Friday, June 26, 2015

Review: Idle Bloom by Jewel E. Ann

Release Date: Dec. 1, 2014
Publisher: Jewel E. Ann
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Copy provided for honest review
Rating: ½

"What lies beneath my veiled perfection is the ugly truth—my truth, my reality, my destiny."

Vivian Graham has an acceptance letter into Harvard, a badass tattoo, loyal friends, ties to marijuana, a penchant for Dunkin’ Donuts, and her pesky V-card. 

Everyday she takes the Red Line to her job at The Green Pot in Boston while her friends enter the coveted, black iron gates to higher learning. The ramifications from a tragic accident have put her life on hold while time marches on for everyone around her. 

After graduating from Harvard Law, Boston native, Oliver Konrad, moves to Portland to start his career and his life. Three years later, after a horrific discovery, he returns home to trade in his three-piece suit for leather work boots and his suburban home for a condo in Cambridge. 

All he brought back to the East Coast was an aversion to pillows and secrets he keeps hidden behind a mysterious locked door. Oliver’s days are predictable and his nights are lonely until he meets Vivian on the subway. Her long raven hair, green eyes, and mile-long legs are achingly sexy, but the way she "innocently" fingers and licks her Boston Kreme doughnut can only be described in two words—complete torture.

When their paths cross at every turn, laughter is abundant, friendship is easy, and love is unintentional. However, their future seems improbable. 

I'm not certain I have ever had such a complete range of emotions and opinions while reading a book.  Which is saying a lot, considering how many books I plow through each year.  Idle Bloom was all over the place and not always in a good way.

Somewhere around 7% was when I had my first thought of DNFing. I felt like Vivian was too childish and I wasn't fully getting a grasp of what her life was about. There are a lot of lies. Lies with her parents, lies with her roommates parents, lies with everyone. It was a bit much. A bit convoluted.

However, Vivian was hiding something. Something that made her a virgin, something she expected to be for life. The story hinted at it being a physical deformity.  Honestly, I thought she had a mutilated vagina. Yep, that's where my head went. But, THAT is what had me continuing to read. I NEEDED to know what was happening.

The thing is...Vivian's big dark secret...not such a big dark secret. Well, not mutilated vagina big. It's not nothing, but I just don't think it was something that she should have resigned herself to thinking nobody could ever love her because of it. She is, supposedly, gorgeous other than this flaw. Let's be honest...there are plenty of people that look less than perfect and still find love. Vivian gave me a lot of 'Bitch, please' thoughts.

Oliver has a big dark secret as well. His was something I was able to glean pretty quickly though. For the most part, anyway. I really liked Oliver. However, he too had times of extreme immaturity and insensitivity.

There were so many things throughout the story that I thought were overly dramatized and unneeded.

There is a strong subplot that deals with mental illness and I didn't care for how any of that was handled. Again, I think some characters lacked the sensitivity the story needed.


There were moments of potential greatness in this book.  There was a playfulness between Vivian and Oliver that was sweet. There were some gem moments between them that were truly heartfelt. And there were profound message trying to come across at the end.

However, the execution was lacking, for me.  Those moments of potential greatness were very rare and entirely overshadowed by all the 'what the fuck am I reading' moments.

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