Paris is Always a Good Idea by Jenn McKinlay

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It’s been seven years since Chelsea Martin embarked on her yearlong post-college European adventure. Since then, she’s lost her mother to cancer and watched her sister marry twice, while Chelsea’s thrown herself into work, becoming one of the most talented fundraisers for the American Cancer Coalition, and with the exception of one annoyingly competent coworker, Jason Knightley, her status as most talented fundraiser is unquestioned.

When her introverted mathematician father announces he’s getting remarried, Chelsea is forced to acknowledge that her life stopped after her mother died, and that the last time she can remember being happy, in love, or enjoying her life was on her gap year. Inspired to retrace her steps–to find Colin in Ireland, Jean Claude in France, and Marcelino in Italy–Chelsea hopes that one of these three men who stole her heart so many years ago, can help her find it again.

From the start of her journey nothing goes as planned, but as Chelsea reconnects with her old self, she also finds love in the very last place she expected.

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Rating: 1 out of 5.

Paris is Always a Good Idea by Jenn McKinlay

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Had elements I liked, but sadly DNFd at chapter 7. I think those who enjoy a quick, sharp romance read, may enjoy it, and may favor it more than me.

The Story
Had that characteristically dive-right-in, mid-story, snappy and witty entrance that I’m quite fond of.

However, I felt like I was learning a lot of context and backstory as told as happening rather than an integral part of the story so it was hard to gauge underlying tension and character attributes.

Everything was too deliberate yet spontaneous lacking introspection. Sort glazing over the complexities of life, though mentioned, felt fleeting even for the comedic tone that was in place for some of the scenes. Had deeper themes but sort of skimmed over the emotional hardships associated with them, which made me wonder the overall placement and effect.

The Writing
That snappy, fast-paced style is what I gravitate to when I pick up McKinlay’s, so I was certainly happy about that.

But the chattering was too much for me. And all the characters, especially the main, felt that way. Like the person you feel like you should avoid because they’re always wound up and you know how they can talk, talk, talk.

Setting
On that note, felt like I was reading through was generic travel magazine than immersed in Paris. It was missing cultural nuance.

Characters
The main character was super impulsive, annoyingly curt and sort of a dum dum. I lost interest in her pretty quick. None of the others much appealed to me.

Hodge-podge of love interest and plot lines that didn’t mesh with the main character. Conflicting character traits and behaviors, so I didn’t feel one way or another with what was happening except the feeling of scrambled.

Overall, felt like a presentation of a tidy, less attached, less realistic, less authentic sort of way in the sense of less vulnerability, like a less accomplished, less connected, less meaningful, intentionally comedic, but not really, sitcom.

I enjoy McKinlay’s books, but this was just amiss for me.

View all my reviews

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