Saturday, July 28, 2018

#34 [2018/CBR10] "Making Up" by Lucy Parker

I usually don't buy books. If I can't get it at the library, it's not worth reading. But I make an exception for Lucy Parker. For some reason, my library doesn't carry her, but I really enjoyed her first two books. When I saw that she had another one coming out, Making Up (2018), and I was about to leave on a backpacking trip, I knew it would be perfect reading for the rainy weekend ahead.

I have to be careful about what I read while I'm camping. I have a vivid imagination and I can freak myself out pretty quickly when I'm alone in a tent, in the dark, in the middle of the woods. Romance novels are usually perfect. They can be engrossing without any murder, suspense, or mystery that will scare me. And Making Up worked well. I read it in two days on my phone, mostly sitting in my tent while it was pouring rain outside.

If you've read Parker's other books, you'll recognize Trix as Lily Lamprey's old roommate and best friend. Trix is a petite gymnast with pink hair who plays a major role in a sexy, Cirque du Soleil-type show in London. She has been recovering from a manipulative, controlling, and emotionally abusive boyfriend. She successfully left him a year ago, but she is still struggling with her self esteem after his evil machinations. Her stress compounds when the woman in the lead role is injured and Trix takes her place as the understudy. At the same time, an old friend from high school, Leo, is hired on to the show to do make up.

Leo and Trix were almost a couple in high school. They were so similar and got along so well until something happened. Since then they've run into each other almost everywhere and snipe at each other constantly. When they finally figure things out enough to know that they actually like each other, there are still problems. Trix is terrified of getting into anything too serious after her last boyfriend, and Leo is in the middle of a competition that might bring him a job offer to work in the United States. Either way, their relationship may be doomed. But of course it's not doomed because love always wins out in the end.

I liked Trix and Leo a lot. They were not your typical romantic protagonists: they were both nerdy artists, and they made a really good couple. However, on the whole, I think I enjoyed Parker's first two books a little more. I felt like there was not much development in their relationship. They already knew each other, there was just a misunderstanding that the reader knows nothing about until it is revealed and solved in one scene. I felt like it took forever for them to get together with few small steps along the way. I loved the scene where they finally got together, but I wish there had been more.

I also did not like Leo's sister, Kat. She acted horribly and (to me) unrealistically for vague reasons. Even when I found out what was going on, I wasn't satisfied. I also couldn't believe that she would run to Trix at the end to spill all her secrets because she'd heard that Trix had endured a bad boyfriend, too. I didn't like her and I didn't believe her as a character. I also couldn't understand how Jono, Trix's co-worker and apparently the nicest man in the world could tolerate her. I'm assuming that Parker is setting something up for her next book, but I kind of hope that Kat is not the subject.

Although this didn't draw me in quite as much as Parker's previous novels, I still enjoyed it. I loved Trix and Leo, and I'm looking forward to Parker's next one.

No comments: