2 out of 4 stars
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Hello, My Love by Evy Journey is the story of Greg Thrope, one of the most famous bachelors of his time, who meets an aspiring lawyer, Elise Halverson, and feels an immediate pull towards her. On the surface, they seem like two opposites that could never find a middle ground, but Greg remains relentless in the pursuit of getting to know Elise despite being engaged to another woman. Eventually, sparks fly between the pair but both refuse to act on their feelings until much later, specifically two days before Greg’s grand wedding. That night becomes a turning point for Greg and Elise’s journey, where hardships begin to fall on their shoulders and tough choices are forced to be made. Is their love strong enough to endure the upcoming storm?
This is the first installment in the Between Two Worlds series, however, Greg and Elise’s story ends in this book and the rest of the series is dedicated to the tales of other minor characters included in the story-line. I enjoyed the author’s writing style when it comes to descriptions and creating a certain atmosphere matching the events of each chapter. Her choice of words showcased great intelligence and a lot of potential as a very successful writer. I could even say that the author’s writing skills, combined with the difficult and emotionally filled plot, had the capability of creating an amazing story. However, there were some major drawbacks that held this book back from reaching its true potential.
For instance, the book deals with many delicate and heavy themes, such as cheating, abortion and the adversity of becoming a single mother in your prime years. Such a plot requires a lot of skill and sensitivity in order to create characters that would touch the audience and possibly educate them. Sadly, the author chooses to create a too fast-paced story and hence, characters that are hard to relate to. Since we aren’t given enough material to support the characters' case or at least sympathize with them, I found myself quite detached from their emotions and hardly pitying their misfortunes.
To elaborate, the two main protagonists cheated on Greg’s fiancé, Lori, and didn't show an ounce of regret or guilt for their terrible actions. Elise was even displayed saying “I wasn’t ashamed of what I did. Not even guilty. No regrets either. I fully expected him to go through with his marriage.” How am I expected to relate to a character that wouldn’t mind cheating because someone reciprocated her feelings, never mind that this person is taken? It made me dislike Elise and Greg from the very start, especially when the author tried to validate their actions by portraying Lori as a bad person with horrible intentions. Cheating on a wicked person doesn’t change the fact that it is still cheating, and I’m terribly sad that the author failed to deliver such an important message.
Not only that but, for many instances, I questioned Elise and Greg’s genuine love for each other and how they developed enough feelings to 'risk it all.' Especially in the second chapter, Elise kept speaking rudely to Greg and even ignored him when he attempted to open a friendly conversation. To add to it, Greg was one of the most important clients her father could ever land, but Elise still didn’t care to at least treat him nicely for the sake of her father’s career. I can tell the author was trying to present Elise as a witty lady with a smart mouth but, to me, she was simply impolite and unprofessional. I couldn’t understand Greg’s initial attraction towards her.
Despite that, there were many points I appreciated about the book. The author made sure to add details which displayed the imperfections of her characters. For example, Greg wasn’t portrayed as the cliché millionaire and playboy who changed his ways overnight because he fell in love. On the contrary, he was shown falling into bad habits of ignorance yet again, sweeping major problems under the rug when he failed to approach them properly, even after loving Elise. Those actions made Greg’s character appear more human and I found myself understanding his reactions even when I didn't agree with them.
The dialogue was a bit too formal and often awkward at times. Despite the clever and insightful conversations between Elise and Greg, I couldn’t imagine people speaking like that to each other in real life. There were nearly no pauses between sentences to show a character's contemplation of another's words, like what a normal person would do if put in a similar situation, and their reactions didn't feel genuine. Almost as if they had automatic responses programmed into their heads and were just waiting for someone to push the button, similar to robots. I wish the author had put much more thought into creating a natural and realistic flow during their conversations, as it would have created extremely touching and relatable discussions.
For the reasons above, I will be rating this book 2 out of 4 stars. I think the author has a great potential and a very good writing style, although I wish she had focused a bit more on differentiating between writing a convincing dialogue and writing complex descriptions with artistic phrases. Both require different approaches and I think she nailed the latter more than the former in this book. I would recommend this story for ages above 16 since it contains mild sexual content, and for the lovers of short and romantic stories.
Hello, My Love
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