4 stars, Viki's review

Viki’s Review: ‘Curveball’ by Mariah Dietz

Shakespeare believed there was always humor in tragedy and tragedy in humor. My life proved his theory as fact. At eighteen I was a single parent moving to this small town to be with the man I loved. The one who was supposed to love and cherish me in return. Finding out he had a wife was tragic. Remaining in love with him in spite of her was more tragic. My mom and best friend setting me up on a long string of blind dates was an ongoing tragedy. Nine years later, I’ve learned to see the humor in most situations. My mom and best friend setting me up on disastrous blind dates. My son’s jokes. The fire alarm going off each time I cook. My constant bright spot always adding to the humor was my son, Hayden. But when Hayden had a life-threatening allergic reaction, the man who came to help my little boy became my own savior. His laugh, his smile, and the way his eyes lit up when he spoke to my son made him a beacon of light in both our lives. But I wasn’t the only one who noticed him. When I began having feelings for the man my best and only friend had fallen for, I knew following my heart would once again lead to a fresh round of heartbreak. Love led me to this town. Lies kept me there. Would history repeat itself? Or had life just thrown me another Curveball?

Title: Curveball
Author: Mariah Dietz
Published: May 17th 2017 by Mariah Dietz
Genres: contemporary romance


My thoughts:

This book was waiting in his lonely self on my bookshelf for quite a long time before I got to it. This had a couple of reasons. First I wasn’t sure how the whole plot was going to go based on the synopsis and in all honesty I was a bit reluctant to start it because of my fears regarding the storyline and since I didn’t read anything from the author before this book I needed to gather my thoughts before starting it. Then I read Singed and that one sealed the deal for me.
Luckily the plot didn’t go in the direction I was afraid of but still had a lot of surprising twist and quit a few secrets in it, so the drama and the angst was provided plentiful. The author writing style is something phenomenal. She has a clean, easily readable stroke but she weaves the drama and angst, the feeling into it seamlessly. It’s an experience to read it but doesn’t overwhelms you when at the same time generates strong emotions inside you. I loved it. Also there is a quite misdirecting but at the same time brilliant solution towards the end of the story which shakes up things a bit.
Jesse is a really down to earth, honest, caring, forgiving and patient character and all together cute. I felt such a frustration and unfairness in her stead, because the storyline is quite like that toward her. I liked her ability to adjust to the not even remotely usual situation in order to get her happy ever after. But in my opinion she lets Brett get away with too much, she is too lenient with him because she really wants the relationship.
Brett is struggling through the whole book, he can’t move on and can’t let go. In one light it’s remarkable what he does for Sarah but at the same time he not just self destructs but enables Sarah and slowly destroys everybody around himself. I’m conflicted regarding his character. I liked his values, felt for him and his struggles but he had a lot of bad moves and hurt Jesse quite a lot with them. Their relationship, if you take away all the drama that comes with Sarah, is really cute, steamy and tight. I really liked them together.
I didn’t like Sarah even she was sane because she was shallow and she cleverly used Brett even then, but after the accident she simply became a vile and manipulative bitch. Sorry but I couldn’t sympathize with her no matter her hardships. I think there is more behind the accident but it didn’t come to light yet. That’s the only interesting part about her messed up character.
The story is not at all as heartbreaking as I expected or as the author indented to be I think, but I still really enjoyed and it also frustrated me all to hell. I’m going to read the next book for sure but Sarah story is still a ‘what if’ for me. I’m not sure I want to or even capable to like her.

This one was purely a read driven by the synopsis and lately it’s rare for me. I take a lot of things into consideration (like the av. rating on Goodreads, my experiences with the author works, others reviews, the cower and the synopsis) when I choose what I read since if I wouldn’t do this my TBR list would be even longer than it already is. I am trying to grow out my impulse reader tendency. So when I came across this book first I wasn’t sure about it because I’m not fan of the cove. It’s kind of messy and hard to interpret and I didn’t like the sterile colors either. But then I read the synopsis and it pulled me in, even if I consider this one as a description that tells too much about the story beforehand.  Still the premise of this particular book just grabbed me.

Then when I started to read it my excitement ebbed a little bit because it start out kind of slow and I wasn’t impressed with the writing style at the beginning. I felt detached, disconnected from the plot thanks to the way it was written and it took me for a while to get into it. Fortunately, as the story progressed this all cleared out and the writing became considerably smoother. And I started to enjoy myself immensely. The storyline is nothing extraordinary or over dramatized; it’s more down to earth and everyday life kind of story. Yet I really liked it and felt every bit of emotion and experience the characters did. It was really great, although the synopsis is a bit misleading. First of all some of the things don’t even get discussed that are mentioned in it and the things that come up are kinda do so quite late in the book. So it was strange knowing things about the main character when they don’t even mentioned until the second half of the book.

The story is told from Ella and Coen point of views alternately. I really liked them both. Ella is a young single mother who is completely devoted to her son, pretty hard working, smart and resourceful, a bit neurotic and has hard core OCD. But at the same time she intentionally arranged her life to be so busy so she doesn’t have to address some hard questions, issues regarding mainly her love life.  On the surface she is calm and collected, also TRIES dating, moving on but later on in the story she realizes that she is clinging to fairy tales and hoping for something she doesn’t really want. Especially after Coen appears in her life and they start an effortless relationship with easy conversations, companionship and support. They just clicked but it took them for a while to notice it.
Coen could seem as bit of a man-child at the beginning. Yes he has his priorities straight, he is independent and hard working but despite his age he didn’t care for commitment and his free time is filled with video games, pool and he lives the ultimate bachelor lifestyle. But he is not afraid to admit when it all changes or to try new things. He simply after one meeting eases into Ella and Hayden life like it’s natural for him. I really like that he didn’t have the typical characteristics single men usually have in books like this. He was quite a realistic character.

I liked some of the supporting cast too, and even the ones whom are the proverbial bad guy are created really well. Hayden is cute, honest but since he is a people pleaser he is really hard on himself.

Emotions run high, secrets got revealed and people start to heal. This is a great story and there are a couple of surprises in it I didn’t expect some I figured out during reading. I enjoyed it more than I initially though I would and especially liked the little stories and scenes about Elle dates and her process to screening them. They were funny and light hearted. This book has a really beautiful plotline only thing I would change maybe heighten the dramatic factor a bit and I would have loved a more informative epilogue.

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