Golden Girl by Elin Hilderbrand

Okay, here's the deal with Elin Hilderbrand. I kinda dismissed this author as chick lit. The titles, the airy covers, the storylines centering around romantic cliches - and of course the fact that every GD book is set in Nantucket made me think that this author is just ... not for me. However last summer I was looking for an easy beach read and it was I think available on a superloan so I downloaded 28 Summers and well, it landed itself on my Top 2020 Books list. I mean, I didn't seek out any other books by this author, we're not besties but I will give her a pleasant nod.

I had been miserably failing at my new book club this year, so I was pretty excited when this book popped up as a selection because I knew I could rip through it, and I did. It got me out of my reading funk. Full review and spoilers below.

After reviewing this book, it feels like a lot of petty complaining about the details and minor plot points. So I want to preface this by saying that I enjoyed reading the book for the most part, it was well written and easy to read, especially while floating in a kiddie pool under a hot sun! That said, let's go.

Okay so first of all, annoying that the main character is dead. I don't like when books have supernatural themes unless the book is a supernatural book. Does that make sense? Also this means that we know that the character won't be interacting with anyone else, so no corny romance for main character in our future, which is what I thought I was signing up for here.

The characters were a bit flimsy in this one. I have mentioned this before but I love me a flawed character with dimension - and let's leave the corny stereotypes out of it (I'm looking at the shitty ex husband and the son's girlfriend here specifically, but just about everyone has a little cringe to them and zero surprises).

Also - there were SO MANY characters. I've had to stop reading books because of too many characters, and these ones all had the depth of the next door neighbour on a sitcom.

The peeps in my book club pointed out that it was pretty obvious who the killer was. Honestly I don't usually try to figure out mysteries because it usually ruins things for me when I overthink it and I will end up trying to read author behaviour rather than clues in the book (like, "I would never think it would be Y character so it probably is"). However, yeah it's pretty obvious from the jump.

Last thing for me was that the "big secret" was pretty anti-climactic for me. This is where things got a bit interesting at book club. Faking a pregnancy and causing the high school boyfriend to miss out on his "big break" just didn't seem to be a terrible, end-of-the-world guilty secret to me whereas some of my clubmates thought it was horrible behaviour.

Maybe it's my softness for broken teenaged girl characters, but it didn't seem all that major to me and I was annoyed that this was the big reveal. Seriously? I suppose if it really ruined his life it's not a great thing to do, but kids are dumb and do dumb things, especially for that puppy love.

So yeah, I like my dramas a little more *dramatic* I suppose. Oh and last thing is - even if the dude is not on social media, Google could still find him, especially as a hotel manager. If she's an author wouldn't she have advanced Google research skills?

Now all that complaining feels super negative, and again I totally devoured this during the recent heat wave, and would definitely read another of her books when I need some easy reading. I'll try to stick to books that have fewer characters to minimize my critique of them.


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