Just Like Heaven by Julia Quinn

June 20, 2011

It is what it is.

Yes, fellow readers in Just Like Heaven, the most recent book by Julia Quinn... the heroine, a Regency heroine, actually says "It is what it is." You know, I'm not fond of that little cliche when I hear it now , but to hear it come out of the mouth of an early 19th century person makes me shudder. Over the past years, I have made allowances for Julia Quinn's use of modern language interminglitis, but this one was just too much. It is what it is... hate it.

With Just Like Heaven, Julia Quinn begins a new series, about the Smythe-Smith family. You remember them from the Bridgerton series - they were the ones who held the horrible musicales - and the story seems to take place before Colin Bridgerton had his HEA.

As with all Julia Quinn books, I'm never surprised. I know that they will be fast, lighthearted, sometimes silly, but nothing really earth shattering, and if there are angst filled heroes they usually have a sense of humor. This book didn't change my mind; however, I found myself not enjoying this book as much as I have past Quinn books. My non-enjoyment of the book was puzzling at first; I liked the heroine, Honoria, and I especially liked the hero, Marcus. I thought Marcus could have been a really great beta hero, but Ms. Quinn just didn't develop his character very far. Actually, this seemed to be a story about nothing... nothing happens. And, while something about nothing may have worked with Seinfield, it didn't work with this book. Well, stuff happens, it is what it is after all. But there doesn't seem to be much of a plot-line, except for the annoying Smythe-Smith cousins who are constantly picking at each other.

It is when these cousins are together that the story falls apart. There is too much time spent establishing their characters and not enough on Marcus and Honoria. The moments I enjoyed the most were when these two were together. Their romance was both touching and humorous at the same time. The romance in this book could have been really great. We have two people who grow up together and when she's six she hates Marcus because he won't have tea with her and her dolls. One of my favorite themes is childhood friends who realize they love each other. I loved how they don't know what to say to each other, how Marcus is so terribly shy. Loved the workings of his mind when he's trying to figure out how to court Honoria. I just wish there had been more of Marcus and Honoria and less of the Smythe-Smith band.

This was not the best of Julia Quinn's book; I did smile occasionally but mostly it was just a so-so book.

Time/Place: Regency England
Sensuality Rating: Warm


Tracy said...

I've heard varying opinions on this one. I just got it last weekend but I'm still looking forward to reading it. :)

SidneyKay said...

Tracy: I think you'll like Marcus.

Tracy said...

I did like Marcus. He was wonderful and I would have definitely liked to have seen more of Marcus and Honoria together. In the end I liked it though. I really do love Quinn's books - even with the niggles.

Melissa said...

I usually love Julia Quinn, but this was not one of her best. I honestly felt the need to skip over the cousin infighting and the wound cleansing scenes. Boring and yuck! With his shyness, Marcus should have been a truly intriguing character, but instead felt underdeveloped.

SidneyKay said...

Tracy: I love Quinn also, I can relax when I read her.