Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. I received a complimentary copy of this book from a publicist for an honest review.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)
I don’t consider myself to be a fast reader, but I finished the 500 pages of When the Real Thing Comes Along by debut novelist Faith Simone faster than I thought I would. Jacelynn, the heroine, doesn’t relish being caught between an old romantic flame, Taylor, and a current one, Jason, but the principal lesson Jacelynn learns through her ordeal is worth holding out for.
I essentially found the novel addictive, likely because the characters are so human, with believable strengths and flaws and quirks. They came alive for me chiefly because it felt so much like I could’ve met them all before. Even when I disagreed or became frustrated with them, I was so emotionally involved in the reading, I just had to keep turning the pages to make sure these folks would be all right. My favorite character is Jacelynn’s best friend, Kim, for the honest, opinionated, consistent support she gives her friend, despite the fact that Kim has her own problems to handle.
I did grow a little weary around the third quarter of the novel. Though I appreciated the characters being imperfect, it was like the main ones, particularly Jacelynn, were going around in emotional and behavioral circles after a while, and the “back and forth” didn’t always serve to take the plot anywhere deeper. Also, there are a number of inconsistencies and recurring errors in punctuation and mechanics throughout the book. The errors aren’t likely to ruin the story for most readers, but a tighter edit would have given the book more polish.
Still, the ultimate themes of grace and trust are what I found most satisfying as I ended the novel, and I’m sure there’ll just have to be a coming novel that continues Kim’s story…
Note for my blog readers: while this is a Christian Fiction novel, it contains mature content appropriate for mature audiences.