Rilke-d. Enya-d. Still a Nope.

The Boy From The Woods - Jen Minkman

DNF at 50% 

I've reconsidered my rating because I can still identify some details that I liked about it… its just that the sole reason that drove me to continue just ceased to interest me to finish this. The lack of polished creativity and lousy delivery of something that could have been so unique, seeing it handled this way just makes me sad.

Because this poses the absolutely intriguing question:

 

What happens when the stalker becomes stalked back by the stalkee?

 

By some mad twist of fate, Michael Kolbe is suddenly in love with Julia Kandolf. After rescuing him from a motorcycle accident in the woods, it's as if he's a new boy. As if a miracle, the beautifully unattainable Michael, the boy she's been stalking in school with a mad crush since forever, the very same boy who charmed her into bed one night only to be discarded the next day has becoming the boy who is suddenly turning up everywhere she went: in the clubs that she frequents with her friends, the bookstore where she works he's everywhere, her favorite spot under an oak tree where she rescued him. 

That premise just hold a whole bucketload of potential. Something about that makes me think: What if Olivia Kaspen took Caleb Drake's place in The Opportunist? Or better yet, what if Julia took advantage of Michael's sudden infatuation to serve some much-deserved, freshly baked vengeance his way and go from there? Wouldn't that be something?



Unfortunately, this chose door number 3 where Julia isn't that kind of heroine. No, she's not the kind who gets murderously angry or even mildly offended by this guy's opinion of her. No, Instead, she's the kind who gets all flustered, blushes around Michael 2.0 playing him her piano compositions, reading him Rilke poetry and worrying because there's another guy and oh the horrors, the angst! Because he's nice and cute and was supposed to help her move on from Michael 1.0 and he's willing to wait and hope in the sidelines until she'd maybe look at him that way.

 



Oh right, the things that I liked about this. Well this was set in Salzburg and I've never read a New Adult Contemporary Romance set in Austria before and today I learned, it's the perfect excuse to have a character as awesomely named as Thorsten. Though I'm a bit disappointed nobody called him Thor (this demands some lengthy explanation) putting a kibosh on the God of Thunder jokes. Speaking of jokes, it got really awkward for me when this tried to be funny. Because the effort was there but ended up this side of strange.

 

"Maybe you'e drawing the wrong conclusion," she commented. "Personally, I think only people starting with an M are allowed to sit at that table."

 

Donna started to giggle. "Girl, you've gone cuckoo in that stockroom sorting books all morning. You're alphabetizing people for crying out loud!"

 

Laughing and chatting, the girls sat down at the other table.

 



What are those ladies drinking? Or smoking?

Okay I'm getting distracted again, another thing that I liked about this was the interesting twist and mystery as to what happened with Michael and why the sudden change in his behavior. This was literally the only thing that kept me from chucking this book… until it became a little too obvious what's going on. Truth be told, its still speculation on my part since I only got up to 50% but the sudden introduction of [some paranormal elements in the story  should have generated enough curiosity on my part for me to finish this. Did Michael get possessed by the oak tree?!  I would be so bummed if that was how this turned out because that would've been AWESOME… and totally undeserving of the tedious, rambling writing.

Because this severely needs some severe editing. I have a feeling my opinion of this book would drastically improve if some economy in the writing was exercised (beginning with me being able to finish this book at least).

Because Julia never just goes somewhere. She's going to meet up with some friends in a club? Yeah she has to go to her grandmother's house, to the forest, meet 2 or 3 people for tea, dinner THEN they go together to the club. And nothing gets glossed over. There are scenes that gets lengthily detailed with inane conversations and flat jokes (see above) among characters I can't seem to keep track of or care about. Because for every secondary character, he/she will have a sister/brother/cousin/co-worker/boyfriend/girlfriend tagging along. None of whom contributes to the plot moving forward.

Well except perhaps throwing parties. Every scene seems to somehow lead to someone's party. Or going to the bar. Is that a Salzburg thing? Forgive my cultural ignorance if it is, but this just didn't serve the story well and tested my patience far too often because it felt a lot like I was reading the same scene over and over.

 

Well except perhaps throwing parties. Every scene seems to somehow lead to someone's party. Or going to the bar. Is that a Salzburg thing? Forgive my cultural ignorance if it is, but this just didn't serve the story well and tested my patience far too often because it felt a lot like I was reading the same scene over and over.

However I may try to look at the brighter picture, there's always something that just far outweighs whatever joy I may find about this book doesn't it? I've never given a DNF 2-stars but I really just couldn't get past the kissing two guys in one day trope to know if I could've liked this better or hated it further beyond any form of redemption.

As a small act of kindness, please don't tell me if this eventually led to Tree Man porn because that will absolutely break my heart.

For not finishing.

ARC provided by Patchwork Press thru NetGalley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. Quotes may not appear in the final edition.