Monday, January 9, 2012

Flashback review: The Unlikely Romance of Kate Bjorkman

Flashback reviews are where I review an older book that I’ve reread recently.

The Unlikely Romance of Kate Bjorkman, by Louise Plummer. The summary:
I’m Kate Bjorkman. I don’t like romance novels. They’re full of three-paragraph kisses describing people’s tongues and spittle. But what do you do if you’ve lived a real romance with a great-looking guy (Richard) and he loves you as much as you love him? I know what I did. I wrote this romance novel about myself, using the Romance Writer’s Phrase Book. I also used stuff my English teach taught me about writing. He said a story must have conflict. No problem there. My life was one big conflict last Christmas. I didn’t make anything up. This is the honest truth and I want truth even in romance. I’m betting you’ll want the same.
I adore this book. Truly. Madly. Deeply. Okay, maybe not that deeply since it’s a fairly shallow book, but still, I love this book a lot. I first read it in high school, before I was really into YA, and from the first page, I connected to Kate’s narrative voice--she’s just so down-to-earth and funny. Plus, she’s tall and wears glasses and isn’t drop-dead-gorgeous, which made her all the more relateable for me, as I fit into all those categories. And she’s normal, is a good student, and has a close family--so basically when I first read it, I felt like Kate was my alter-ego or something.

As I mentioned, the story isn’t all that deep: it’s a YA romance, and since it’s only 183 pages, it’s a short one at that. But the story is just so much fun as it is that it really doesn’t need to be longer. It takes place around Christmas, so in addition to great characters, it also has a nice little festive atmosphere going on.

Richard, the love interest, isn’t particularly inspiring, but he’s nice enough. And since Kate has crushed on him her whole life, I can’t help but cheer for her as she finally goes after what (who?) she’s always wanted. I can never quite decide whether I like the ending or not--namely, I never know whether or not I think Kate should forgive Richard for what he does. But either way, I love the rest of the book so much that I just try not to think about the ending too hard.

So yes, go read this book--I’m pretty sure it's still in print. I haven’t read any of this author’s other books, but I keep meaning to. I know one of her books was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, so I think I’ll be tracking that one down soon.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like the kind of book that might get me out of my current YA book slump. I don't mind a bit of shallowness ones in a while. And kudos for the very relatable heroine. I am sick of the gorgeous ones who don't know they're gorgeous. blah!


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