Monday, July 7, 2014

The Color of a Memory - Julianne MacLean

ER nurse Audrey Fitzgerald believed she was married to the perfect man - a heroic firefighter who saved lives, even beyond his own death. But a year after losing him she meets a mysterious woman who has some unexplained connection to her husband.... 
Audrey Livingston is a nurse who meets firefighter Alex Fitzgerald on just an average day at the clinic. However, she quickly finds herself falling for him. When he dies on the job, she is devastated, and the story follows her in investigating whether Alex was faithful and Nadia, a woman who received Alex's heart.

My rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars.

This was a quick read, but I can't really say I was ever very excited. The plot was dull - did the posthumous husband cheat or not? - and the characters themselves weren't exactly jumping off the page either. The writing doesn't ever seem to bring life to the story, always telling the reader everything, rather than showing them.

I felt like the story repeated established facts about the characters over and over again. I know that it was in part because the story split in the middle to narrate from Nadia's POV (which seemed unnecessary to me, but perhaps it's of importance in the other installments) but I felt like I was rereading parts of the book several times. Not to mention Nadia and Audrey had nearly identical styles of speech (very unlike Seduced by Innocence), making it hard for me to really differentiate between the characters. 

Although there are a lot of women in this story, I feel like it barely even passes the Bechdel Test because literally all these women talk about are men in their lives. Alex is the main guy, but there's also his father, his best friend, etc. Never do we hear a conversation that doesn't center around Alex; there are no subplots that parallel to the main plot or anything. It's a very A to B to C plot, which is okay, but it lacks the complexity I expect from a lot of books.

And, you guessed it, no diversity. This was like heteronormative paradise, with every single significant female character having a baby to raise. I'm fine with stories that have people grow to become parents, but seriously? Every person in the novel? Come on. No people of color either, though I always saw David, Alex's friend as black despite there being no indication he was anything but white. I can't say that diversity would save the story, but every character being white and straight only serves to make the story more boring; at the very least, the story has to be something special for me to care much about the romance.

I give it a 2.5 out of 5 stars. It wasn't bad, per se, but it's not something I would recommend to anyone.

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