Natural Love by Sara Celi
I think, with the evolution of the independent publishing industry, I am easily wooed to titles, despite their somewhat-negative reviews. I was lucky, in this case, that I didn’t follow my first instinct, which was to buy the paperback as soon as I saw it. The cover represents gorgeous writing, and the blurb makes some grand promises, but neither are delivered by this book. In fact, in my opinion, the cover doesn’t match the story at all. But it is marketed very well, and I had to have it.
I gave it three stars because I finished it and it wasn’t awful, but I didn’t find anything memorable in Natural Love other than the fact that it is a pretty solid novel. The writing banally lacks style; it does not stand out from any of the other New Adult novels I have read lately. It could certainly use an edit to tighten it up. The characters were interesting, but the development wasn’t there for me. There were constant references of Spencer pointing out elements of women’s clothing, like a cardigan–what man even knows what a cardigan is?–and I didn’t believe him. The dialogue came off as incessant, going on and on forever. I found myself skimming through the conversations after a while because they overbore me with their trifle.
It was a very meh book–I didn’t love it and I didn’t hate it–until the ending. It kind of pissed me off because the only secret in this book is that there is a huge secret that will eventually be told, and the big reveal was cliche and unbelievably predictable. I was just like what the fuck. I can’t believe I read that whole thing for that. If you’re an avid reader, you know what I’m saying.
None of this leads up to the opinion that Celi is a bad writer; on the contrary, I am inclined to say she is a very good writer. Like Stepbrother Dearest and Ruthless People, the plot was seriously solid. I just think this book really needed a good editor to say, yeah, you can’t do that shit.
The cover is fucking gorgeous, though. I kind of want to frame it.