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A Review of "In the Now"

 


Introduction

In May of 2019 I reviewed a dystopian YA novel entitled New Wave by author Jennifer Ann Shore (and you can read the review here!), so when she approached me a second time to review one of her adult romance books, I was thrilled! She sent over a Kindle gift version of this standalone novel In the Now in exchange for an honest review, and to be completely honest with you, this was definitely a book I needed in my life right now, especially with everything being so hectic lately! 

My Rating: 

Synopsis: "There's a reason why I haven't been home for ten years.

Scratch that.

There are many reasons why I haven't been home--family drama, small-town gossip, and my career probably take up the top three spots.

But when my career stalls and I get devastating family news, I'm back to the very place I ran away from a decade ago. The last thing I want to do is pick up right where I left off, and as I'm drawn to Noah, my terrifyingly gorgeous high school bully, I know that things have certainly changed.

I was supposed to run away and never look back, but I'm stuck dealing with my past and planning for the future. But all I want to do is live in the now." (via Goodreads)


Thoughts and Comments

Pros

  • The flashbacks to the interactions between Olivia and Noah in high school together are a great way to provide exposition without being unnecessarily awkward in too much present-day dialogue--I thought that this was a really good move on the author's part.
  • The author does excellently with the concept of embracing death. Losing someone close to us is no easy thing to go through regardless of the details, but the character development that Olivia accomplishes about Scott’s fatal cancer is very well illustrated as the novel goes on--the acceptance of the inevitable is portrayed with talent.
  • The pacing is perfectly placed--there's just enough tension built up in the first half of the novel that really makes the "enemies-to-lovers" trope stand out and shine in the second half, when Olivia and Noah realize that the feelings they have for each other are mutual.
  • The romance scenes in particular are wonderfully written, and they do a great job at transporting the reader directly into Olivia's own heart. The internal dialogue in these scenes is refreshing and realistic without being too much in too small of a space.


Cons

  • The primary interaction between Olivia and her high school best friend, Maddy, seems a bit stilted or forced--like she was forced into the narrative for the sole purpose of having another female presence in the novel. This relationship becomes much more natural as the novel continues, but I feel like the introductory scene with Maddy didn't quite convince me.
  • I was a little confused about the attraction that Olivia felt for Noah, at least in the beginning stages of the novel. This is supposed to be someone that made her life a living hell for her entire adolescence--even if he’s objectively attractive, or smells nice, it doesn’t necessarily justify an immediate attraction to him like the one that is portrayed in the novel.
  • There are some scene changes that change abruptly in the same chapter without cueing in the reader that the scene is switching. Perhaps an indication of a scene change would make for a smoother transition.


Conclusion

I loved, loved, loved this book. I simply adore the enemies-to-lovers trope in romance novels, and In the Now was a fun read that did a great job of scratching that itch for me, because I don't see too many enemies-to-lovers romance novels that are more on the contemporary side. If you don't look fondly back on your high school days and you want a book that will fuel those vengeful feelings, you've come to the right place! Ms. Shore, thank you for the opportunity to review your work (again!) I look forward to seeing more from you in the future!


Goodreads Link: Click here
Amazon Link: Click here


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