Some things are easily forgiven. Other things… not so much.
Lenny DeMaio made herself a promise: she was done.
Done thinking about him.
Done worrying about him.
Done reaching out to a man who clearly didn’t want to be found.
Too bad no one gave Jonah Collins the memo.
Mariana Zapata’s books have been on my to-be-read pile since her breakout book Kulti and Wall of Winnipeg & Me. And despite my friend’s urging, I’ve been reticent in trying her books. For one, I find 500+ books intimidating. Two, I’m a moody reader and you guys know how that is.
But the blurb for The Best Thing hooked me right in and I knew that if I ever start a Zapata book, this would be a good choice. Plus, I was in the mood for slow burns.
Unfortunately, this one didn’t quite go as expected. I was 3 chapters in when I knew that this book, and Mariana Zapata’s writing won’t get along. Still, I pushed through but by 36% I was already skimming and had to restrain myself from chucking my Kindle across the room.
Sounds dramatic. I know. But yeah, this book didn’t do anything but annoy the hell out of me. And I wanted to love it. I really do but the harder I tried, the madder I got at everything: the writing, the characters, the plot that’s going nowhere–everything!
Writing this review now, I tried to remember if there’s something I liked about it and the only one I could think of was I liked Lenny’s grandpa and her Uncle Peter. That’s it. Everything else just bored me to tears.
Lenny- bless her heart- had some nice moments. I liked how she stood up for herself and drew boundaries when it came to Jonah. I liked that. I would’ve liked her character more if I hadn’t been so annoyed at the repetitiveness of the writing. Being in Lenny’s head was torture. Mainly because her inner monologue was wearisome. That and she’s allergic to just using nouns and pronouns. Instead of using he, him, his, or really, just Jonah, she thinks like this:
“The biggest man greeted him…”
“But the still an asshole swallowed hard.”
“I glanced back at Not Really a Fucker…”
“The biggest man at the gym now. The biggest man in my life.”
“The man whose…”
“The man who probably saw too much…”
“The big man kept coming to my office…”
“The big brown haired man…”
“The big shit-head…”
Like whaaat? It’s so weird and distracting. I mean, can you imagine thinking about your significant other like he’s a stranger? Call it a writing tick or whatever, I call it lack of editing.
Jonah was a one-dimensional bore. Really, apart from Grandpa and Peter, I found all the characters in this book boring and the writing unimaginative but tries too hard to be profound.
But what really killed my enjoyment was the repetitiveness. Look, I’ve read books where details are repeated because a) they are important, and b) the books are part of a long series with hundreds of characters and storylines. This wasn’t that. There were pages of Lenny’s inner monologue that repeats every single thing she was thinking and feeling 3 pages before. And just when you thought it’s done, you get treated again to her inner monologue thinking about the same thing. It’s an endless nightmare of repetition.
Every single feeling and observation gets repeated over and over again until I was internally screaming I GET IT, HE HAS HONEY COLORED BROWN EYES JESUS CHRIST! Again, mentioning the colors of his eyes isn’t necessarily bad but when you mention it even there’s no need to is just irritating.
Overall, MZ isn’t for me. I love slow burn romances but this felt unnecessarily drawn out. There’s no plot and no character development. The redeeming qualities of this book were smothered by the tedious writing.