Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Book review: "Too Late to Panic"

I like to read - a lot. Many of the books I read are Kindle freebies, usually free for a short time but several are continuously free. I decided to start reviewing the books I finish.

Too Late to Panic is a novella of 47 pages written by C. G. Elmore. It is no longer available on Amazon, but you can find it on Goodreads.

The story focuses on Carolyn, a teacher who was left at the altar some time ago by her fiance, and travels to Texas to visit her best friend Kate and her husband Bobby. Kate sends "Uncle Joe" to pick her up at the airport, and Carolyn is shocked to discover that Uncle Joe is really younger Jonathon, Bobby's brother.  He takes her to Kate and Bobby's house, but the couple isn't home yet and she falls asleep before they return, so she doesn't see Kate until the next morning. She is shocked to discover Kate is pregnant and due in six weeks. Kate didn't want to tell Carolyn at first, since apparently she was in such a fragile state from the failed wedding, and then decided to surprise her when she visited.

 Now for my issues with this book.

First, we have zero back story. We know Carolyn was left at the altar by her fiance, and for some reason related to this she has to find a new job. We have no idea what happened, and if he was the principal at her school? Another teacher? Administrator? He has to be involved somehow because she mentions in the book that he still gave her a good reference for a new job despite what happened with them.

Secondly, Carolyn was supposedly a confident, strong, vivacious woman pre-jilting, and then turned into a scared, jittery, panic-attack-suffering girl who can't make any decisions on her own and has to take lots of naps because she's so delicate. At one point Jonathon mentions her excessive napping to Kate, who tells him she has a "condition" but everything will be fine. He assumes she is pregnant with the ex-fiance's baby, since they never mention the wedding was a long time ago and she acts like it just happened.

Third, and this is my biggest issue by far and the reason behind my one-star review on Goodreads, Carolyn is visiting Kate for two weeks. That's the entire time span of the story. TWO. WEEKS. She first meets Jonathan when he picks her up at the airport (I guess he didn't go to his brother's wedding, even though she remembered everyone else she met at that point five years ago, when she was IN  the wedding and helped the couple move into their house?) They share one brief kiss a couple days in, then he disappears for the remainder of the week. Seriously, the kiss happens on a Tuesday and she doesn't see him again until the weekend because he's ashamed of himself and avoids her. That is when he has the conversation with Kate and assumes Carolyn is pregnant. A few days later (because Carolyn is either shopping with  Kate or sleeping), they actually speak to each other again and Carolyn tells him she is in fact not pregnant and the wedding disaster was too long ago for that to have been the case anyway. She has a phone interview for a new teaching position back in Montana, and accepts the job. Then at the end of her stay, Kate goes into premature labor and Jonathan drives Carolyn to the hospital to be with the rest of the family. After the babies are born by Cesarean, with Bobby pacing the lobby like fathers of decades past, he drives her back home again and proposes to her. And SHE FREAKING ACCEPTS.

Seriously?? You've known this man for two weeks, had a handful of conversations that were mostly misunderstandings, a lot of avoidance on both sides and one kiss. That's enough to fall madly in love, ditch a new job that was supposedly just what you wanted, and move across the country?

Jonathan needs to run far, far away from this girl. Although he's the one who proposed, so maybe they're actually suited for each other and can be codependently blissful for the rest of their lives.

Oh, forgot to mention -Jonathan was engaged at the beginning of the story, and his fiancee even came to the airport with him to pick up Carolyn. Red flag, anyone??

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