By Crystal Hemmingway
Genre: Romance/ Science Fiction/ Comedy
Publisher: Galbadia Press
Release date: June 2019
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ 1/2
Crystal has trouble saying no to her lonely, single mother. For 25 years, it wasn’t a problem. But when one small mistake leaves Crystal jilted, homeless and unemployed, she has to move back in with the one person who caused it all: her mother.Goodreads blurb
I received an early reviewer’s copy of this from Galbadia Press, via Librarything. Romance is not my usual genre-of-choice, but I was intrigued by the structure, so I applied for a copy.
Look, I need to say up front that this is a very silly story with more than one unbelievable plot thread. But it’s meant to be lighthearted and a little comical, so I’m not holding the silliness against it.
The novel is written in the form of emails, text messages, letters, journal entries and snippets from the protagonist’s fiction stories. As with “Illuminae”, this format took a little while to get used to, but after that I liked it. There is a lot going on here – a broken engagement, family drama, career changes, androids (!) and the protagonist’s forays into writing not one but two novels: a fairytale retelling and an erotic tale about dinosaurs (yes, really). To be honest, I could have done without the dinosaur erotica, but I quite liked the rest. It’s a bit of a mish-mash, but at least I was never bored.
My main problem is that while the novel as a whole is written competently enough, the excerpts from the protagonist’s “novels” are very amateurish, which was an odd choice, especially given the ending.
It’s a very quick and easy read and an original set-up, although quite predictable after that. And if you’re looking for a romantic hero to swoon after, you won’t find him here. The romance element is actually pretty slight.
I was wavering between 3 and 3.5 stars, but in the end, I had a fun time with this, actually staying up an hour past my bedtime to finish it, so 3.5 stars seems fair.