Although A June Bride was a different kind of love story with a unique writing style that did not spell out everything for me, and even if I like that that it's fast-paced and there's an air of enigma, I felt that the mysteries remained just that, mysteries. For example, I didn't get to know Andy (what's his reason for joining the reality show?) or Callum (is he rooted in faith like Wynne?), it's all just the TV show this, the TV show that. I am not a fan of reality shows for the reason that the "reality" of the stars of these shows don't seem so authentic anymore. For me, the presence of cameras and knowing that thousands, even millions of people are watching, influence whatever they say and however they act.
There was a moment I thought the novella would angle on the aspect of Wynne as a Christian in an environment of worldly standards, surrounded by non-believers - like the producers, Meredith and Andy. I imagined she would be a little pressured to follow the ways of the world, but would then be inspired by the Lord to stand firm and trust in God's will for her. I would have loved to see how the protagonist handled that!
This book was just alright. It seemed Wynne had no real interaction with her family, her best friend Picky or Andy. It's only with Meredith, but it all seemed superficial. I wish the characters were more developed, though. I'd give it three out of five stars.
I've really enjoyed this series so far, but honestly, this wasn't my favorite in the series. Let's start with the good points first, though. The premise of the book was super intriguing to this reality show fan. (Anyone else want to admit they still watch The Bachelor?!) So of course, I was interested in a book that gives the story of what happens once the cameras are "off." The thought of planning a wedding to be on TV nearly caused me to break out in hives, so I definitely felt empathy for Wynne.
Unfortunately, though, I felt like something was missing. This novella seemed much shorter than the others (perhaps only my perception?), and I felt like it was more of a short story than a true novella. I even wondered if this was a follow-up to another book from the author. I felt like there was a lot of "telling" which isn't my favorite style of story-telling. I also had a hard time connecting with the characters. I understood the conflict, but I didn't truly care about it because I didn't really care about the people involved.
Personally, this seems like a great start of a novel but not really a complete novella. However, I am glad that I read it. It was a nice diversion on the way home from the beach. [3 stars]
I received a free copy of this book from Zondervan in exchange for my fair and honest review.
Wynne and Meredith, both winners of different reality TV shows, met in a TV interview. Wynne, the winner of Rejection Connection, and Meredith, winner of Marathon Mom, was interviewed at Charlotte Live hosted by Karen Dodd. Wynne and Meredith are very opposite - the first was more interested in living an authentic life, the latter was more interested in fame and popularity, glitz and glamour.
The story is really about the journey of Wynne - her doubts and her struggle. However, I feel that for the story to have more depth and for the reader to really get involved, the characters need to have more definition especially the men she got into relationship with. The men needed to be described more than what was written so the reader would get to know them more and can root for one of them to win over her heart.
In summary, the story is a good clean, quick and easy read.
This novella is written entirely in the first person, from Wynne's point of view, and that is both a strength and a weakness. It's a weakness in that we never know exactly what Andy or Callum are thinking, so we don't get to understand their feelings or their motives, and I'm was never sure which man was the â€˜right' choice (one of the issues with this kind of plot, and one reason many readersâ€”and authorsâ€”prefer not to use the â€˜other man' plot). But that's also the strength: if we knew what the men were thinking, it might telegraph the ending.
This novella is part of the A Year of Weddings series, featuring stories from a range of contemporary authors such as Denise Hunter, Rachel Hauck and Deborah Raney (not surprisingly, the plan is for a series of twelve books). Each novella appears to be a standalone story, although they do also link to other books by the author, either in terms of characters or location. In A June Bride, it was the location, which has featured in several of Whalan's novels (I've read several, and enjoyed all of them more than I enjoyed this novella). The writing is good, but I didn't find the male characters convincing, and I'm not sure Wynne made the right choice.
Thanks to Zondervan and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
Being on the reality show, Rejection Connection, Wynne Hardy cannot believe her life has come to this since the break-up with her long-time boyfriend, Callum Royce. Never dreaming her video would be picked, Wynne soon becomes caught up in the fast paced flow of reality TV. However, right before the large media-based wedding takes place, Callum asks to meet Wynne one last time_
A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
A new author for me, I enjoyed her style and wit. Similar to the current reality shows, A June Bride followed a contemporary romance story. Though brief, this novella was a quick, likable, fun read for summer. Part of A Year of Weddings series, this novella was perfect to be included in the set. Predictable yet pleasant, A June Bride was just as expected. Definitely an author I will pursue further, I am glad I read this novella as it may lead me to books I may not have previously picked up.
4 (out of 5) pennies
*I received a complimentary copy of A June Bride from BookLook Bloggers and Zondervan Publishing for my honest review*