Sunday, April 3, 2016

IF YOU ONLY KNEW by Kristan Higgins


August 25th, 2015
Women’s Fiction
Paperback ARC
Reviewed by Dawn (
Obtained by Publisher
2.5 Hearts

Wedding Dress designer Jenny Tate is determined to get on with her life. She doesn’t think that being such great friends with her ex-husband, Owen and his new wife is the key to a happy life. Sure Manhattan is her home and where she works but she is determined to forge ahead and make a life back in her hometown on the Hudson River. There she can bask in her sister and her idyllic marriage as well as her triplet nieces.

For Rachel Tate, her life revolves around being the perfect mother. She just never pictured her idyllic marriage crashing spectacularly. Second chances are not in Rachel’s nature but as she navigates this uncharted area, she finds that being perfect isn’t all that it is cracked up to be.

As these two sisters try to figure out their lives and try to move on, a secret from their parent’s marriage will rear its ugly head and for these two women, it will take all their strength to survive the coming storm.

I normally adore this author’s books with a passion. They were funny, sweet and heart-meltingly delightful. IF YOU ONLY KNEW was not that kind of book. This new release from Ms. Higgins just plain annoyed me to no end. Each chapter is a different point of view and that got old really quick. I love seamless stories where the characters POV are woven into the storyline itself. What we got was two characters just going back and forth in a fashion and I felt like I was in a tennis game. Don’t get me wrong the writing is really good and that is the best I could do with this book after I was done. The characters make up the book and story. I just plain could not care less about these characters at all. They whined-a lot, kept making me want to throttle them and I seriously did not like them. The sisters didn’t bring out the best in one another and the scenes between the sisters felt like a competition between the two. They just were ugly people that were shallow, vain and mean-spirited to the point of being quite toxic. This is a story that felt like you were watching a train wreck and couldn’t look away even to turn the page. It’s a story that did not make me feel any happier about life or relationships in general. Plus that secret that haunted Jenny about her family felt like the author was just checking off a box during the course of book. After awhile I felt like yelling at the book to either tell Rachel or just shut up about it already. That little trope just got annoying way to quickly for my taste.

IF YOU ONLY KNEW is a story about sisters and the people around them that are just so bad that all need to move away from one another because seriously, I would try to run them over with a car if I had people around me like some of the characters in this book. But I do have to admit one character, Leo, was a delight. He had secrets that Jenny was determined to figure out but his scenes were sweet, heat meltingly delightful though he did have his own issues or demons to deal with but it was told in such a way you couldn’t help but fall in love with the man-just a little anyways. But alas, those few scenes with Jenny just could not save the book as a whole for me. The ending was interesting and anti-climatic in a sense. I won’t spoil it for you but all I was thinking during that last chapter was ‘thank god this is over with’. As much as I wanted to really enjoy IF YOU ONLY KNEW, alas the storyline just didn’t push my love buttons nor did the characters endear themselves to me. I am really hoping this author goes back to writing what she does best- heartfelt stories with characters that steal your heart.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement

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