Goodreads Rating: ⭐️
Getting an email with an offer for a free book download seems super exciting–until you start reading the book. I jumped on the free book download I received and began reading immediately. Since it was free I was a little extra excited about the new book and had the highest of hopes. I tried to fight my feelings of dislike for the novel, Out of the Box Awakening, but halfway through Chapter 12 I decided I could not force myself to read 21 more chapters.
Out of the Box Awakening is a romantic novel about a middle-aged woman who relocates for her husband’s job before learning that he is cheating on her. Of what I read in the book, it is a lot more romantic than I had initially anticipated. There were many instances where things happened that would not be considered normal in real life situations. The main character, Olivia, becomes friends with her husband’s friend, Ash, while her husband is out of town. She is claw-your-eyes out naïve in my opinion. Ash delivers her flowers at work before taking her out to dinner. The book is written in the first person so Olivia narrates about dinner that, “Ash holds my hands on the table and rubs gentle circles over my wrists with his thumbs.” Olivia comments a lot about how nice Ash is being to her. She clearly thinks of him as a perfect gentleman and is completely oblivious that he is enamored by her. He seems to be controlling to me as well but I didn’t get far enough in the book to have much of an opinion about that.
What officially made me stop reading was the poor dialogue. The things that the characters say are not very realistic and the dialogue is in huge chunks. Two people will talk to each other with no breaks in between. It would have been refreshing if the author threw in what the character was doing like a “she said as she walked into the other room,” or even saying that the character frowned or smiled would have made the characters seem less flat. All the conversations came off as very fake and weirdly proper in a way. Just to give you an example of the bad dialogue in the novel, Olivia and her daughter have her son on speaker phone and the three of them are having a conversation. The son asks his sister if she is still there and she replies with, “Yeah, little brother, I’m here.” I have never met a person who referred to their siblings that way and it pulled me right back out of the book.
Right from the beginning of the novel I could tell what the entire story was going to be about and what the conflicts were going to be. I did not get lost in the book or enjoy reading it. I felt like I had to power through it to get it over with. Unfortunately, I decided the book was more aggravating than enjoyable so I gave up. I learned my lesson and will probably never download a free book again.