Monday, 7 July 2014
Review: Nowhere But Here by Renee Carlino
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: July 8th, 2014
Source: Publisher **I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a honest review.**
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A Chicago reporter in her mid-twenties unexpectedly finds love in Napa Valley when she’s assigned to spend a week with a famously reclusive genius.
Kate Corbin has lost her spark. From the outside, her life seems charmed. She has a handsome, long-term boyfriend and a budding journalism career at a popular Chicago newspaper. But in reality, her relationship is going nowhere, and she’s quickly losing motivation for what she once believed was her dream job. When her boyfriend dumps her unceremoniously, Kate loses all hope of finding love.
With no living family and few friends, Kate confides in her boss. Trusting that the hungry, ace reporter is buried somewhere deep inside, he gives Kate the opportunity to jumpstart her career. The assignment: to interview the famously reclusive R.J. Lawson, a wealthy tech genius who disappeared years ago but recently reemerged as a Napa Valley vintner. The week takes an unexpected turn, however, when Lawson refuses to divulge any information. Desperate for a lead, Kate turns to Jamie, a vineyard hand who shows her the romance of wine country—and stirs her aching heart. But his connection to Lawson is ambiguous, and when Jamie disappears before the end of the week, Kate is left to investigate another story: the truth behind the man who stole her heart.
Ughhhhhhhh. Can I leave my review at that? It sums my exact feelings perfectly.
I heard such great things about Carlino's first book that when I was offered the chance to review this one I jumped on it. Unfortunately Nowhere But Here was not my cup of tea. The amount of times I said, "c'mon" and "really?" might have set a new world record.
I had a lot of problems with Nowhere But Here. But the biggest one was that it tried to be all the things. Yes, it's a romance novel. And romance novels tend to be dramatic and over the top. I'm okay with that but only when it is about one issue. Carlino took all the cliched and cheesy romance novel tropes and tried to put them into one book. Which made for a very messy and eye rolly read.
Kate, the MC, is another Bella Swan. There is absolutely nothing special about her. Her leading trait is that she's clumsy(like seriously, that is not a damn trait). Of course she's beautiful but she's at a standing point in her life. Her adoptive mother passed away months ago, she's in a relationship with a guy who cares more about his job than her and she's giving minimum effort towards to her work as a journalist. But for some reason that doesn't stop her boss from giving her a huge opportunity of heading out to Napa to interview a former child prodigy who has been a total recluse for the past fifteen years until he decided to open up a winery. So off Kate goes to Napa to get the dirt on this guy.
This is where Kate meets Jamie. Upon smashing into his car when pulling into the winery they have an immediate spark and things just progress from there. She goes off to interview this R.J. Lawson who is a total asshole and makes some advances towards her. But because Kate is fiesty(eye roll) she tells him off and almost loses out on continuing this huge interview opportunity. Kate's also quick to tell everyone she comes across that he hit on her. Really? Just keep it to yourself and write a damn good article about him and the winery.
I picked up right away who Jamie was. But of course Kate doesn't realize it. So after a "steamy" skinny dipping scene the first night she's there she goes off and texts her boyfriend some rude things and than has the ridiculous notion to say it's all his fault that she said those things. Needless to say they break-up and she can get lost in Jamie. But don't worry it's not smooth sailing from there. Jamie leaves her in the middle of the night without an explanation so she jumps on the first plan back to Chicago. Writes a scathing article about the winery and Lawson. More drama ensues.
There is nothing original about Kate and Jamie's relationship(or the characters themselves). It's a down on her luck beautiful women unexpectedly falling for a rich, caring and sweet guy. That even when Kate is a nasty little biznatch to him it doesn't matter. It's his fault and he'll do everything in his power to get her to come around.
Like I mentioned, Nowhere But Here just falls into every romance novel story line in three hundred pages. It just makes for a far to cliched, cheesy and unoriginal read for my enjoyment. Honestly, there's a rich guy, insta-love, lack of family, baby gets dropped every two seconds(I absolutely hate that word when used for endearment), misunderstanding, lying, Kate gets attacked, amnesia, pregnancy, etc... That is just the tip of the cheese. Plus the dialogue is of course full of cheese but it's also really juvenile. There's no easy banter or easiness to the conversations. They're pretty one dimensional.
I know Carlino's first novel is well loved and received and this one will probably be too. I just can't stand a book that is way to over the top and just tries to hard. That is not an enjoyable read for me.
But in the end, I finished the book so I can't give it a one star.