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Monday, June 27, 2011

Just Like Heaven by Julia Quinn

Posted by Irish in Guilty Pleasure1 Comment

Publisher: Avon Books
Source: Publisher
Publication Date: 31 May 2011
Series or Standalone: Series
ISBN:  006149190X
Format: Paperback
Pages: 367
Julia Quinn – Blog 
Julia Quinn – Twitter
Place(s) Traveled to: London, England (1824)
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
First Line: Marcus Holroyd was always alone. (Prologue)
Smythe-Smith Quartet Series Order
Book 1: Just Like Heaven (Honoria Smythe-Smith & Marcus Holroyd)
Book 2: Untitled
Book 3: Untitled
Book 4: Untitled

Anyone who has been a regular reader of Julia Quinn has heard about the Smyth-Smith family, or rather their annual musicale which is infamous for being bad. Very very bad. And yet anyone who is anyone always makes an appearance and suffers through. But no one suffers more than the 4 girls who are conscripted to perform each year. In Just Like Heaven we are introduced to Honoria Smythe-Smith who plays the violin in the quartet and unlike some in her family she knows just how bad they really are. And unlike her cousins she decides to embrace the bad and try to make the most of it by giving it her all.

Speaking of the Smythe-Smith cousins I have to say that they really added some levity to the novel. I really enjoyed when the four girls were together…especially when the musical was getting close. I found myself chuckling a loud a few times. I did have a hard time buying the romance between Honoria and Marcus. The two where childhood friends, thanks to Daniel but had little interaction once Daniel left England under some unfortunate circumstances. When the two reconnect the situation they find themselves in is a bit outlandish.

The middle part of the book tends to drag out far too long and as a result the ending is rushed. And during that long drawn out middle the two characters just sort of spontaneously decide that they are in love. There was no real build up or tension and so as a result it was a bit of a disappointment. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy the characters of Honoria and Marcus and I believed their friendship and enjoyed the scenes they were in. I just wish that more time had been spent building their actual romance. The story was cute but it lacked depth.

What made this novel for me is the aforementioned interactions between Honoria and her cousins. I fell in love with this family and loved getting an inside peak at the musicale that I’ve read so much about in other Quinn novels. Its because of these cousins that I look forward to reading the other books in this series. I can’t wait to see each of them develop and come into their own.

One Response to “Just Like Heaven by Julia Quinn”

  1. Meredith

    I was pleasantly surprised by how funny I found this book. I really like Julia Quinn, but I’ve never associated her books with being funny – until now. I adore Iris and her sarcasm and can’t wait for her story.