Tuesday, April 5, 2011

"a billion reasons why" by kristin billerbeck

It's been a long time since I've written a less-than-positive review. (If you're curious, it was The Topkapi Secret on December 13, 2010.) That's probably due to the fact that I only choose books to review that interest me. Well, it's time for another negative review ...

Luc broke Katie's heart and publicly humiliated her when he refused her marriage proposal. Eight years later, Katie is almost engaged to Dexter when Luc flies back into her life. Now she must decide if she wants the sensible, practical, safe man or the man who makes her heart race. I think you can guess what the answer is.

I wanted to like A Billion Reasons Why. I was super-excited when it showed up in my Amazon Vine newsletter--Amazon has been recommending it to me for weeks now, and while I didn't want to spend money on it, I wanted the chance to read it. Now, I wish I hadn't spent my time on it.

My main complaint with the book is the characters. I didn't find any of them particularly likeable, and Katie had zero chemistry with either Luc or Dexter. (I know it's odd to describe book characters as having chemistry, but if you've read anything by Denise Hunter or Karen Kingsbury, you'll know what I mean.) At one point, Katie's mother says she thinks Luc's brother Jem has always been half in love with Katie, and I thought, That's it! I don't care about Luc or Dex because Katie belongs with Jem! Wrong. Jem hardly factors into the plot. And then there's Eileen, Katie's best friend. Eileen (understandably) hates Luc because of what he did to Katie. But the girl seriously can't make up her mind! She tells Katie to marry Dex; she tells Katie not to marry Dex; she tells Katie to marry Dex; she tells Katie to marry Luc. Why would anyone listen to her? I kept waiting for Katie to tell her to shut up. I'm still waiting.

The book also has some continuity problems. For example, at the end of one chapter, Katie says she doesn't have any tears to cry over Dex. At the beginning of the next, Katie is a mess because of all her crying. At the end of the same chapter, Katie muses about her lack of an emotional response to what happened with Dex.

My last criticism (at least the last one I'll air publicly) can't be blamed on the author--it's about the cover. Katie is repeatedly described as being a redhead; on the cover, she's a brunette. (She does look like Ashley Judd, so that's a plus ... but still, how difficult is it to get the right hair color?)

Lest you think I hated the book, you should know that I did enjoy two things: each chapter's title is a song title, and Billerbeck throws in several pop culture references that I enjoyed. I especially appreciated the reference to Robby, the poor Bachelorette contestant who was dumped in the middle of a train trip across Canada. They actually stopped the train and kicked him off! See, I didn't hate everything!

A better title for this book would be "A Billion Reasons Why Not." Don't waste your money on this book. If you're dying to read it, I'd be happy to lend you my copy.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this product free for review from Amazon.com through it's Vine reviewer program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.


  1. At least the guy on the cover is cute! That's disappointing that the book isn't great...I usually love Kristin Billerbeck!

  2. I was disappointed, too--it sounded so promising! This was the first Billerbeck I'd read ... I've heard good things about her, though, so I might give a different book a shot. I just won't be paying for it!

  3. How do you get picked for Amazon Vine? I would love to be a part of it, but don't understand it because I haven't found any information about it on their website.

  4. I don't think anyone really knows how you get picked. It must have something to do with your reviews and maybe the percentage of helpful votes you get. Apparently a lot of people got invited the day I did. I had a 76% helpful average, so I wonder if you have to have 75% or more, but I really don't know.


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