Image via Goodreads.
Title: Good Girl
Author: Christina Frank
Date Read: September 4th – September 22nd, 2016
Date Reviewed: September 22nd, 2016
Introduction: I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. I chose to pick this one up before a few others because it sounded like a dramatic romance with lots of turmoil and suspense…well, it was dramatic, that’s for sure.
Spoilers Ahead?: Yes.
Quick Summary: Gabriella Rossi works at her family’s pizza place. One day a stranger walks in and requests her to live with him for an extended period of time and in return he will give money to her family (who greatly require it). She agrees and goes to live with Noah Bentley, and learns he is not just looking for some company. This billionaire lets her enjoy the life of luxury, but for a price, her heart.
Evaluations: This sounds like someone had intended on writing Fifty Shades of Grey in a different manner, but it is definitely not as well written as I would have hoped for. There were many chapters of Gabby going out with Noah and experiencing dates and then the two would fight and she’d be “grounded” to her room without dinner. It was a strange Daddy-Slave type relationship going on for at least half the book, and Gabby absolutely hated the man. How did she develop feelings when for a majority of the book she wanted to go home and absolutely hated him?
I also found that the book felt very rigid in the tone that it was written. If not for the very formal writing style, the strange relationship between Noah and Gabby might have made sense, but I felt like I was listening a very formal, older gentleman explain the tale of Noah and Gabby. It just felt like the tone did not match the story.
Plot: The plot was your typical dominance-submission title that you can find in the Fifty Shades of Grey rip-off area. Rich, handsome man who does not get with other women decides to find a poor waitress and make her fall in love with him. While I do love this trope, I found it to be a little lacking in this novel. That’s not to say other readers won’t like it though! I just found that there were many areas of the plot that could have had a little more umph to them.
Noah wants Gabby but Gabby hates Noah, yet magically romance appears. I would have liked Gabby to slowly open up to Noah throughout the novel instead of the very stoic persona she took on.
The random thoughts during the novel left me feeling cheated when nothing was brought about by them. It seemed like Christina Frank was deciding to turn in one direction, but forgot to edit them out later.
Overall, the plot could have been built up a little more so there were less plot holes.
Characters: Gabriella is a very cold character, and understandably so due to the situation she is put in. But what confused me throughout the novel is how she went from hatred of Noah to loving him. There was no build up to the love, it just suddenly happened. As much as I believe that love at first sight may exist, hatred to love at first sight seems to be less likely. There aren’t many layers to this girl, and while most romances may not involves layers in their characters they usually have a bit more spunk to them. She felt very one sided, and I wasn’t cheering for her like I do in many other novels with a female lead.
Noah is cold like a fish and dull like a butter knife. Yes he can cut a little bit, but he doesn’t get very far. Once and a while emotion is shown, but most of the time he is as emotional as a stone. If Noah’s story would have been addressed more, perhaps we would have understood why he was so emotionless. Was he meant to have no emotions? Was there a reason? Why was he always so cold? Overall, I didn’t like his character as a romantic interest. I found him very boring and I understand why Gabby didn’t like him near the beginning of the novel. Someone unrealistic and mean is typically not my ideal man.
Themes/Creativity: There doesn’t seem to be any themes evident, other than following the trend of dominance and submission. It is also not very creative – I’ve read many books with almost this exact plot. There are some unique twists and turns within the novel, but it doesn’t stand out within the genre.
Uniqueness: It’s not entirely unique compared to other romance novels. It introduces a few plot twists here and there, but nothing to scream “Recommend this book to everyone you know!”. It’s more of a novel that I’d give to someone who wants to read mass amounts of the dominance and submission genre.
Strengths: Christina Frank is a good writer, and the tone of voice would be fantastic in a mystery/suspense/thriller type of novel. I would love to read her tone of voice in a book that isn’t romance.
Weaknesses: With many weak points they all band together for the weakness portion of this review. I would have loved for a very strong, unique plot, or a very unique set of characters or a crazy plot twist that out does all the other novels in this genre, but it felt like all of these aspects were copies of other novels I have read in the past. It was not as original as I had hoped it to be.
2 out of 5.
This book was a good read – it was adequate. It was not my favorite book, and I won’t be picking it up again, but I’ll read more by Christina Frank. She is a great author!