One Year Left by J. C. Robinson

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34743713I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. This book has become an unfortunate victim of one of my New Years resolutions to star more harshly- it says two stars, but really it is 2.5 and maybe even 2.75 and I would still definitely recommend it if you are looking for a fun, easy romance and aren’t too bothered about realism etc.

Ultimately, this book was fun. It was not a masterpiece, it was not life-changing and it wasn’t incredible, but I laughed and smiled and it made me feel better when I was sick.

As I like ending on a positive note and I absolutely hate writing negative things about a book I enjoyed reading, I will start with what wasn’t so great: the time frame and development of the story. Everything moved so fast! I will be the first to admit that I read very quickly, but this book probably took at most one hour to read. Which is good… until I realised that I was 50% through the novel and the characters had hardly met yet. The whole romance took whirlwind to the extreme. Whilst I love some good romance, and this book was a romance, I still felt like in order to fully appreciate the romance between the two characters, we needed to see more of their everyday lives… plus, becoming so obsessed you can’t talk or think about anything else within a couple of minutes of meeting might be realistic, but it is not the basis of a relationship. The things that happened felt like the things I would expect after months and months of dating, not hardly a couple of weeks. So, yes I enjoyed the romance, but I didn’t believe it. That and I hardly know anything about the characters beyond their torn up romantic lives which seem to drive them at every corner.

That was my major issue, but there were a few other small ones. This book was also written form two POV… and I found it hard to tell the difference between them- their voices were too similar. I also felt like the characters trying to be flawed and create their own identity and had a lot of potential, but they weren’t given the room to grow and blossom into beautiful baby-flower-characters. The concept of One Year Left was not fully developed and I think it is wrong to say that a girl you just met will make you fall in love and after one small problem a week in, you will quickly overcome all of your depression and other mental health problems. Jumping to the end of the year wasn’t the best, in my opinion- this book was 142 pages and it could have done with drawing out the romance more, taking the time develop the characters and adding on another 200ish pages.

Now onto the things I did enjoy! This book was funny. As someone who is currently in the midst of writing a novel and has not managed to make a single funny scene, props to any author who makes me laugh. It’s harder than you might think. And all the cheesy corniness of this novel works, because in the end it is a romance. It feels like a feel-good romance, which is part of the issue: the characters both have troubled pasts and issues that are glossed over or used as plot devices but don’t really seem real of significant enough to break through the feel-good romance feel of the novel. Ignoring that, the feel-good romance feel was still fun and I would seriously like Will to take me on some dates: he seriously has the best ideas. I love the idea of roommates-become-lovers and props to J. C. Robinson for casually including a bi main character and having everyone act like it’s no big deal.

Overall, if you are willing to overlook the fact that this book did not completely fulfil its true potential, it is still a fun, clean romance with funny characters and a couple of golden-nugget scenes. This book comes out on May 1st 2017.

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