Skip to main content

Review of "The Diary of an Accidental Wallflower" by Jennifer McQuiston

the diary of an accidental wallflowerI bought this book a while back when it was on sale for about $2, but never got around to reading it.  I finally decided it was time after giving up on "In the Waning Light," which I was supposed to review for the Smart Bitches RITA Reader Challenge 2016.  While I'm glad I read it, I can't say that it is my favorite book.  To be honest, it was very middle of the road.

Miss Clare Westmore is just like every other girl of her age--she goes to balls, flirts with future Dukes, and is terrified of making one misstep, which she does quite literally, spraining her ankle.  Now, she's stuck sitting on the sideline while her friends take her waltzes.  Being a wallflower, however, gives her perspective on many things and she begins to wonder just what it is she wants out of life.

Doctor Daniel Merial is struggling to get by, living in a small rented room in a bad part of town and working at a teaching hospital.  To make some extra cash he moonlights as the person physician for one of the former leading ladies of the ton.   While keeping an eye on his patient, he meets Clare and his life is changed forever.

This is a different type of romance.  I loved the fact that it took place not in the Regency, but smack dab in the middle of the Victorian Era.  That's a period of time that I don't know all that much about--other than the fact that until last year Queen Victoria was the longest reigning British monarch.  I liked that Ms. McQuiston included facts about the Chartist Movement, which was coming to an end around the same time this book takes place.  It was an interesting backdrop to what was really a story about bridging the class divide, something that is almost as wide today as it was back in the mid-Nineteenth Century--although here in the US we don't have an aristocracy built on centuries of Feudalism but rather a plutocracy built on 240 years of Capitalism.  I liked the fact that despite being noble by birth, Clare and her sister Lucy both supported the Chartists' attempt to gain a margin of political power, included complete male suffrage (being set in 1848, it would be strange to have anyone looking for female suffrage, although that was the very year of the Seneca Convention here in the States).

Another facet of Victorian stratification that I found interesting was the idea that even in church the classes did not mix.  There was a scene towards the end of the novel in which Clare describes going to a funeral and seeing a section roped off for people who could not afford a box.  I didn't realize that such a thing existed outside of Opera Houses.  I just figured that the churches were more or less segregated with ones for the Upper classes and others for the lower classes.

The main thing that bothered me about this book is that aside from Clare's sister, Lucy, every other young, female character existed solely to make Clare look better or to make her stand out from the crowd.  These were women without any depth--they were all the type of one dimensional villain that proliferate the fictional world.  There was no real reason as to why these girls acted the way they did or why they absolutely hated Clare--just that Clare managed to catch the eye of a future duke.  They were ridiculous and the embodiment of the type of mean girl that made junior high and high school a living hell for so many girls.  Hell, Regina George wasn't even as mean as Sophie and Rose.  I did keep waiting for this to happen, though:

regina-george.gif

Okay, maybe not exactly that--this was Victorian London--but Daniel and Clare did take the Omnibus a couple times.  One of those could have hit them, right?

3.5 Stars

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Throwback Review: The Dream Trilogy by Nora Roberts

There are some books that stick with you no matter how long it has been since you first read them.  For me, the Dream Trilogy has always been in the back of my head.  I probably read them a good 15 years ago and the last time was a good 10 years back.  As a matter of fact, that trilogy was part of the first round of books I purchased when I got my first kindle for my 24th birthday (I never actually read it after buying the digital version; I guess I just needed to know that I could read them if I wanted.


The first book of the trilogy, Daring to Dream, was released in 1996 when I was just 10 years old and more concerned with passing math (I did, but not without many a night of struggling to remember what the E in PEMDAS meant) than I was with the goings on of fictional characters inside the pages of a book.  In fact, if I read at all during that time period it was to get a free pan pizza through Pizza Hut and the Book It! program.  I've mentioned this a few times before, but I act…

Blog Tour: Excerpt and Review of "Lord of Chance" by Erica Ridley

Title: Lord of Chance Author: Erica Ridley ISBN: 1943794049 Publisher: Webmotion Series: Rogues to Riches #1 Price: $7.99 (paperback) $3.99 (e-book) $9.97 (Audible Audio)
Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 





I was recently given the opportunity to take part in a Blog Tour for the newest Erica Ridley novel, Lord of Chance, and as I've liked her books in the past, I decided to do it.  The publisher quickly provided me with  a whole folder full of goodies, so without further ado:
The Excerpt
'Charlotte harrumphed to hide her amusement. “How are you at pressing wrinkles from gowns?” “Let me assure you,” Mr. Fairfax informed her with utter seriousness, “that I have never worn a wrinkled gown in all my life.” “Very gentlemanly.” She tried not to smile. “Let’s see your skill as maid-of-all-work, then. My gowns are in the wardrobe, as is my traveling iron. See what you can do.” “At your service.” He bowed, then turned and marched to the wardrobe like a soldier off to war. Now that he couldn’t see her, she let her…

Review of "The Thing About Love" by Julie James

Title: The Thing About Love
Author: Julie James
ISBN: 0425273776
Publisher: Berkley
Series: FBI/US Attorney Book #7
Price: $10.99 (paperback) $8.99 (e-book) $15.74 (Audible Audio)
Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 1/2

From The Publisher
Two undercover FBI agents can hide who they are from everyone but each other in the latest novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Suddenly One Summer.
After spending six years in Los Angeles—and the last six months wondering how her marriage fell apart—FBI Special Agent Jessica Harlow is looking for a fresh start. When she finds out that the Chicago field office has an opening for an undercover agent, returning to her hometown seems like the perfect answer. But her new partner, John Shepherd, is someone she never expected to see again. Six years ago, the cocky Army Ranger was her top competition at the FBI Academy, and the one man who got under her skin like no other. 
Just one assignment away from joining the FBI's elite Hostage Rescue Team, John isn't g…

Review of "New York, Actually" by Sarah Morgan

Title: New York, Actually
Author: Sarah Morgan
ISBN: 0373804105
Publisher: HQN Books
Series: From Manhattan with Love #4
Price: $5.98 (Paperback) $5.99 (e-book) $19.96 (Audible)
Rating: 🐶🐶🐶🐶1/2


If you follow me on social media, you'll have seen my posts about this book over the last week.  For the most part, they weren't very positive -- until about 20% into the book, I hated the hero.  If I could have set him on fire, I probably would have.  It was only Ms. Morgan's prose and the fact that I had been looking forward to this book for 6 months that kept me reading.  For once, I am glad I was so wrong about a character.

From the PublisherOne man. One woman. Two dogs.  Meet Molly—New York's most famous advice columnist, she considers herself an expert at relationships…as long as they're other people's. Still bruised from her last breakup, Molly is in no rush to find happily-ever-after—the only love of her life is her dalmatian, Valentine.  Meet Daniel—A cynical divorce …

Review of "Pretty Face" by Lucy Parker

Pretty Face is pretty fucking awesome.  There, I said it.  I first picked it up based on all the squeeing about Ms. Parker's first book, Act Like It, which I am sad to say, I still have not read, despite said squeeing.  I don't usually read books by authors I know are British and I'm sure this comes from all those stuffy classics I had to read in high school.  Granted, many of those classics were written by American authors (I still have nightmares about reading Moby Dick--Mr Sullivan, if you are out there and have stumbled on my blog, I'm sorry, but Melville was an awful writer, who used the English language as a torture device), but still, there seems to be some type of block in my brain that stops me from wanting to read something by a British author.  I'm glad I made an exception for Ms. Parker.

Luc Savage is in the middle of a crisis: he can't find anyone to play Elizabeth I in the new play that he is producing.  While he's used to dealing with actors…