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

Fifteen Years Later: Review of "His Sinful Touch" by Candace Camp

Title: His Sinful Touch
Author: Candace Camp
ISBN: 0373789963
Publisher: HQN
Series: Mad Morelands #5
Price: $5.98 (Paperback) $5.99 (e-book) $19.96(Audible)
Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2


Most readers remember their first, the first book of their particular genre that they read, whether they enjoyed the book or not.  I have two firsts--the first romance I ever read was a Harlequin Intrigue written by Amanda Stevens.  If you've read my blog before you probably already know this.  The first historical romance I read was Mesmerized by Candace Camp, which was also the first book in her Mad Morelands series.  

I was a senior in high school when this series began and I remember seeing the paperback version of Mesmerized on the shelf at the Target on Queens Blvd (yes, I spent a lot of time on Queens Blvd as a teenager), and was pulled in by the gorgeous cover.  Apparently, that book has had several covers over the last 15 years, but this is the one I remember:


Isn't it pretty?  Of course from the cover I…

Happy Bookaversary! A Review of "Edge of Darkness" by Karen Rose

Title: Edge of Darkness
Author: Karen Rose
ISBN: 9780399583087
Publisher: Berkeley
Series: Cincinnati Series
Price: $5.98 (Paperback) $7.99 (e-book) $28.28(Audible)
Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


It seems like I've been reading Karen Rose novels my entire life.  I remember the day I came across Count to Ten in the Duane Reade on Queens Blvd.  I'd finished the paperback I brought with me to school that day while sitting in the Dining Hall eating lunch and needed something for the long bus ride home.  I almost didn't buy it because it was $9.99 and I hadn't gotten my financial aid money yet, but the cover copy called to me.  Not even the 500+ page count could scare me away.

I recently learned that Edge of Darkness is Ms. Rose's 20th book and in a strange way, I feel like a proud mama watching her child cross the stage to get their diploma.  I'm just a big ball of happy nostalgia, thinking back to all of the other books I've read by her and hopeful about the ones to come, so befor…

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year--Christmas in September

The day after Labor Day I woke up to an email from my contacts at St. Martin’s Press, inviting me to review six of their upcoming Christmas books, all of which have release dates in early October. For most people, this would probably be a problem — who wants to think about Christmas before Halloween — but for me, I’ve always had a soft spot for the man in the red suit. Even after I stopped believing in the Christ-Myth, I still loved that one holiday. To me, Christmas represents everything that Thanksgiving is supposed to be, but with better music and no obligatory turkey. Some of my favorite books have a Christmas theme and so I jumped at the chance to review those six books (well, five of them because the sixth has to do with cowboys and if there is one sub-genre I just cannot do is cowboys). I read the first two, With This Christmas Ring by Manda Collins and Deck the Halls by Donna Alward, fairly quickly, especially since they’re both novellas. Both are being released in a little o…

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 …

The Internet of Things: Review of "Hacking IT" by Kimberly Dean

Title: Hacking IT
Author: Kimberly Dean
ISBN: 9781386835561
Publisher: Self-published
Series: Hackers #1
Price: $3.99 (e-book) $9.99 (paperback)
Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2


Have you ever seen the description of a book and known immediately that it was going to be awesome and upon reading it were faced with the possibility that it might actually be better than you originally thought?  For me, that book was Hacking IT by Kimberly Dean.  A female white hat hacker using her skills to uncover a black hat hacker, who has stepped away from his computer and entered the real world?  Um, yes, please.

From the Publisher:
Independent software developer Kylie Grant is on top of her game in the world of IT. She has loyal clients, a good reputation, and a prestigious membership in technology giant Afire Industries’ small business accelerator. Things are going well until she stumbles across an innocuous issue with the lighting in the building where she rents space. When she digs into the problem, she discovers some…