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:


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


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)

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…

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 …

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 "On the Surface" by Kate Willoughby

Title: On the Surface
Author: Kate Willoughby
Publisher: Carina Press
Series: In the Zone #1
Price: $4.99 (e-book) | $12.47 (Audible Audio)
Rating: DNF

From the Publisher
NHL player Tim Hollander lost his temper one time and threw a water bottle at an abusive fan. After “Bottlegate,” he’s traded to the San Diego Barracudas, where he’ll need to keep the bad publicity to a minimum while proving he can still compete with the younger guys on the ice.
Erin Collier is a pediatric nurse who’s never seen a hockey game, but gets in line for Tim’s autograph at a PR event in hopes of impressing the doctor she has a crush on. When an obnoxious fan gets pushy toward Erin, Tim rushes to defend the pretty stranger, throwing a punch in the process.
Grateful for the rescue, Erin agrees to stand by Tim during the resulting press conference and host him at a hospital charity event. Their chemistry is palpable, and soon their lives are intertwined. But Erin doubts a hockey player is capable of an…

Review of "A Stardance Summer" by Emily March

Title: A Stardance Summer
Author: Emily March
ISBN: 1250131685
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Series: Eternity Springs #13
Price: $5.98 (Paperback) $7.99 (e-book) $17.13 (Audible)
Rating:No Stars

Disclaimer: I wrote this review as a part of a Blog Tour, but have since pulled out of it for obvious reasons.  I am not editing the content of the review, so any mentions of the Blog Tour remain.

I want to start this review by saying that this is not the type of book I usually read and had I known this, I would not have signed up for this Blog Tour.  While it does not appear as if this is being marketed as a "Christian Romance" that is exactly what this is.  As a New York-born, California-living Atheist with degrees from two liberal universities, I am not exactly the target demographic for this book (or for this author, for that matter).  Despite feeling duped by the marketing, I made the effort to read the entire thing.  Honestly, had I stopped at any point before reaching the end,…