A few months ago I read and reviewed new author B.L. Berry's debut novel, Love Nouveau. The story totally left me thinking, "whaaat?" because it just left me hanging there. The good news, the author told me, was that there was going to be a second installment to help wrap up the story. So I've been waiting...and waiting...and anxiously waiting for Berry's second release, Love Abstract.
I received an ARC of Love Abstract this past weekend for an honest review, and since it was released to the public today, I had to put in some overtime in reading to finish it quickly. That really wasn't a problem since I was so excited to read it.
This book picks up where the other one ends, right after Ivy and Phoenix move to New York together. They're in mushy, they're gushy, they're totally in love. In fact, the dialogue in some spots got a bit stale because it just kept repeating the same things over and over; they love each other, they were made for each other, he/she is "the one." As the story progresses though, we discover that although Phoenix has this desperate need for Ivy to trust him, he's not being entirely honest with her. He feels bad and guilty for not telling her what he's realized, and anguishes over it several time, yet still fails to tell her. One drunken night, when Ivy finds out the truth, we are catapulted into will she-won't she forgive him. Were they truly made for each other as they professed?
I was a bit bothered by the fact that these two main characters prattle on repeatedly about how they are just absolutely in love and nothing will stand between them and then when something gets tough, Ivy runs. I get that it's sort of one of her flaws as a character, she runs because she doesn't know what to do but it makes her seem sort of shallow and weak when I originally thought she was this strong character. On the flip side, I see WHY she was so hurt when Phoenix's "secret" is finally out. I never would've guessed that...well, until Hailey (Phoenix's ex) stopped by and alluded to something happening, that is. What a twist!
I LOVED the addition of the new character Blake. I'm still unsure if he's not maybe bisexual, but regardless he was a delight. Despite the fact that he's a bit flamboyant, and extremely outspoken he also has a lot of sage wisdom to give out. I really enjoyed him and his friendship with both Ivy and Phoenix.
Again, the cover is gorgeous. I like the pretty watercolor image used, much like on the cover of the first book.
I think that because I fell so in love with the first book, Love Nouveau, that my expectations for this second one might have been too high. I hate when that happens because it's not necessarily the author's fault; some of the blame goes straight to me because living up to what I expected in my head and heart was probably a near impossible, Herculean task. I honestly think Berry could've condensed this second novel into half of what it was and simply added it to the first one to make one complete story. That's just MY opinion though because I felt like this second novel just sort of went on and on a bit. Don't be mistaken, I still liked it a lot. I needed that closure and ending for the story. It was a beautiful love story with lots of surprises...even if it wasn't exactly what I expected.