Saturday, April 7, 2018

Book Review: 'When It’s Right' by Jennifer Ryan


When Gillian was at her lowest point in life, the goodness of the family she didn’t even know she had changed everything for the better.
The journey Gillian went through was inspiring. As a character, she was a lovely mix of resilience and gentleness. The fact that her sole focus was the wellbeing of her brother portrayed her as a selfless, courageous and tender woman. Her love for her brother was one of the sweetest aspects of the novel. I was expecting a bit more tension between her and her grandparents initially, but Bud and Dee were portrayed a bit too sweet to allow for any depth in their relationships.
After the tumultuous beginning and a lot of suspense, the novel experiences a slump in pace towards the middle, but it picks up at the end, culminating in a scene that is both sweet and tragic, thanks to Ken, a character who is fascinating because of how thoroughly bad he is.
Blake, as sexy and strong as he is, didn’t convince me as the hero of this story. While I understood his need to protect Gillian, he was often pushy and overbearing, answering questions and making decisions instead of her etc. His best scenes are with Justin, rather than with Gillian. His friendship with her brother felt a lot more genuine than his attraction to her. The words ‘I love you’ are repeated too often by the end of the novel they begin to feel empty and fake. There’s no real tension between Blake and Gillian and that is why I felt no chemistry between them.
The gentleness that Gillian is capable despite growing up in a family fraught with abuse is the highlight of this novel. She grows into her new family and into a gentle relationship with Blake, finally realizing she can have a happy ending, too.

Editor's note: This article was originally published at Long and Short ReviewsIt has been republished with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.