I never did like star systems. How do they work? If you give a book five stars it has to be perfect, right? So if there’s one tiny thing that irritates you, do you have to take off a star?
Sorry, I’m a bit niggly in the wake of my worst-ever review, marked down (heavily) for a couple of things I did deliberately in book 1 to allow for plot development in book 2. Writing’s a long road and bad reviews are the potholes in it. In fairness the criticism was constructive so I won’t complain. You live and learn.
After that, I needed a laugh and I found it in Sharon Black’s Going Against Type. It’s clever, it’s witty and it’s beautifully written. Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Regan is a sports reporter, sole woman in an office full of men. Derry Cullinane is a fashion journalist, sole man in an office full of women. Skilfully set up to begin with, the pace escalates as their relationship develops in real life while, professionally, they engage in a raging weekly row through their (anonymous) columns in their respective newspapers.
There are no real plot twists but the book doesn't need them. It’s inevitable that they’re going to find out at some point that they’ve been abusing each other in print and the skill is in the writing — in setting up their meetings and balancing that against their professional fallouts. When will they find out? What will happen when they do? And it doesn’t disappoint. I loved the Dublin setting, I revelled in the writing and I even fell a little bit in love with the hero. That doesn’t happen often.
I had a couple of niggles, because no book is perfect. I thought there were too many minor characters flitting in and out, most of them not actually moving the plot on at all; and I’m not entirely sure the dilemma between their personal relationship and professional vendetta was satisfactorily resolved, but maybe that’s because I was so keen to find out what happened that I read on long after I was too tired to concentrate.
If I gave stars I would have given this five, so Sharon Black can be quietly annoyed with me for cheating her of that, though I suspect (I haven’t checked) that she’ll have plenty of 5* reviews already. Lucky her.
You can find Going Against Type on the Tirgearr Publishing website. You can also find A Portrait of my Love there, to see if you really think it deserves just 2.5 stars.
Bitter? Moi? Never.