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Books and Whimsy

I blog about books that change me at Books and Whimsy. I also write discussion posts, and host original features. I'm quite silly sometimes, serious others, and always champion great books. (booksandwhimsy.com) You can find my author blog at onceuponaprologue.net

New Money: A Novel - Lorraine Zago Rosenthal Despite being really excited for New Money once I read the synopsis, something about this novel fell flat for me. It's been said by me and by others that reading is a very subjective experience, and I want to remind y'all of that going into this review. My issues weren't so much with the quality of the writing, the style, or the pacing, but rather with more personal dislikes - and because of that, I'm still going to urge others to give Rosenthal's book a fair chance.

I think my biggest issue was Savannah. Savannah is a meddler, and a "fixer" who doesn't really know when to step in and when NOT to step into someone else's life and problems. She tries hard to be a good friend, but her tendencies get in the way. Couple that with a duplicitous nature (she's as willing to blackmail or play dirty as anyone is, but eager to condemn them for those same things) and she and I didn't hit it off. Without that connection, hard as I tried, I could never really feel for Savannah. She had a tendency to do things that flat out pissed me off and make snap, rash decisions that came back to bite her in the ass. My instant dislike of Savannah was my biggest issue with New Money.

New Money has an interesting, if recycled plot. The poor-girl-turned-rich when she finds out an unknown relative (her father in this case) left her a huge inheritance trope has been done before, and better, I think. When I didn't like Savannah, I hoped other, secondary characters would redeem New Money for me, but Savannah's half-siblings were monstrous to her, without even a shred of civility. One of the love interests was an arrogant ass; the other, at least, offered some salvation, and was a genuinely good guy. The inevitable love triangle felt lukewarm though, as to me, the choice Savannah should make seemed obvious (both in who was better for her, and who she was more interested in/passionate about.) However just when things were looking good, Savannah made another of those decisions I talked about earlier in the review. She just honestly boggled my mind with her childish, impetuous, rude behavior so many times.

Finally, the writing bugged me at times. Though I read a galley, I felt it should have been a bit more polished. I know Rosenthal's book probably went through one final edit, which hopefully cleaned up the prose. The wording was odd, and several key scenes (like a love-making scene) were written so awkwardly, I wondered if an adult had even written them. And the end came...and everything was neatly wrapped in a little bow, which leads me to question WHY in the WORLD this book needs the sequel I've heard is forthcoming?

Final Thought: Readers who go into New Money expecting a light, "chick-lit" type story should be pleased; anyone looking for character growth, memorable characters, or a strong, original plot will be disappointed. A selfish, childish main character and a lukewarm love triangle weighed down my enjoyment of this book; the best I can say is that it DID hold my interest, and I DID want to finish it. I also liked one of the love interests.