Book Review: Humbugs and Heartstrings

Author: Catherine Ferguson

Humbugs and Heartstrings

Why, one might ask, are you reading a Christmas book in September?

Well for those who don’t follow my blog closely, I recently started travel blogging, and, having had a bit of a disastrous day, I decided to settle down with my Kindle, and pick the easiest, cheesiest book I had downloaded. So, here we are, this book review comes from the perspective of someone who really needed cheering up.

Can you shut up about your life and tell me about the book? One might ask now.

Yes, I am rather filling time because, in all honesty, the book wasn’t very interesting. If I hadn’t been in a camper van, in the dark, with nothing else to do, I probably wouldn’t have finished it, level of interesting. There’s nothing wrong with it, per say, but neither is there anything right with it.

We start our story with Bobbie who has a terrible job, with a horrible boss, a sick brother and, so far, no successful romantic relationships. H&H follows Bobbie in the run-up to Christmas as her life changes for the better and she meets a man who makes her heart beat faster, who falls for her despite her constant embarrassing clumsiness (she throws tampons at him twice, because once is never enough).

It’s so boilerplate that I’m pretty sure word will print it out if you hit ctrl shift f5. Now, I have nothing against a book doing nothing new, I’ve had good times with books that are nothing more than fun, traditional romps that wipe out clichés like a straight line Tetris block. But note the fact that I use the word ‘fun’ which is unfortunately not a word I can use to describe H&H.

For starters, the love interest, whose name I’ve forgotten because he was super interesting, was like a cardboard cut out. So handsome and rich, with zero faults and not enough screen time. As I result, I cared nothing for him or his relationship with Bobbie.

So we’ve hit a rather big stumbling block in a romance book, where the main romance is about as immersive as concrete; but there can still be drama, right? This is where the book hits a spark of originality, you remember the horrible boss I mentioned earlier? That same boss is Bobbie’s ex-best friend. This is established early on, and their big bad history is never forgotten, being regularly referenced (perhaps too much) and kept relevant to the current argument.

Yet, despite that, I still felt the big (hilarious?) bitch off, food fight the two end up having wasn’t earned; since it was both incredibly abrupt and out of character for Bobbie, who was established early as a doormat. Nor did I feel the conclusion of them making up and letting bygones be bygones made much sense considering they had been, apparently, fighting for years. They seemed to make up more because Christmas came and the book had to end.

You know what? I started this review thinking ‘It was alright,’ but you know what? The more I analyze my reaction now, the more the book is rubbing me the wrong way, Bobbie’s whining was tedious, the dramatic climax’s ridiculous and there are both better romances and Christmas books out there, demonstrated by the fact that more often than not I can remember the love interest name once I’m done.

If you still want to buy it after all I’ve said the link is right there…. Have fun with your boring book.

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4 Thoughts

    1. They, in her embrassed bag shuffling, get thrown out of her bag at the man’s feet, twice. She basically throws them at him.

      Like

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