Ah a Book Talk… let’s see if I remember how to do these. There is a growing list of recently read books that I have yet to talk about. My reading game was extremely poor for a while, but it seems to be on the up, and what better way to celebrate me getting my reading mojo back then to have a lil book chat about one of the more recent reads on my shelf.
She Regrets Nothing by Andrea Dunlop. Now, this was a book I saw on Instagram a long while ago and I had saved the post and forgotten about it, until I desperately searched through my camera roll and saved Pinterest and Instagram feeds, looking for book inspiration. This one jumped out at me (not gonna lie, it was mainly the pink cover and the promise of a Gossip Girl esque story line). So, that’s what I was expecting, and to start with that’s what I thought I got.
I have SO much to say about this book, but I’ve got to be honest, this book probably caused more frustration than joy, and I spent most of the time just wishing it would end. However, it wasn’t all a pain. I really enjoyed the beginning and the way the story was set up, and the dramatic and tragic story line of the poor orphaned girl that gets swept up by her long-lost, uber wealthy, New York family. A good ol’ rags to riches tale, with some juicy family secrets just ready to boil over – what could go wrong?
As a whole, the story line wasn’t awful, and to be fair, I had no idea what was going to happen at any given moment, which was odd for me as I usually enjoy reading quite predictable stories. It definitely kept me on my toes, and the ending!!! Oh. My. Word. The ending. We’ll come back to that… Anyway, I was mainly confused as to whether I was supposed to like the main character, Laila, or not. At first, she was this sweet and lonely protagonist that had been suffering through a lot of family heartbreak and just seemed like she wanted to embrace her new life with her new family. But she very quickly turned into this really unlikable, selfish and cruel person who just kept doing things that would ruin her life, bit by bit. She was so self destructive in everything that she did, it was hard to follow her as the main character. Although I completely understand why she was like that, and it did add a lot to the story, but she was just not relatable at all.
My uncertainty about Laila was made better by the fact that the point of view was constantly changing and flowing between characters to give the reader every single angle of the plot, as if you were trying to solve a murder mystery. This was a really interesting perspective and it actually created a lot of distance between myself and the characters which I’m usually not a fan of, but with a complex family drama like this, it was quite fun to be able to look down on the story with an omniscient advantage.
The thing I probably liked most was the completely ridiculous, rich, Upper East Side lifestyle that surrounded the book. The characters were sickeningly, spoilt rotten and I loved reading about the petty ins and outs of their high class world. Especially once you’ve thrown in a loveable, down to earth sister (Liberty) and a comparatively penniless cousin (Laila). An absolute recipe for chaos, which of course ensued.
Back to the ending, though. The last quarter of the book definitely started gearing up for something and the gathering of momentum seemed odd as I didn’t feel like I really had many pages left for something major to happen. But it did. The ending was catastrophic. Completely blew my mind and just provided that last unexpected twist of the story, which was amazing. But, I felt that it happened way to close to the end of the book and it then made the following events seem rushed and it left a lot of ends not tied up and a lot of characters and events just hanging in limbo. After all the meandering in the middle and the setting up of the plot line, you would have thought that the ending could have happened sooner and that there would be more follow up after it, and just something a little bit more conclusive. There was so much left unsaid! So, many questions!! So, yeah, I equally loved and hated the ending.
All in all, I really think I just had my hopes set a bit high for this. I think I went into it thinking that it was going to be a lot more personal and engaging than it was. Not my favourite, but I think it’s worth a read as there are some really interesting aspects to it and it would spark a lot of different opinions in readers.
Let me know what you think, if you’ve read it! x