About This Blog

This blog was started as a place to post book reviews. The books reviewed here will be mixed. Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, General Fiction, NonFiction and more. Both positve and negative reviews will be posted, as well as reviews for books written for all ages and all reading levels.

Many of the books reviewed here are ones that I have purchased for my own reading pleasure. Some, I receive free in exchange for reviews. Beginning in December, 2009 you will know which are the free ones if you read the final paragraph of my reviews.

Also of note: I choose what I will read, attempting to avoid the books on which I would end up writing a negative review... but I have been known to make mistakes. Thus you see some one and two star reviews here. Since I don't enjoy writing negative reviews, I only write them if the review was promised, or if the book was so exceedingly bad, I just had to say so. Regardless of the percentage of positive to negative reviews on this blog, I give my honest opinion each and every time, and have never received financial compensation for posting my reviews.

Note that, except for fair use portions quoted from some of the books reviewed, all copyright in the content of the reviews belongs to Lady Dragoness.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Shoe Making From The Inside

Very Valentine
Adriana Trigiani
Harper (2009)
Hardcover, 384 pages
Rated 4 stars of 5 possible

The opening of Very Valentine is a wedding scene that should be both interesting and a little exciting, but not for me. I found the first chapter to be largely irrelevant; most of the characters quickly became annoying. I kept on reading only because friends of mine had said the story got better; and it did, but not until about the middle of chapter two. If I had been the editor, I'd have insisted on a re-write for the slow-paced and mostly boring opening chapters. As it was, I skipped most of chapter one and skimmed the first half of chapter two, until the real story got started... and then I couldn't put the book down.

Despite the poor opening of this book, I was quickly wrapped up in the lives of Valentine Roncalli and her family and friends. Gram Angelini nearly stole the show; In fact, I think she's probably my favorite character in the book. Valentine has several problems, most importantly, how to bring the Angelini Shoe Company into the 21st century, but also her stuffy and annoying big brother, Alfred Roncalli, who seems to only think of money and himself; (Alfred wants to shut down the unprofitable cobbler's shop) and Valentine's new boyfriend, Roman Falconi, engrossed in his own business; a new restaurant, which Roman puts ahead of his own and Valentine's happiness.

The ending of this first volume of Adriana Trigiani's new series takes the reader by surprise, but because there are two more volumes to come, there are the expected loose ends that lead into book 2 of the series. Very Valentine makes my recommended reading list for those who like a blend of comedy, romance, and an all-round good time reading a larger story carved into three segments.

This review is simultaneously published on Dragonviews and LibraryThing.

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