Title: Love Nouveau (The Art of Falling, #1)
Author: B.L. Berry
Publisher: B.L. Berry
Publishing Date: September 27, 2014
Amazon/Goodreads rating: 5/5
In Patti's Imagination rating: 9.6/10
There are two main reasons why a book gets an automatic 5-stars on Amazon and Goodreads from me. One is that I have a visceral reaction to the characters - love them, hate them, I have to react. The other is when a book sticks with me in a way that inspires a physical reaction. You know what I mean, right? An, "Oh, my GOD! I can't believe..." or "Wow. Just...wow," which has me shaking a fist, or jumping up and down, or grinning ear to ear. Well, Love Nouveau accomplished both of those tasks. As soon as I finished, I wasn't sure if I loved or hated the author, or maybe a little of both simultaneously. I knew I had some strong feelings about the characters (ahem).
Ultimately, this first book in the series is about the journey to self-acceptance. Poor Ivy, she has a lot of bumps along the way. Some of which she could never have expected, others I think she knew all along were steps in the process. I will admit, in the first few pages, I didn't like her much. But she grew and changed, even more than she had in her year abroad (which wasn't detailed to any great degree, only noted for the sake of the story). If a character is unlikable for me, they have to improve. Call me an optimist. That was absolutely true of Ivy, and though she did some really stupid, childish things later in the story, it was easier to forgive her for it because she was so self-aware at the time, so instantly remorseful. When the ultimate betrayal happens, though she falls, she stands again, keeps moving, doesn't let it get her down. Yeah, she's my kind of girl. Lemonade from lemons.
Phoenix. Oh, Phoenix. That boy? I loved him from the outset. The emotional connection between Ivy and Phoenix was palpable, and I wanted so badly for them to get their happily ever after. I think the distance in their relationship worked best here because of who Ivy was and how she needed to grow, but man, I cannot wait to see the two of them together on an intimate level. *fans self* Phoenix got the blood pumping without getting naked. Who does that? Phoenix, that's who. I just hope he lives up to his name.
And now, I am both elated and pissed. As I should be! That was the intent of the epilogue, I am sure of it. The little tease at the end made me desperate to hear the rest of this story. I will warn you, if you do not like cliffhangers, then skip the epilogue for now. You will be happy and satisfied with the ending of the story if you avoid it. And then, when it's time to read the second book, go back and read that epilogue and it will make you dive into the next piece, I'm sure of it.
Overall, this was a fantastic read, and I can't wait for more from this author. I'm really hoping that we get Phoenix's point of view in the next book. And I see plenty of room for stories from other characters, if the author intended to go that route. Between the art history references (my first college degree), the music, the amazing characters - primary and secondary - and a beautiful love story, this is definitely on my list of books to recommend.
When she’s not hiding behind her computer writing, you can find her spending time with her family or catching up on her favorite TV shows. Rumor has it she’ll sleep when she’s dead.
She is Canadian by birth. Mexican by marriage. Chicagoan by heart. Kansan by choice. Jayhawk purely by common sense.
Residing outside of Kansas City, she lives with her husband, two children and black pug. Each day her family thanks the makers of e-Readers, because without which they would be living amongst stacks and stacks of romance novels. Conversely, each day B.L. Berry thanks the makers of e-Readers for hiding her book-hoarding tendencies.
B.L. Berry’s debut novel, Love Nouveau, released September 2014.