Title: You Look Beautiful Tonight
Author: LR Jones
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
My GoodReads Rating: ⭐⭐
I came close to giving up on this book several times. At 88 chapters, this one is a long read. It should have been a lot shorter, considering that precious little is happening. There is a lot of unnecessary repetition.
I generally have a thing for books set in libraries, but here no amount of convincing on Mia’s part could make the Nashville Library interesting for me.
After a confusing opening in the present time, in which the narrator thinks they’ve committed some crime, the story takes us back in time two months ago.
Mia Anderson has always been ignored, by her mother, when she was a child, and by everyone now. The only two people who see her are best friend Jess Pierce, a rich beautiful columnist, and Jack, her best friend at the library, where she works.
When Jess opens accounts for herself and Mia on a dating site, Mia expects to be ignored. But she begins to get messages from a good-looking civil engineer called Adam Roth. She keeps his existence a secret from the two Js in her life.
Meanwhile, Mia’s father has invented a solar light that can revolutionise the lighting industry. But her mom and dad have secrets from each other, and Mia suspects that one of them is cheating on the other.
The story is written in the 1st person present tense PoV of Mia.
I liked Mia at the beginning, but the story didn’t live up to the intrigue that the premise suggested. She keeps saying the same thing, telling us that being unseen is both painful and comfortable for her. That’s when she began to grate on my nerves. She couldn’t seem to make up her mind whether she wanted to be seen or ignored.
It’s a thriller, but it’s only at the 50 percent mark that any danger appeared on Mia’s horizon, and even then the danger was uninteresting. Prior to that, it seemed to be a romance.
Better editing was required. Mia tells us twice that Jess’ parents were killed in a car accident. One thing that I found really annoying was how people don’t leave rooms in this book; they depart. People don’t turn around; they rotate.
The chapters take us back and forth between the present and the past. But the timeline isn’t updated and the author fails to tell us when the chapters in the past catch up with the present.
Also, the story should have remained in the past and moved on chronologically to the present. The teaser relating to the present failed to clock in the required intrigue.
The constant reference to a particular letter opener, which might be a bookmark and might also be a weapon, was annoying.
In Chapter 62, Mia tells us she doesn’t know how she forgot that Jack is a comic geek. Pretty convenient way of introducing a detail which had never been mentioned before.
In the same vein, she tells us that she's always ordering things from Amazon. She tells us this only when she finds a gift on her doorstep long after the halfway mark.
I didn’t like any of the characters. Mia, Jess, Jack, Adam; they were all unimpressive and flat. Mia had no character arc to speak of, although she claimed she had changed.
There was only one quote that stood out for me. Always the “honey” endearment when she wants something, as if years of salt can be removed by sugar.
The book might be a trigger for child sexual abuse.
(I read this book on NetGalley. Thank you to the author, the publisher and NetGalley.)