A Different Kind of Lovely by Petra March
Part One – The Introductions
This started off interestingly enough but by the time that Neal cast his gaze onto Mina I was already losing a bit of interest. March’s writing was very poetic but it seemed like the description of the sights, sounds, and smells became too overbearing. I began to get lost in the imagery instead of in the characterizations of the lead characters. I knew more about what they looked like than who they actually were and things just seemed to simultaneously move to fast. They meet, there is this crazy attraction, and then she allows him to sleep on her couch. I’ve read a lot of stories where the pair meet, they instantly are attracted, and then they’re making love – which is a put off for me as reader. That was NOT what happened here within this story but it did feel like they were too in tune with one another and trusting without knowing who one another was. Several times the author seemed to have them bring this strangeness up in conversation. When they separated I didn’t feel like I knew either of them outside of face value.
Part Two – The Reconnection
Part two was a better read for me than part one. From a writing perspective my guess is that maybe part one was completed and the second half was written later on as it seemed the writing style had progressed a bit from part one. There is still an intensity about the characters and some very serious things have happened in their lives, namely Mia whom is suffering from an unknown disease that has prevented her from dancing, but because the connection was not deep from part one as a reader there was no emotional buy in from me. I felt like their situations were terrible and they were heartfelt but it was late in the game for me to connect to them. It was endearing that Neal was so willing to drop everything to be at her side and keep her from sinking under but he also left her at the end of part one for reasons unknown. Yes, he had to chase his sister but that meant that he couldn’t try? Three years passed! THREE!
Part Three – The Resolution
In part three we get more of a resolve for Neal and Mina with their parents but it still appeared to be too short and inserted as a quick add-on. They’ll spend the rest of their lives together but Mina doesn’t want to be married due to her rare illness. This portion seemed overly dramatized and then we default to what she really wants which is to f*ck. It was the most abrupt statement of the whole piece and instead of it coming across as an honest admission it just felt crass as a reader and a sharp contrast to the author’s poetic writing throughout the novel.
I absolutely love the imagery and poetry of March’s writing. She paints very beautiful pictures with her words but I would have loved stronger character development in this piece. To have been able to be more a part of what was going on other than being told what had happened could have made this very poignant. I needed a more in-depth picture of Mina and Neal’s family. The glimpses showed that there was so much more. Why is Neal the fixer for his entire family instead of his mother and father handling their own affairs? Why did Mina’s family think she would just trade them in like used cars? Why was Mina so fixated on Neal’s physical expressions of love for her and so quick to jealousy? I would have loved to see the author paint WHO they were more so than the vivid details of their backdrops.
Have you read this piece yet? Agree or disagree with my take on it? Get the book here.