I SO wanted to love this Novella. But in the end, I just didn't love it enough I guess. I was thinking how to rate this book and after a lot of thought I think the 3 and a half would have to "do".
A little about the story (with no spoilers!) - Carrie is a librarian, her life is (sort of) good, but she is missing something she can't place. Out of boredom she answers a "desperate" add in a website. The add offers a "kissing Wednesday". A meeting with only kissing on the menu, nothing more, and only on Wednesday at noon. First time she meets Brian, with the awkward situation there are sparks in the air. But Brian has his rules. Wednesdays, only kissing. He is holding back - what? - Carrie doesn't know, but she is willing to fight to get to know him and his story and fight in order to keep him for more than just Wednesday kissing at noon.
The "one star off" is because I couldn't get used to the narration, it was too, mmm, dry? I didn't feel drawn enough to keep on reading (even though I wanted to know what happens), I didn't feel what I felt I should be feeling. the story has so much emotion in it, yet how Carrie (the main female character) reflects, thinks about the situation is just lacking in a way. I feel bad writing this for a few reasons one of them is in my mind she kinda "thinks like she speaks" which is the main thing people say about me when they read something I've written (a blog post, a letter, personal summary for an exam etc). I'm no writer, but I see that sometimes this thing can be problematic. Especially since I have my problems with Carrie and who and how she is.
The other "half a star off" is for Carrie being Carrie. It's not that I dislike her. It's that she isn't very interesting in my mind. I don't want to say "Librarian material" because that sounds to me a bit rude :] But she just doesn't have anything really interesting about her life. maybe that's why she is NOT happy with her life. She says she has good connection to her parents (which I didn't sense at all!), good friends (yeah, I guess, two people who actually work with her but no one outside the library context). She lives in her very bare apartment (not bare of furniture but with no real character I guess) and to me it seems she literally doesn't have a life. she just goes through the motions. If I wanted to be mean I would say - that's why she's alone. because it doesn't seem she has something interesting about her. So I guess my problem with the narration could be the same thing as Carrie herself.
I would say that what happens to her when she meets Brian changes her. For once in her life she is willing to fight for him, for what she knows they have even though it might be "pre-mature" to be sure about it. The connection is there and she knows he's worth the fight.
I loved that her fight isn't a real fight. She doesn't confront him by accusing him, yelling at him, throwing things at him etc :D She fights in a sort of quiet fight, she gives him his time, she lets him know the way she feels.
I would give Brian 5 stars for who he is, how he is, how he lives his life, his self blame and everything he is (including a great kisser ;)). I think that the Novella could have been much better if we heard HIS side of the story (though it would have destroyed the "what's his deal" for us). He is a TREASURE to keep. He is SO worth the fight. It's hard to write more about him without spoilering so I'll have to shut up though it's HARD.
He is the "tragic" character. The one with the sad story and Carrie is the one to "fix" it. I guess usually it's the other way around. a girl in need of a knight in shining armor. Carrie is no Knight but she makes the difference. Brian just lives his life (in a way, like Carrie does - going through the motions) but his story, unlike hers (which is kinda "regular") is a unique and very sensitive one. Which keeps him in a very alone place with no way out. It's impossible not to get your heart broken over him. It's impossible not to love him and want to hug him and "save" him.
I'm not "sorry" for reading this Novella, and I would recommend it even though I gave it 3.5 stars. The fact that I, personally, didn't like Carrie and her personal narration doesn't mean you would too. and Brian, oh Brian, he's SO worth it!
one last sentence :) If you liked this one, or if you just want to read another Novella (a very short but excellent one!) that has the same "vibe" to it - you should definitely read "Big Boy" by Ruthie Knox.