Reviews tagging 'Death of parent'

A Photo Finish by Elsie Silver

23 reviews

lunahale's review against another edition

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emotional lighthearted reflective slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes

4.5

AHHH I LOVE THEM!!!! 

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yoohanna's review against another edition

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emotional relaxing medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.75


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shontae16's review against another edition

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emotional funny hopeful inspiring lighthearted medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0


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everythinginbetween's review against another edition

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emotional hopeful tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.25


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hapalyn's review against another edition

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  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

2.0

I found myself really frustrated with the way the characters acted in this book. I think the entire nude plotline was just icky. I didn't like reading about it in detail, and it made me look at the MMC weird, honestly. Power to whoever enjoyed this, it was not for me. 

Secondly, I did enjoy the MMC's exploration and growth in his clear anxiety, PTSD, possible OCD? It's refreshing to see characters with mental illness, it's refreshing to see them struggle and overcome, I enjoy seeing representation like this. HOWEVER, I did not like the 3rd act breakup in relationship to his mental illness.
-> for those curious, I'll elaborate but keep in mind it's "spoilery": The MMC has PTSD from watching his jockey dad fall off a horse and die during a race AND he had his leg blown off in Iraq during a deployment. So, he's clearly got complex trauma going on stemming from teenage years. This isn't even mentioning the trauma he's handled from returning from deployment(!!!!). And for the 3rd act breakup, we have the FMC and him at odds over her CAREER as a jockey. Like, YES, it's going to be natural for him to be anxious, stressed, and triggered all because of her job. That's OKAY! She wasn't, in my opinion, at all understanding of it. It was like a "Oh, well that sucks! Get over it!". The fact that she said "Why did you fall in love with me then" ???? HELLO? 1) as if love is a choice + 2) you can't even be slightly empathetic? you can't work him through this?. I understand that you aren't your partner's therapist, but she professes to love him + when you love your partner you work with them. She knows he's in therapy, she could have been with him as he worked through this complex problem. He even admits that he loves her and wants to do better for her, he's NOT stupid. She gives him an ULTIMATUM of TWO WEEKS to figure out if he "wants to get better". HE ALREADY SAID HE DID? And then she abandons him while he "figures it out". I'm appalled. Then we get his POV where he's like "oh my gosh... I was selfish because I told her I can't be with her because of her job...". He never even asked her to quit, he just said he couldn't be with her and then later on said he DOES and he wants to get better. TWO WEEKS is not a realistic time period to heal decades of trauma, and I think that portraying it as a simple fix is a disservice to people with complex trauma. He also clearly had more going on than just his PTSD, so I don't understand. 
It literally would have been MORE preferable to have a 3rd act breakup revolving around miscommunication involving his ex-fiance. 

It's kind of exhausting to see two characters that are clearly complex and multi-faceted, yet they are so simply stupid in ways that make no sense to their characters. And, believe me, the MMC is not perfect. I'm sick of the 10 year age gap (26 and 36, it's really not crazy? she's got a developed brain, and it's irritating that women can never make their own choices and decisions without it being made into this shit show) and the MMC going "oh wah wah she's so young.. I'm so old." SIR, you are in your THIRTIES. Calm down. But the fact that there's so much said about how she's "small" and "tiny" and she's got to take less of a pill dosage  because of her "child-sized" body. It's just so frustrating. I hate when we have women clearly in their mid-late twenties acting like teenagers and men acting like they're scandalizing grown women? It's just ridiculous and gives implication that women are unable to be portrayed as what they are: ADULTS. We can stop with the tiny child-like girl, huge "masculine" guy trope.

A lot of the men in this series just aren't it. I think Cole's mental illness was so wonderfully portrayed up until the ending, but otherwise he was just too "I'm way too old... oh no". It ruined it for me. Vaughn was just as bland as he was in his own novel, talk about a man with 0 personality. Stefan was kind of weird... but I'm hoping his own book is good. I'm looking forward to it despite being let down by the other books in this series (which is disappointing because I liked 4/5 of the Chestnut Springs novels). 

With all of the negativity out of the way, here's what I did like (despite the negative overshadowing it all UGH!): I enjoy Billie's character being fleshed out more, I think there was a lot in her book that just wasn't true to her towards the end. She felt like a strong woman throughout this book, and I enjoyed how she acted. I liked the horses, surprisingly for me, and I liked Mira as a character. Violet was okay, I think she was just not empathetic whatsoever which made me dislike her a lot. Billie proved, once again, to be the only person with a brain. 

2 stars. Would have been 3-4 if the 3rd act breakup wasn't as atrocious as it was. There's a myriad of ways it could have been handled better OR just not been a break-up altogether. Once again, super frustrated with how it was implied that we can't work through flaws/issues while being in a relationship - just sooo unrealistic in today's dating culture. 

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dumbnuggets's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional funny hopeful inspiring lighthearted reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0


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ericasbooklog's review against another edition

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emotional funny hopeful medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


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bookswithvicky's review against another edition

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challenging emotional funny sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? N/A
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0


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cassiereadsbooks_'s review against another edition

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challenging emotional reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


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klw1995's review against another edition

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emotional lighthearted relaxing fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.25


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