Top critical review
Had enjoyable moments but not quite a Grand Slam
on 6 November 2014
This book was submitted by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Cover fits the mainstream look of chic literature: I really like the vibrant colors--whites, blues, and purples. The imagery definitely fits the overall feel of chic literature and relates to the tennis theme within the book.
Pacing was on point: The book was well paced. There weren't any parts that seemed overly sluggish or particularly rushed.
Connectivity with certain characters: Shockingly, my favorite characters in After Wimbledon didn't include the main character. Although she's not mentioned much, I loved the determination of Jane the younger tennis player that looked up to Lucy. I also appreciated Adrienne's candor, especially when she explains what it's like to adjust from being an active player to being a wife and staying at home. However, Sam stood out in likability. The author did a great job in providing depth to him, and even when moments where he almost slipped out of favor, he still maintained his standing and only fully acted when the time was right in reference to Lucy.
Here are some of the chances for improvement:
The presentation of the tennis segments: The way the tennis matches were called seemed a bit dry. I think it would have helped if they were conveyed in dialogue, rather than Lucy telling it from her perspective. Being shown the action as opposed to being told it really brings in the reader, and this was definitely a lost opportunity. It seemed detached and I didn't feel like I was made a part of the competitiveness and overall excitement that makes up Wimbledon.
Huge disdain for the main character: I really did not like Lucy the main character. I know the author aimed to garner sympathy for her situation but I just didn't. She seemed extremely superficial—more invested in the looks and sexual skills of an individual than really caring about the depth of an individual. For me, there wasn't enough growth in her character throughout the work for her to be deserving of such a genuine guy like Sam.
Two guys and a girl angle played out way too long: After Wimbledon could have easily been cut in half. Almost fifty percent of the book were chapters emphasizing Lucy's inability to make a decision between Joe and Sam. It would be different if there was really a relationship with Joe; then I would have understood the difficulty of the decision. Yet the conveyance of the whole angle played out like Lucy was putting up a farce due to feeling some type of shame as to how the whole connection with she and Joe first began. There was a continuum of "yes, I'm going to make the right decision", followed by hesitation, then "no, I'm not going to do it." The first two happenstances I decided to let go, but the ping pong went back and forth throughout the story to the point of exhaustion.
Had more drama than comedy: I'm used to my chic lit having a bit of comedy but the drama in this was extremely potent. I'm not saying there weren't comedic moments here and there but not enough to where they leave an overall lasting impression. For those readers who like a lot of laughter, they may get somewhat let down.
Due to the mixture of significant opportunities among the pros, I feel After Wimbledon garners 3 out of 5 Stars.