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Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte
J&G: ✯✯✯ 1/2 Stars
G&J: We were giddy with excitement to hear Mateo’s voice- his thoughts and feel his emotions first hand. Experience his strength of love for Vera; his inner turmoil and demons over what transpired and led to where we ended up in Love, in English. We have to applaud Karina Halle for not repeating a story through the male POV. What we cleverly got was an insight into Mateo from Love, in English whilst being in a whole new story, and for that – bravo Karina Halle. His voice was passionate, eloquent and at times it reduced us to tears.
‘You brought me colours and stars and cosmos and wonders. I wanted you so badly, craved you so much, that I knew I would suffer whatever bad things would come my way…’
Once again we enjoyed her beautiful writing style and the emotion laden words. We started off feeling completely immersed in this beautiful romance yet again. A romance we wholeheartedly believed in and celebrated for its purity and complimentary differences. A romance with trust, honesty, maturity and respect.
‘You don’t keep your eyes on the ground once you’ve seen the beauty of the stars.’
Sadly towards the middle point, we began to find the story somewhat repetitive and found the tension and drama hard to rationalise and understand. It felt like much was created for the sake of it, not because it added anything to the story, thus it became superfluous and in our opinion hurt the characters.
‘Everything weighs so heavy right now, I can feel it pressing down on my shoulders. There is Vera, and then there is loneliness. Sometimes I have both but now it only feels like I have the latter.’
This resulted in us feeling like the enthralling and beautiful romance; the beautiful souls of Mateo and Vera from Love, in English were compromised and acted out of character.
“I’m just tired of the universe giving me something and taking something away.”
The poignant and heart-warming importance in book one was placed upon the irrelevance in their ages, appearance and the pressure of the societal perceptions placed upon them. None of these were an issue for them in regard to their mutual love and affection. Now, this beautiful notion was made into something ugly between them and entered the beautiful sanctity of their own relationship. Hurtful, spiteful and questionable actions and words thrown out into the open which negated what was so incredibly beautiful and awe inspiring in book one. This coming particularly from Vera; a character we loved with all our hearts hence our sadness in feeling like this; us actually questioning her love and maturity.
“You’re breaking me. And I’m already broken.”
In some respects part of the story felt implausible when comparing the characters behaviour in book one and how they fought so hard to listen and act upon the emotions and their hearts. We believed so wholeheartedly in the characters of Vera and Mateo; their spirit, love and fighting strength which led us to question this shift in character that showed cracks and spite which we just couldn’t believe; didn’t want to believe.
‘Maybe it’s okay if the world is boiled down to just Vera and I. As long as we don’t let go of one another, as long as we can work together, as long as the rest of the world, one day, promises to catch up.’
Love, in English is one of our favourite books this year so it really hurts to say that whilst we enjoyed this one; we just couldn’t love it as much and we have to wonder whether much of this story was necessary. All the passion was contained within a single letter. A letter that told a whole story by itself. A letter we will never forget which had our hearts bleeding and rejoicing in the power of romance. Karina Halle is without question an amazing story teller which is why we did end up enjoying Love, in Spanish.
**Reviewed from an ARC copy kindly provided by the author with thanks**
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Purchase your copies of the LOVE, IN ENGLISH SERIES here