Monday, November 2, 2020

Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert: A Review

Sorry but I just barely got through this book. I even changed my rating from 2 stars to 1 star after finishing this review because yeah, I am not ever reading this one again.

My first issue was the character of Dani Brown. The book opens with Dani making a request to find the perfect friend-with-benefits and while fine, it seems reasonable, this is a romance after all, I knew I was probably not going to be happy when the rest of the scene played out.

Apparently, the perfect person for this request will be someone who follows all of Dani's specific rules, the main one being that said person will not attempt to pursue a relationship with Dani, they will not expect her to develop feelings for them, or else she will move on to the next happy candidate. Dani believes that the other person will not only attempt to change Dani, because she "knows" she is not an ideal relationship partner, but that they will also eventually find her lacking as a girlfriend and then the fighting starts so why not just never allow said scenario to happen?

My eyes are rolling so hard that I think I just gave myself a headache.

Not only that, but Dani already had a previous relationship with a woman who started out as a dear friend and then became something a little more, and when said character wanted a real relationship, Dani threw them to the curb because how dare they develop feelings for her when Dani does not want to have feelings for anyone? They knew the rules. So what if Dani misses the friend she had in that person? Dani's expectations are completely reasonable, she just needs to find the person who will fit her parameters exactly, it's not a stupid request. (And if it's pointed out that the act of missing her friend means Dani does, in fact, have feelings for that person, well it's just not true, because Dani SAYS it's not true, so there.)

Are you kidding me?

This is all in the opening chapter and I have to admit, I approached the rest of the book with a bit of trepidation because darn it, characters stubborn enough to ignore what is right in front of them just grate on my nerves.

My second issue was the pacing, or at least I am categorizing it as that. Basically, nearly every time we read anything from Dani's point-of-view, she mentions some catalyst event that is the reason for why she believes she should never be in a relationship. Something happened, and we readers don't get the full story until around the what?, 70% mark, maybe? On the other hand, when we read things from Zaf's point-of-view, we know within a few of his chapters what happened in his past, we know why he works at his anxiety issues, we know what he wants for his future.

The truth is that Zafir is presented as a completely honest, sensible and sensitive love interest from the start. The fact that Dani spends the majority of the book doubting every single one of his actions just makes me want to strangle her. He gave her no reason whatsoever to believe that his words and actions had any kind of double meaning to them. He acted like a good man because he is a good man, he did nice things for her because he wanted to, not to make himself look perfect. If Dani saw nefarious scheming, that says something about her, not Zafir.

Then we add in the fact that Dani only decided to finally try a real relationship with Zafir because her idol told her to enjoy her life, and the whole book just flatlines indefinitely for me. No coming back from that. Who on earth thinks it's a good idea to take a random stranger's advice to heart about a serious issue in their life? A disappointing character. There were moments with Zafir that made the book better but Dani is just the absolute worst. She wakes up the morning after and in the face of the fact that Zafir has declared he loves her, she decides everything is a lie and throws him out. She never should have tried to have a relationship, they just aren't for her.

My fingers hurt from how many times I clenched my fists. If I'd had a physical copy of this book, it'd probably have claw marks on it.

Imagine Dani's surprise when she can't get Zafir out of her head. She goes to cry to her sisters and her best friend and when the whole story comes out of her, it just landed with a thud to me. I was happy when someone plainly told her that her denying the truth of Zafir's love just because made no sense at all. But it came as too little, too late. Dani spent the entirety of the book with this mindset that made absolutely no sense. There was not enough of a wavering in her resolve to suddenly have her make this epiphany moment believable. She was horrible, no ifs, ands or buts about it.

There are other issues I had with this but honestly, I just can't recall the specifics. it was enough to cement that I am not a fan of this book, and I really don't like Dani Brown.

As a side note, the library copy of this book I read had a sneak preview of the next book about youngest sister, Eve Brown. Going off of what little was available, I am wary and let's face it, fully expecting to dislike that book as much as this one, but hey, fingers crossed. It could end up saving this series for me.


Rating on my Blog Scale: 1 STAR, even though I did not buy a copy of this.

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