by Alexandria Bellefleur
Series: Written in the Stars #2
Published by Avon
Release Date: May 25th 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Fiction, Romance
Format Read: ARC, eBook
Buy on Amazon
Brendon Lowell loves love. It’s why he created a dating app to help people find their one true pairing and why he’s convinced “the one” is out there, even if he hasn’t met her yet. Or... has he? When his sister's best friend turns up in Seattle unexpectedly, Brendon jumps at the chance to hang out with her. He’s crushed on Annie since they were kids, and the stars have finally aligned, putting them in the same city at the same time.
Annie booked a spur-of-the-moment trip to Seattle to spend time with friends before moving across the globe. She’s not looking for love, especially with her best friend’s brother. Annie remembers Brendon as a sweet, dorky kid. Except, the 6-foot-4 man who shows up at her door is a certified Hot Nerd and Annie... wants him? Oh yes.
Getting involved would be a terrible idea—her stay is temporary and he wants forever—but when Brendon learns Annie has given up on dating, he’s determined to prove that romance is real. Taking cues from his favorite rom-coms, Brendon plans to woo her with elaborate dates straight out of Nora Ephron’s playbook. The clock is ticking on Annie’s time in Seattle, and Brendon’s starting to realize romance isn’t just flowers and chocolate. But maybe real love doesn’t need to be as perfect as the movies... as long as you think your partner hung the moon.
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Ok, if I wasn’t reading “Hang the Moon” by Alexandria Bellefleur to write this review…it would’ve been a DNF for me. Ugh, I just cringed writing that…but, look, I read it, went and read the prequel (that most reviews raved about, by the way), and then reread it…and still came to the same conclusion: “Hang the Moon” wasn’t for me.
I really did want to like this one, but before y’all think I am only trashing this book, let’s start with the positives.
I truly was excited about the premise of “Hang the Moon”. Bellefleur gave us a female lead who was jaded by too many failed attempts at love and a man who was a hopeless romantic that promised to change her mind. I liked that it wasn’t your typical “jaded male” scenario. We females can be jaded too, thank you very much! haha
Annie was relatable as a very practical female who isn’t into “big gestures”. It’s the little day-to-day things that matter to her: remembering a favorite coffee order or movie, cooking breakfast on a busy morning without being asked, etc. To that I say: “amen sister!!”. My favorite quote from Annie encompassed this perfectly:
“In my mind, romance is just showing someone that you know them, your thinking of them, you care about them, and you want them to know it”.
I also loved the personality of Brendon: a loving younger brother, intelligent entrepreneur, and love interest that wanted to prove to Annie that the right person won’t stop showing you how much they love you every single day.
The end was great! Seriously, it was like Bellefleur finally found her flow or somebody else wrote it. It just made sense, whereas the previous 90% of the book lost me several times throughout. If the whole story had been written with that type of concise direction, it would’ve been a hit for me.
Now, to the not so great…
Y’all, I was a lost cause by the time I hit 4% read on my Kindle…
I don’t know if I just couldn’t get into the writing style or what, but there was way too much “describing” and “mental monologue” between dialogues. At one point I read an answering remark Brendon gave to his assistant, then had to go back a page to see what she had even said that he was responding to. If I forget what your characters are even discussing, there’s an issue.
Along with the “describing” problem, there were not enough actual conversations and actions, in my opinion. So much more could have happened between Annie and Brendon to fully develop their relationship and individual journeys if most of the word count hadn’t been spent on internal thoughts or descriptors that went on for entire paragraphs.
You know those great characters I liked that I was talking about earlier?
They lacked serious development!
For example: Why is Annie so “jaded”? Who never remembered anything she liked? I get it. She’s dated a lot of people who forgot “the little things” and they fell out of love with her eventually, but there were no real examples. No past ex who forgot her birthday, one who gave her flowers she was deathly allergic to, or just any real backstory to help the reader understand why she felt that way. It was so generically explained and way too often, I might add.
Which leads to my next point: The repetition was off the charts! Now, I’m hoping this is something that was fixed with further editing. I am fully aware that the advanced copy I was able to read was not the final product. Which is why I went out and purchased the first standalone in this series, “Written in the Stars”, with my own money just to compare Bellefleur’s writing in both. While the prequel was a bit better, repetitive descriptors seem to be a constant in her writing. Everybody shouldn’t have always “sputtered” when flustered…Annie is always described as “jaded”…characters ”walked right into it” or “should have seen it coming” with every joke…you get the point.
It was also just flat out difficult to keep up with the POV throughout and that is one of my biggest pet peeves when reading. Please make sure I know who’s POV I am experiencing moments from before I realize I had it all wrong for two full pages and have to go back and reread it with the correct perspective in mind. *SMH*
Overall, “Hang the Moon” had a good concept for a rom-com with characters that had real potential. The writing just didn’t flow in a way that made it easy to read and it lacked character and storyline development. Hence, the not-so-stellar rating…
Here’s hoping that when Bellefleur write’s Margot’s story, her writing leans more towards how she wrote the ending of this one. *crosses fingers*
Shana is a book-obsessed professional dancer, so she can be found either prancing around the center of a stage or hiding in a corner with a book: there is no in between.
Her #1 book love is adult fantasy. Give her all the magic, creatures, and curses and she is one happy girl! A good rom-com style romance book is another way to her book-loving heart.
Shana also claims the title of “mom” to the coolest 5 year old little dude out there and there is really no greater joy for her than watching his love for reading slowly growing to be as big has his momma’s!