Dueling Review, Rant

Dueling Review: Luna and the Lie by Mariana Zapata (2018)

Erin really wanted to rant about this book, but while Ingrid might not enthusiastically recommend it, she isn’t about to agree with Erin that it’s rant-worthy. Clearly, we needed to review this book together. 

Welcome to Dueling Reviews

Moderated by Holly, who had no interest in reading this book but still asked a gazillion questions.

Erin’s Take:

Heat Factor: Not much heat. Mostly yearning.

Character Chemistry: I both like and hate their chemistry at once 

Plot: Luna has a really weird relationship with both of her bosses, but one’s like her dad and the other she has a crush on

Overall: I’ve read this more than once because I really like the idea of it, but every time I get into it I am totally enraged

Ingrid’s Take:

Heat Factor: Zapata starts fires with sticks, really

Character Chemistry: It makes sense. I stand by that.

Plot: Luna spends her life making everyone happy except her boss, Rip

Overall: I mean, it’s a classic Mariana Zapata–so it’s messy, sure. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t satisfying.

Continue reading “Dueling Review: Luna and the Lie by Mariana Zapata (2018)”
Review

Review: The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata (2016)

Heat Factor: Pretty standard Zapata slow burn

Character Chemistry: It kinda wasn’t there and then all of a sudden it was?

Plot: Let’s have a marriage of convenience because of reasons

Overall: I liked it but I kinda don’t know why

Continue reading “Review: The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata (2016)”
Review

Review: Rhythm, Chord & Malykhin by Mariana Zapata (2015)

Heat Factor: Not completely, but pretty chaste

Character Chemistry: “OMG! Does he like me?!?!” “Girl, he’s so into you!”

Plot: Please see Character Chemistry

Overall: This book is high school. 

Continue reading “Review: Rhythm, Chord & Malykhin by Mariana Zapata (2015)”
Review

Review: From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata (2018)

Heat Factor: slooooooooooooow burn

Character Chemistry: sparking constantly

Plot: Pairs figure skating team antagonizes each other into a HEA

Overall: low drama, satisfying slow burn

Continue reading “Review: From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata (2018)”
Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Mariana Zapata

Looking for a new author? Here’s everything you need to know about Mariana Zapata, whose books include Kulti, Under Locke, and Dear Aaron.

What She Writes:

Contemporary romance with the world’s slowest burns from the heroine’s 1st person POV.

What Makes Her Unique:

She writes heroines with all the emotional angst who are somehow also relatable and reserved heroes who we just KNOW have caught feelings even though they haven’t said so. The burn is constant but extremely slow, with no acknowledgement of feelings or sex until the last quarter of the book.

Writing Style:

The perspective is always the heroine’s POV, so the style reflects the voice of a 20-something woman, usually from an economically disadvantaged or working class background. The text itself is engaging but not particularly polished, with some incorrect word use and points of redundancy when the heroines are feeling particularly angsty. The books are extremely long for romance, often 500 pages or more.

Why We Love Her:

The protagonists never have insta-love, they both fall in love during the course of the novel, so there’s always emotional growth and change. The POV means that the heroes are opaque, so we have to infer what they’re feeling, which means a great deal of showing rather than telling to demonstrate the development of the relationship. This makes the declarations of love really pop.

She Might Not Be For You If:

You like polished writing OR fast-moving plots OR heroes who are not opaque OR quick, incendiary burns.

Notable Quotation:

“Do what you have to do to be happy, okay? No one else is going to do it for you.”

The Best Thing

Content Warnings:

Cursing and body humor (talking about poop is not at all uncommon), sometimes uncomfortable metaphors (going on a death march, noose around my neck, lots of ripping of new assholes), use of “girl” instead of “woman”.

How I feel when I’m reading:

The Bottom Line:

If you kind of miss the satisfaction of waiting FOREVER for Gilbert Blythe to declare his love for Anne Shirley, but you also like some sexytimes after a declaration of love, Mariana Zapata might really hit the spot.

Start With:

Kulti or Rhythm, Chord & Malykhin