Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Book Review: Diva

And finally I get to the finale of the Flappers series, finally since I got this book from Random Buzzers back in the summer but then had to spend all that time tracking down copies of the first two books and, well, finding time to read them (plus everything else I had). So there's not much to say here to introduce the story that I haven't said in previous reviews, it finishes up the tale of Gloria, Clara, and Lorraine (with Jerome providing two or three point of view chapters) as they come into adulthood in New York City in the 1920s and make a whole bunch of dangerous mistakes along the way. Hmm, I feel like that would make either an excellent or terrible tagline for a book, probably terrible since I wouldn't pick up a story like that.....

Diva by Jillian Larkin

Summary: Gloria is in jail, Jerome is in danger, Clara is estranged, and Lorraine is being Lorraine (that is, meaning well in her own mind but causing trouble for everyone around her). But Gloria has a chance to work out a deal with the FBI and Clara and Lorraine realize that Clara's former beau is being roped into a scam, none of them have a chance to just sit around and watch life unfold around them if they want anything to work out well so it's time to undo some mistakes and get into even more trouble in the process.

The Good: I was okay with the very end, Gloria and Jerome's choice seemed somewhat logical (I keep meaning to actually look up details-that-are-spoilers to see if it really would have worked) and I couldn't think of a better ending myself. It was nice to see Clara "redeem" herself after the previous book and Lorraine finally became a semi-likable character for me which impressed me. The real story of this trilogy has been the romance or the various troubles the girls get into but one big character arc for each of them and by the end I was satisfied with those arcs. It seemed like each girl had a good beginning, middle, and end and, while not overly creative in some places, each girl had become a more rounded character by the end and that's always a good thing.

The Bad: The climax was, eeeehhhhhh I stand by my assessment last time that while Larkin does okay drama she seems to have trouble coming up with really grand finales that actually make sense. I'm of mixed feeling about Lorraine's ending, on the one hand it feels like a "pair the spares" move but on the other hand it's completely in character for Lorraine. The climax certainly didn't do Marcus any favors and honestly I just couldn't find the effort to care about the story that Gloria had found herself involved in and didn't really feel strongly one way or other when everything was all said and done.

So in short, as I expected after the second book the final book here didn't end up wowing me although it wasn't terrible. I give it 2.5 stars out of 5 and, well, if I was to come across any of Larkin's future books I'm honestly not sure I would try them. Granted there are several authors where I don't like their initial book series but then like books they write later on but at this point I'm not going to keep an eye out for her name just in case this turns out to be the case here. 

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