Book Review: Beginner’s Greek

If you like or watch chick flicks, this novel will seem eerily familiar to you. As a matter of fact, it has all the components to become a B-rated romantic movie. Even though the main setting of the story is the modern time, the story is quite simple and old-fashioned. The writing is sophisticated but uninspired. The characters however were so unbelievable that sometimes I wanted to throw the book across the room; they were “too good”, “too beautiful”, or “too nasty”.

This first debut novel by James Collins sees the protagonist Peter Russell off on a flight from New York to LA where he encounters the beautifully, enchanted soul mate Holly. Throughout the duration of the flight, both Peter and Holly manage to “hit it off”, and by the end, they exchange phone numbers. When Peter returns to his hotel room, he discovers that he lost Holly’s phone number. Years later, when Peter and Holly meet again, she’s on the arm of a womanizing but charming author who also happens to be Peter’s closest friend. The two eventually marry, and resigned, Peter marries the dull but sweet Charlotte. At first, it seems Peter and Holly weren’t meant to be, but fate proves it sometimes has a funny way of working things out as many precedent events and twists become to take turns.

Despite being written by a man, Beginner’s Greek reads somewhat like literally chick lit. Unfortunately however, as much I enjoyed following the plot and grasping the relationships amongst the characters, it just didn’t seem real, especially the characters’ behavior. Even though the book is too wordy for its own good (more than 400 pages), I felt I was missing huge chunks of the story. However, despite all of this, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. To be fair, the book has a clever character progression and the plot manages to entice all the elements of the story in one tight package where eventually the novel reaches its satisfying conclusion. However, it will take perseverance to see it through, especially to those who are unfamiliar with the romantics. It is definitely not a terrible book but it is also not a great book either, it’s just a “solid good” book.


5 responses to this post.

  1. Sounds like an unusual comedy romance novel.


  2. Posted by Sushi on April 9, 2008 at 10:14 am

    I’m taking a break from romantic novels at the moment. They’re all stacked on my shelf. Probably in the summer.


  3. Posted by vixenfatale on April 9, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    i like books that are enjoyable to read, and not a pain : )


  4. This really isnt my type of book, I like some chick flicks but books, I can’t stand them.. I need a little bit more then that!


  5. @The M Code

    It’s not quite unusual as it is quite predictable and plain fun.


    Ahh so you are one of those people eh? Ya know, those who hunger love during the summer and those who lay down by the beach and read their romantics like crazy.


    It’s enjoyable but too long for its own good.


    Yeah you wouldn’t like it Marzouq. It’s way too chicky for your liking 😛

    BTW, I’m wondering in reading Artemis Fowl books. Have you read them? And if yes, what do you think?


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