Friday, July 18, 2014

Book Review: Contessa

Title Contessa

Series Choisie, book 1

Author Lori L. Otto

Release Date December 20, 2013

When she was four, a generous couple welcomed orphan Olivia Sophia into their lives. As she grew up, her parents made good decisions for her, raising “Livvy” to be an intelligent and creative young girl. Now sixteen, three people influence many of her choices: her first love, her second father, and a third man who speaks to her through his artwork.

Livvy’s father is practical and steadfast; even-tempered and quietly observant. She’s an artist who acts on her emotions and thrives on attention. Unhappy with their differences– and misunderstanding her father’s methods– Livvy chooses to focus on the similarities she shares with an enigmatic painter from her mother’s past. Her overactive imagination leads her down an obsessive path– one that only stands to hurt everyone around her.

The distraction of a new boyfriend has the potential to end her search and reunite her family, but his involvement in her life could be just as devastating, taking Livvy away from her father for good.

This is the first book in the Emi Lost & Found spin-off series, Choisie. You can read this series without reading the Emi Lost & Found series, but I don't recommend it. The Emi Lost & Found series provides history and sets the backdrop for this series. Be aware that this review may contain spoilers from the previous series, but they will not be marked.

Overall, my reaction to Contessa was a positive one. However, there were some aspects that I just didn't like. Let's touch on the things I did enjoy.

One, some of the characters (yes, only some of them). After my mixed feelings towards Jack after Never Look Back, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed him in this book. I loved him as a father. And my heart absolutely ached for him a few times throughout this book. Speaking of Jack, we also see Emi again in this series. I don't feel like she played as big of a role in this book as previous books, but that's okay with me. This is the story of her daughter (and less so her husband). Two, the writing is fantastic. Lori is one of my new favorite authors. I love her style of writing and story telling. She's able to control my emotions effortlessly. I love it.

Now, here's what I didn't like... some of the characters were just less than amazing. Luckily, I was able to enjoy this book whenever when some of the main characters just irritated me to no end. Livvy was nearly impossible to enjoy, if I'm being completely honest. She was a rude, bratty, and spoiled child. The way she treats her father throughout the majority of the book just infuriated me. By the end, my anger had subsided into just indifference. I don't really like Livvy, but I no longer wanted to strangle her. I'm hoping that throughout the series, I will grow to like her. The other person that I didn't like as much as I hope was Jon. Well, that's not exactly true. I had mixed feelings towards him. Sometimes I liked him. He was a sweet guy with very good intentions. Sometimes, though, I didn't understand him at all. He was planning a future with Livvy when they'd only been together a few months! All of that aside, Jon was probably more of a positive than a negative now that I think about it.

Even though I had such issues with Livvy, I did enjoy Contessa and I will certainly read the next book in the series.


4 out of 5 stars

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