Friday, December 8, 2023

Book Review - More than Words by Mia Sheridan


More than Words by Mia Sheridan is about two young kids who fall in love and then meet years later. Eleven year old Jessica Creswell likes to believe in fairy tales and loves pretending that her life is a fairytale instead of the mess that it is currently. Her home life is fraught with her parents constantly fighting and bickering.  Her philandering father makes no effort to hide his affairs and her mother is in constant heartache. Jessica’s mother is so desperate for her husband to love her that she even tries to bring the kids into the mix. She would bring the kids to the hotels that her husband is staying in so the kids can see their father cheat on their mom.

Jessica wanders around her city to avoid spending time at home. She crosses paths with Callen Hayes when exploring the railroad tracks. She feels that he is her broken prince as he is also running away from something. Together, the pair find refuge with each other. Their hideout becomes their safe space from their troubled lives. They could be with each other and be themselves without any judgment. Things were going great until one day, Callen kissed her. It was Jessica’s first kiss and then he just disappeared from her world.

Years later, Callen Hayes went from the troubled boy from the wrong side of the tracks to a “somebody”. He is a famous composer and an infamous ladies man. The press loves to follow him and to witness his drunken antics.  Callen is troubled by his inner demons and he is usually able to quiet them with his music. However, lately he has been having issues with writing music which causes him to spiral out of control.

Callen’s agent decides that he needs some time off to recuperate and get his groove back. So, Callen and his friend decide to go to France to revel in the city. He wants to drink and sleep his way through the city. As Callen falls deeper into the darkness within himself, he crosses paths with Jessica. Jessica was the one who introduced Callen to music and inspired him. Callen feels drawn to her and hopes that she can inspire him to write again. However, the pair couldn’t be more different from each other. Will they be able to put their past hurt behind them?

I thought the book was an okay read but I didn’t care for it. It didn’t really have any unexpected twists or turns or plot points that weren't easy to guess. I did find it annoying in the book when Jessica was portrayed as innocent and Callen was the bad boy. That she had to save herself for him — couldn’t she also have been in a previous relationship and still be innocent? I also didn’t like that she kept calling him “my prince”, and then saying she would save him. To me, it made her character seem weak and more often than not. They both needed professional help, not “saving” by each other. I can’t say that I liked any of the characters in the book. The book also had a side plot of an ancient love story that Jessica was translating for work. I found myself more interested in that story than Jessica’s and Callen’s story line. 

The book also has things that don't seem plausible or made little sense to me. One of the main characters isn’t able to read. I find that hard to believe as someone who went to school and was born in the States couldn’t recognize any letters or words. How do they continue passing grades in school? Then during the end of one love scene, they just flushed a condom down the toilet. Almost everyone knows especially, a sex addict like Callen, that it doesn't make sense to do. Then Callen is a famous musical composer who is on the front page of every tabloid and international sensation. I have watched award shows and read the tabloids  but I can’t tell you a single time I have seen any musical composer who isn’t a singer featured. Personally, the book just seems like a fluff nonsensical read.

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