Saturday, February 12, 2011

REVIEW: "The Only Thing I See" by Jessica Barksdale Inclan

Annabelle is a wedding photographer. She has a talent for capturing other people's happiness, but has trouble recognizing her own. When she herself becomes engaged, she starts "seeing" the future happiness (or unhappiness) of the lovestruck couples she photographs. The only problem is, she can't seem to see the truth in the relationship right in front of her. With the unintentional nudges of her best friend and her quirky mom, Annabelle finds herself taking a philosophical journey she just wasn't quite ready to take. She can't see herself through her camera lens, but perhaps she can see finally herself through the reflection of the two people who mean the most to her.

 I really had fun with this tale by Jessica Barksdale Inclan, devouring it in short order. The characters of Annabelle, her best friend (Khalie), and her mother (Ramona) are all well-developed and quite engaging. Easy to read and utterly charming, it's effortless to become absorbed in this tale of emotional growth overlaid in romantic tones. Although the ending is predictable, it's still satisfying as you wait for Annabelle to finally realize what you've known the whole time. It's a feel-good tale that will leave you with a happy sigh, content that things are right with the world.

There were a few more than a handful of typos in the story- not super distracting, but still noticeable. The storyline flows along fairly smoothly; there are a few bumps for Annabelle along the way, but not really that "gasp" moment present in some books of this genre. I may have preferred a bit more conflict along the way to make that neatly tied-up ending even sweeter. I sometimes prefer a bit of ambiguity in an ending, even for a storyline meant to leave you feeling happy and satisfied. Overall, a great read, one that fans of this genre will devour.

4 /5 stars

Available at Smashwords, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble

(If you enjoyed this book, be sure to check out another of this author's books, "Becca's Best." You can read the excerpt I posted this past December. You can also get to know the author a bit better in this  YouTube video.)

SIDENOTE: I rarely (if ever) comment on cover art. Honestly, I rarely notice it at all for digital books. Unlike paper books, where cover (and spine) art is what initially draws me to an unknown book, I just don't pay much attention to a digital book's cover image. However, in this case, something about this cover just seems wrong to me. It's not a bad cover, I just feel it's a mismatch for the content of the book. I feel like this cover, coupled with the official blurb, gives the impression of something a little paranormal and slightly "dark" or mysterious, but the actual book is much more a chick lit-type romance, without the excessive silliness or "bubble gum" feeling some of those books have. To be clear, the cover art doesn't weigh in on my book review or rating in any fashion, but I felt compelled to comment on it, just the same. 


Maria said...

I agree with you on the cover. It looks more like a serious novel, a "life" type thing, not at all a humor chicklit book!!! I'd never give it a glance with that cover.

GraceKrispy said...

It did have a bit of a serious tone to the main character's journey, but not quite the serious tone the cover gives me. I think it's partially the cover that makes me think paranormal.

Melissa Romo said...

Thanks for this review, especially your point about the cover. Sounds like the novel fits with the genre, and I appreciate novels that can pull off good relationship evolutions. That's so hard.