(Note to the reader: Laina is writing this on February 15th, 2010, so if review format changes or it seems dated, that is why. The reason she's writing this now? She didn't get it done in time for last Christmas because she procrastinated too much. And now she's creeped out from all the referring to herself in the third person, so read on!)
The Unlikely Romance of Kate Bjorkman by Louise Plummer
Published: October 6th, 2005 by Laurel Leaf
Genre: YA Contemporary fiction / Romantic comedy / Christmas themed. That works!
Page Count: 183 pages in my copy.
Part of a series? Standalone.
Summary (from the back of the book 'cause I don't like the goodreads one): I'm Kate Bjorkman. I don't like romance novels. They're full of three-paragraph kisses describing people's tongues and spittle. But what do you do if you've lived a real romance with a great-looking guy (Richard) and he loves you as much as you love him? I know what I did. I wrote this romance novel about myself, using The Romance Writer's Phrase Book. I also used stuff my English teacher taught me about writing. He said a story must have conflict. No problem there. My life was one big conflict last Christmas. I didn't make anything up. This is the honest truth and I want truth even in romance. I'm betting you'll want the same.
My review: The Unlikely Romance, as it shall forever be called by me from now on since the title is just so long, was cute and funny and a fun Christmas read. I liked Kate's voice, it was very unique. She often broke the fourth wall, and it was neat.
Plot: The Unlikely Romance stretches over the span of a couple days before Christmas to a few days after New Year's. Kate's brother comes home for Christmas and brings home his wife, best friend Richard and their friend Trish. And chaos ensues! (Read that as I suck at writing about book plots and that's the the best I have.)
Characters: Kate was a really neat character. She loved linguistics, she couldn't see without her thick glasses, she was tall (which you know I hated her for). All in all, she was pretty unique and fun to read about. One thing I loved was how she didn't change who she was to attract a boy.
The other characters in the books were cute and quirky for the most part. Her older brother's name was Bjorn Bjorkman and that is hard to type! I liked Richard, but it would have been nice to see more of his personality, to really see why Kate liked him.
Cons, complaints, bad stuff, etc.: The Unlikely Romance was pretty short and sometimes that's a good thing, but with this one it almost seemed unfinished in a way. The ending was resolved pretty well, but it just seemed like some parts of the book could have been built on and explored more. The reading was very smooth, though. I started reading and then looked up an hour later to see some random soap opera on. (Helen and Mason are getting married.)
PG-13 stuff: There was a bit of swearing, but nothing really bad and nothing graphic, and the subject matter was light and funny.
Cover comments: The picture here is really inaccurate. My copy is much less green and not as bright. It's more like this one but the picture is so tiny and I couldn't find a larger one. The cover is cute. I don't love it or anything, but it's a cute cover. I think I like the hardcover more. It's got an old fashioned vibe to it that I like.
Conclusion: The Unlikely Romance of Kate Bjorkman was a cute book, and a fun Christmas read, the voice reminisce of Meg Cabot's narration. I just wish certain things had been better explored. Three and a half roses out of five.
Other notes: She says "Last Christmas" a lot and now I have the Glee song stuck in my head!! And yes, it's February and I'm listening to a Christmas song. But it's Glee! (Also, if Glee has been cancelled or something in the next ten months, I'm going to hurt people.)
Okay, I'll see you all in December when I post this!
Peace and cookies,
(Future - er, present Laina talking!! It's my birthday today!!)