I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
by J.P. Monninger
Released: June 13th 2017
Published by St. Martin's Press
“THE MAP THAT LEADS TO YOU was just a big ‘ol cliché and it just did not work for me.”
~ Under the Covers
I am quite conflicted about this book because I had such high expectations. First, I was lured in by the beautiful cover and the fact it had some pretty good reviews already. Plus it was blurbed by Nicholas Sparks, so it has to be good right? Well… as soon as I cracked this open and got maybe about a couple of chapters in I realized that the writing style of this wasn’t going to work so well for me. It just didn’t flow, and I kept finding myself thinking it was all a bit too choppy. But at that point, I was still interested in the characters and seeing where the story went, so I pushed through.
So the quick gist of this is a story about Heather, who just graduated college and she’s going on a trip through Europe with her two best friends before going back home and starting her job in Corporate America. While on a train to Amsterdam she meets Jack. He’s spontaneous and has such witty charm. He’s traveling following in the footsteps of his grandfather, based on a journal he kept. And of course their instant love affair begins. Yes, consider this insta-love but that wasn’t even the thing that I had to struggle with the most.
The travel aspect of this was really neat. I loved the concept of Jack retracing his grandfathers journal and seeing the same things that he had written about. It gave his journey a wonderful, deep meaning and I was really into that. I liked how that became an important part of their travels instead of just a couple of young kids wanting to travel through Europe sightseeing. But after about the 25% mark, that might’ve been the only thing that I kept enjoying because everything else was making me a little stabby.
Aside from the writing style issue, which mind you didn’t get any easier for me as the book went on, I quickly developed a dislike for the characters. No, a dislike mainly for Jack. I didn’t feel one way or the other for Heather, she was ok most of the time. But Jack would get on my nerves repeatedly because his attitude was always a bit too unrealistic. The fighting and making up about the same issue would get annoying. He would put Heather down for wanting to go back home to her 9-5 because according to him she was giving up the freedom of traveling the world and seeing everything. *insert realistic person eye roll here* I knew there had to be a big something that was the reason why he acted like an idiot most of the time.
And here comes my biggest issue with this book! So there’s a big “twist” in the end. And maybe this is all me here because I was trying to rationalize Jack’s behavior for most of the book because he was annoying me so much, but… The twist is revealed at around 90% or so in the book, but sadly I saw that coming from a mile away (most of the book). By the time it’s revealed all I was left with was a big “I knew it! Told you so, and you’re still an asshole!” instead of the intended tears and heartache. I feel like taking that away leaves this book even a bit more mediocre for me. But also left me even more annoyed because I feel like this “twist” was used for shock value to get people to be moved to tears in the end and maybe forget about some of the other mishaps throughout the story. Add in to that the ending is so abrupt I honestly thought I was missing a few pages or an epilogue.
THE MAP THAT LEADS TO YOU was just a big ‘ol cliché and it just did not work for me.
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