Publisher: The Katalina Playroom
Age recommendation: Young adult, Adult
Phillip, Sarah, Kaitlyn, Caleb, Maxine, Grant, Melanie and Josh were an inseparable group in high school. Now that they are all adults and living their own lives, the group bond is no longer there. When Phillip dies in a hit and run accident, the others come back together for a reluctant reunion. Everyone has changed and they irk each other. As they spend time together, each of them not only have to deal with Phillip’s death, they also have to face unresolved issues between themselves. Their actions will determine whether the old group bond and friendship returns.
I wanted to like this book, but it fell short of my expectations. After 20 pages, I would have given up on this book. The only reason why I continued was because I needed to write a review. Of course, just because I didn’t like this book, it doesn’t mean you won’t like it either. There is plenty of room for improvement and allowance can be given since this is a debut novel.
Firstly, I was confused most of the time. There are eight main characters in the story and the story is told in the voices of each of this character. After a few pages, I had all the characters mixed up. It was just a pain trying to remember who were former lovers, who is married, who isn’t, who is doing what, and etc. Since I read this book on my Kindle, it wasn’t so easy to scroll back the pages just to refresh my memory of a certain character.
Secondly, I felt that most of the story consisted of thoughts from the various characters. There was much inaction and plenty of opinions. I didn’t want to read paragraph after paragraph of a character’s opinion about marriage or family or even about another character. Some paragraphs were full of verbal and nonverbal rants. At some point, as a reader, I was “okay, enough. I get the point. Please get on with the story.”
This novel goes great lengths to emphasize on the wideness of the “gulf” between high school best friends. People change as they grow older and the characters in Coffee at Little Angels is no different. They were BFFs while in high school, but can hardly stand being around each other now. It takes the death of a one of their own to bring them back together for a reunion. For me, the main point that stood out in this story is that people change. Just because you’re best friends with someone now doesn’t mean that you will still be best friends with him/her 10 or 15 years from now.
I feel quite bad having to write this negative review. I honestly really wanted to like Coffee at Little Angels. It portrays the theme of grieving friends and how each person deals with grief in a well manner. If not for the writing style, this book would score high.
Nadine Rose Larter is an indie author living in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. She published her first novel, Coffee in Little Angels, in May 2011. The paperback version of the book was published in August 2011. She started writing the novel after her high school friend died in a car accident. She intentionally left out putting last names and town names so that readers will easily be able to identify themselves with the characters. Nadine is currently working on her second novel. Visit her website at www.passingtheopenwindows.co.za.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”