Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Brava, Valentine

Brava, Valentine: A Novel Brava, Valentine: A Novel by Adriana Trigiani

Series: Book 2 of 3

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I have read most of Adriana Trigiani's books. So, it pains me to give a Trigiani novel two stars. But really, it was just OK for me and I can't make it out to be something that it isn't. It just didn't work for me.

This is the second installment in the Valentine series. Valentine Roncalli is a 35-year old single woman living in New York City. She recently inherited her family's custom shoe business with the caveat that her brother will take over the business management side of things. Her best friends are Gabe, a gay man who has a flair for decorating, and Bret, her ex-fiancee. She has a love interest in Italy who writes amazing letters to her, but she isn't sure how committed she can get to someone who lives so far away. The business is struggling to expand and Valentine takes a trip to Argentina where she meets a long lost cousin and learns more about her family.

The plot fell flat with this second installment and Valentine is just not likable enough to carry off an entire trilogy. I don't plan on reading the last book. I find Valentine to be immature and tiresome. I could not for the life of me figure out why an older, and presumably wiser man like Gianluca would want anything to do with her.

Trigiani had a tendency to throw in little life lessons along the way that really annoyed me. I literally rolled my eyes during some of the more trite parts. Trigiani also tries to wax lyrical in a forced and unnatural way. She had an obsession with using unique color words to evoke a mood--chocolate, eggshell, ruby, saffron, pumpkin, emerald, etc. But it didn't flow well and it just got overbearing for me. Sometimes brown, off-white, red, yellow, orange and green are all that are needed!

I'm the only blogger I've come across that didn't like this one. So please, check out these reviews:
Book 19 of 100 for the 100+ Reading Challenge
Book 7 of 25 for the Support Your Local Library Challenge
Book 24 of 50 for the Countdown Challenge (2010) 

Source: Library


Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I'll admit I'm not usually a fan of life lessons in novels. So I might have to give this one a pass. Thanks for the tip!

Mystery Writing is Murder

bermudaonion said...

I'm a huge Trigiani fan, so I'm sorry to see this didn't work for you.

Kim said...

Can you believe I still haven't read a Trigiani book? Is Big Stone Gap a good one to start with? It sounds like I should avoid this one as a first.

Tricia said...

Kim, Yes! Read Big Stone Gap. It's a great series. I also liked her other stand-alone novels except Rococo.