This review is spoiler free.
“Until next time, my dears.
After all, tomorrow is another date.”
Published: 2018, by Simon & Schuster UK.
Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction, Fiction, Contemporary, Writing, Books
Contains: Anger, Cheating, Alcohol
‘The Book Ninja’ tells the story of Frankie Rose, a woman desperate to meet her perfect man. Deciding to embark on the ultimate dating experiment, inspired by her job at her local bookstore, Frankie secretly plants copies of her favourite books on trains, trams and buses in the hopes to find the man of her dreams through a mutual love of books.
I discovered this book in a recent store sale and picked it up in the hopes of it merging two of my favourite things together; books and cutesy romance novels. However, the characters themselves seemed to let the team down in this one.
Frankie Rose is not a protagonist I can root for. She’s selfish, insensitive, and generally not a good person. There were multiple instances where drama was created in the hopes of forcing another stepping stone in the story, instead of there being logic and sense behind her actions. Frankie makes a huge mistake within the novel, one which could have been predicted the moment the event happened, and yet she didn’t once believe that she was doing the wrong thing until boyfriend Sunny called her out on it. Her snobbish personality should have been the biggest character development for a novel on this matter, yet I hardly believe she thought otherwise by the end of the story. She continued to slate her partner’s interests, and put down an entire genre of literature despite working at a bookstore. Personally, as a huge fan of Young Adult literature, this was going to disappoint me, but constantly putting it down while throwing out a lot of real life titles and authors just seemed disrespectful and unnecessary.
Sunny’s character was decent, initially beginning their relationship with cute romantic gestures and dates, until their relationship broke down. Sunny, along with Seb, were some of the only genuine and understanding characters within the novel, offering helpful advice and remaining pleasant to read about.
Cat, Frankie’s best friend, however, was another character who started well but deteriorated the further the story progressed. She was judgemental, towards customers and her loved ones, selfish, and unfaithful.
The novel itself was well written, minus the constant references to published works. It was endearing at first, but then became more overdone and frustrating, especially when the titles that were being mentioned were mocked. The blog posts, however, were an interesting touch and kept the pace of the story running smoothly. The comments at the end of the posts were also a nice add-on.
Overall, I had high hopes for this book. I was expecting cutesy romance, beloved characters and a hopeful ending. The reality was a little more disappointing.