The Flashback Friday review is where I take a book I recently reread and review it with new eyes. It could be a book I’m reading for the second, third, fourth or millionth time. Some books haven’t been read in years so its fun to flashback and see if my opinion has changed!
This week’s book is Seeing Me Naked, an adult contemporary romance by Liza Palmer.
Please keep in mind that Flashback Friday reviews are based on reread books. They most likely will contain spoilers as the books have already been released for some time. This is your only warning if you want to avoid spoilers for these books.
Adult, Contemporary, Romance
PART OF A SERIES?:
January 8th 2008
YOU CAN FIND THE BOOK AT YOUR LOCAL BOOKSTORE OR THE FOLLOWING LINKS:
Elisabeth Page has big shoes to fill. She’s the daughter of living legend novelist Ben Page, and the sister of literary wunderkind Rascal Page, and her career as a pastry chef is decidedly not up to her family’s snooty standards-even if she works at the hottest restaurant in L.A. Elisabeth hopes no one will notice that her five-year plan to run her own patisserie has morphed into an eleven-year plan to nowhere. Her personal life is also frozen in time: she’s still involved with her family-approved childhood sweetheart, a journalist whose constant jaunts leave her lonely. Enter an exciting career opportunity and even more terrifying, Daniel Sullivan, a beer-drinking basketball coach who is everything her family is not. Addicted to control and bred to criticize, can Elisabeth finally embrace happiness? Only if she has the guts to let others see her naked…and let them love her, warts and all.
Its not often that I read adult books. I tend not to enjoy them – I find most of adult books are written by men, specifically white, middle-aged men, and I find a lot of them pretty boring and repetitive. When I do read adult books, they tend to be authors I already know and love or the adult books written by YA authors. I discovered Liza Palmer quite a few years ago, long before What A Nerd Girl Says, when I bought this book at…Target, I believe. The book was blurbed by Meg Cabot, one of my absolute favorites. This book would lead me to read all of Liza’s books and enjoy most of them as well.
Rereading this book – I still like it but I definitely do not love it like I did before. I really adored Elisabeth the first time that I read this book years ago but now as an adult that is basically the same age as Elisabeth, I’m sort of annoyed with her. I know that she is raised in a very different world than her love interest, Daniel, but there are moments when I’m embarrassed for her, for the thoughts she has toward everyone outside her circle. I do love that she learns over the course of the novel and that she does to seem to be a different person with Daniel. I think Daniel is a great influence and a great character. He is wholesome, not perfect, but very real and is a great calming effect to the crazy life that Elisabeth has lived her entire life.
There are things about this novel that sometimes seem a little pretentious and I can’t tell if its the novel itself or if its just the Page family making me feel that way, especially Ben Page, Elisabeth’s famous father. Often times, we get white male characters like this in novels and its very played out and I get really annoyed by it. I have no sympathy for him, for his wife, for his son, for anyone that puts up with his bullshit. The men and women that fall at his feet, that worship him and throw themselves at him…honestly, its just hard for me to handle as an adult. When I was younger, it was easy to fall into the book because I was still in an angst filled mindset, hating the world, hating my parents, etc. Now, as an adult, Ben Page makes me roll my eyes every time I’m on the page.
What I really love about Liza Palmer though and her books, including this one, is how human she makes her main character. Elisabeth is flawed and she is just so real. The way she interacts with the world – her friends, her family, the men in her life – it all feels so genuine, even when she’s driving you insane, you still like her. I like a genuinely human, flawed character and this character is perfect in that retrospect.
But what I truly loved about the book the first go around and then again, this time around, was the absolute love that Liza shows for Southern California and Los Angeles. The way she talks about the streets, the restaurants and coffee shops and shops, it really reaches into the heart of a person like me who loves it so much here and puts it on the page. I love how beautifully she writes Los Angeles, she writes it as a character in itself and I enjoy every moment of it. I love to discover places I’ve never been to before and I love to read about the places that I’ve been to already, places that I adore.
Liza just recently, this week, put out her first YA novel (I believe, don’t quote me on that…), a novel for Marvel Comics, a prelude to this year’s Captain Marvel. I’m SO very excited for this movie so I can’t wait to read the book!