The Beginning of Everything, a review by Shelley

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THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING
Jackie Fraser

Random House Publishing Group | Ballantine | Dell
Publication Date: September 26th, 2023
352 Pages
Goodreads | Amazon

This book did not work for me in so many ways. I am not going to bother with the plot or the blurb I am just gonna state what felt off for me. I didn’t buy that Gethin would let her stay there, they are complete strangers to one another and Jess deciding to take him up on his offer after leaving an abusive relationship didn’t fly with me either. Abused women do not trust that easily or that quickly. I also didn’t buy that Jess was sleeping rough; aren’t there emergency shelters available for that? Did she have no friends or family to help? I mean she has a cellphone. The whole scenario was just too unrealistic for me.

Both Jess and Gethin seemed really immature for their age and the lack of communication was frustrating to read. Jess and her internal dialogue ending with a question at every turn grated on my nerves. I don’t much want to have to deal with anyone who might discover me lurking in their new property. That would be awkward, right? It was like that over and over again throughout the book.

Parts of the storyline should have been further fleshed out, such as Gethin’s relationship with his brother and their backstory…maybe to explain further why he seems too good to be true and help a stranger. This is a very slow burn and it takes too long to get to the heart of things and that’s saying a lot as the book is only 267 pages on my tablet.

I hated the cheating angle and I can’t see Jess being with someone who admits to it, in fact, I can’t see her with anyone at all after what she went through and the romance was just ick. I really liked the premise but the execution fell short, the writing style was a turnoff and the character development was lacking.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the Advance Readers Copy.

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