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"Someone Like You" by Victoria Bylin

If you are looking for something on the lighter side to read as we are getting ready for summer, Victoria Bylin's latest novel might be for you. Set at a struggling resort in California, "Someone Like You" is the story of general manager Zeke as he tries to put some life into the place he loves, and how he reconnects with his college girlfriend, who is now an event planner. The years since college have changed both Zeke and Julia a lot. Zeke has lost his faith in God and puts his whole purpose into his work, while Julia has become a Christian after a string of bad decisions left her at the end of herself.

When the owners of Caliente Springs ask Zeke to pull off a wedding for 500 guests on only 30 days' notice, he immediately hires Julia to help him. Knowing that the future of the resort could be riding on how well they handle this task, the two join forces with determination to save Caliente Springs and to stave off their returning feelings for one another.

This is the first time I've read this author, and in order to be honest I have to tell you that I was not impressed with her writing style. It was cliche and over-the-top to be point of being nauseating. There was not much subtlety and a whole lot of telling instead of showing. "Her breath synchronized with his in a moment so raw her cheeks burned," and "She was so beautiful in white that the earth itself seemed to hold its breath" were two especially bad descriptive sentences. They don't even make sense, and unfortunately there were many others like them throughout the book. I also strongly disliked the heavy use of generalizations that the author used when describing Zeke, such as, "He didn't want to go to war with anyone, but when an enemy showed up in the camp, a dedicated leader stood up to him." Zeke self-reflected in those kinds of terms constantly, weighing what "a real man" would do, and it was quite annoying.

I will say that this book was not as predictable as I thought it would be. It managed to surprise me a few times. I also liked how Zeke's love for geodes turned out to be a metaphor for his spiritual life. That was probably my favorite aspect of the story.

I received my copy of the book from LitFuse Publicity in exchange for this honest review. All opinions are my own. If you would like to read what other people are saying about "Someone Like You," click here.

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