I genuinely did not know what to expect when I began reading this book. I had downloaded multiple titles from the kindle store, and couldn’t remember which blurb corresponded to which book when it came to reading them.
After a few pages, I expected it to be another of the many (slightly disappointing) samey romances that are to be found everywhere on the Kindle store, especially on the ‘free’ book list. The narrative seemed a very clichéd, typical not-quite-love story…but I persevered. And I am actually read glad that I did! I imagined the whole story to follow the bickering of Wren and Brady post breakup, and that Brad would continue promising to change with very little proof of doing so. What actually happened was that, the further I read, the more I actually wanted to read, as I realised that it wasn’t what I had first imagined. I think Nichols’ very colloquial, friendly writing style helped with this, and meant that reading, in spite of my initial lack of interest, wasn’t a chore.
I have to admit that, at the start, I didn’t really like either of the characters. Obviously, I disapproved of Brady for cheating on the woman he claimed to love, but for some reason, I found Wren’s response annoying, meaning I didn’t actually feel any sympathy for her. However, after a few chapters, I found myself empathising with Brady, and actually wanted Wren to forgive him. I think the dual narration helped with this, as it allowed for me to understand both sides of the story, meaning I could appreciate why both characters reacted in certain ways- for example when Wren saw Brady with Paige again, and why Brady believed that Trey and Wren were now together. The dual narrative also meant that both characters had fully-developed voices, as they didn’t have anyone else speaking for them, which I think was important in this book.
It got to the point that, I wasn’t just interested in the story, I actually started to care what was going to happen next to the characters, and found myself thinking about it when I wasn’t reading. Although, having said this, once the book did have my full attention, it was incredibly easy to see where the narrative was going- which meant that the ending was of no surprise. But, I do want to reiterate that this didn’t stop me from wanting to find out how it got to the point that I knew it would eventually reach.
The book was short, which was definitely a positive here. Any longer, and the narrative would have become dragged out, possibly making it more clichéd, and less enjoyable. Also, as I always say, the short chapters were also appreciated, as it allowed for ‘easy access’ to the story (i.e. just five minutes of reading here and there). However, in this case, the short chapters also meant that I didn’t get lost in the dual narrative, because I was always reminded from whose point of view I was reading.
Overall, I would definitely recommend The Souvenir: A Secret Baby Romance to anyone who is looking for a good, light-hearted and easy read. In spite of its simplicity, it left me feeling satisfied- which is an important trait in a book, if you ask me!