An interactive romance novel. It’ll be fun, they said. You won’t lose your mind, they said. Well, they lied. Oh, they lied so badly (whoever ‘they’ might be). This book is the bane of my existence. No, not just because it is the most confusing drivel I have ever read. No, not just because I got through every ending in a matter of four hours. No, not just because I think I wasted those four hours of my life, and I can never get them back. No, not just because I wanted to strangle just about every character in this book. No, not just because…actually let me leave it there for now while I go mediate for a few minutes…
Okay, I’m back! Let’s get into it!
Release date: April 3, 2018
Synopsis: (quoted from Goodreads since there is no way I can summarize this shit—see what this book did to me, now I’m swearing) “You are the plucky but penniless heroine in the center of eighteenth-century society, courtship season has begun, and your future is at hand. Will you flip forward fetchingly to find love with the bantering baronet Sir Benedict Granville? Or turn the page to true love with the hardworking, horse-loving highlander Captain Angus McTaggart? Or perhaps race through the chapters chasing a good (and arousing) man gone mad, bad, and scandalous to know, Lord Garraway Craven? Or read on recklessly and take to the Continent as the “traveling companion” of the spirited and adventuresome Lady Evangeline? Or yet some other intriguing fate? Make choices, turn pages, and discover all the daring delights of the multiple (and intertwining!) storylines. And in every path you pick, beguiling illustrations bring all the lust and love to life.”
Where do I start with this book?
The protagonist (referred to in the second person as “you”) is extremely aggravating. She’s incompetent, an idiot, and every time she sees a handsome man she is even more ridiculous. I suppose I was hoping for stories similar to Pride and Prejudice and instead I got a Regency version of 50 Shades of Gray. It was that bad.
Since this is an interactive novel, I want to analyze things that I wouldn’t usually think about in a book. That is, do your choices make a big difference? The honest answer is yes and no. You could choose completely opposite action and end up at the same place as the other choice would lead you. Often times I felt like all the stories were extremely similar (I’ll get more into that in my spoiler section). The plots were detestable, and don’t get me started on the love interests.
Actually, I will get started, since this is a romance, right? All the men were pretty horrible human beings—uncouth, rude, arrogant, and dishonest. Everything I wouldn’t want in a life partner. I kept hoping beyond hope to find a decent man among the various options, but nope, they were all horrible.
I did quite like Evangeline’s character, but just when I wanted to go off on adventures with her, the story made it clear that you had to add romance to finish any of her sections. I don’t want to fall in love with Evangeline; I just want to be BFFs going on adventures together. I mean, is that too much to ask for?
Speaking of romance, I was also hoping for relationships deeper than, “I just met you, but I think you’re really hot, so let’s hook up.” This was especially disappointing because this is set in a Regency novel, and yet honestly it felt like modern characters thrown into a Regency world. Really disappointing.
I will say that there were several scenes that were just so horrible that they had me curling up in laughter. And laughter is super good for you…so, there is that…
Also, the illustrations were quite nice, but they added nothing to the story, so I wouldn’t have cared if they had been taken out.
I probably gave too much away in the non-spoiler section, but you’re not missing much, so let’s get to the endings!
I found at least sixteen endings (there could be more that I missed). Several of them overlapped (for example, you had a couple different endings with Evangeline and the three main guys Benedict, Mac, and Craven—all just as horrible as the others), and some came out of nowhere. Several of them end with you alone (one, for example, where Craven gives you money and you head to America to become a governess).
Since I will say all the men were horrible (both the main ones and the secondary ones), my favorite ending is the one where you marry the old man Sir Charles Burley-Fanshaw, who dies right after the wedding, and you become a wealthy widow. That sounds like the best option to me. The most absurd one was when you end up with Raven the vampire.
I mean, this book is pretty much the horny fantasies of women who read way too many Stephanie Laurens books. The writing was of horrible quality and I even found a couple grammar errors while skimming (skimming, not even detailed reading). The romance was atrocious and no deeper than a sink’s depth compared to the ocean.
So, what are my final thoughts? This book is so absurd it was actually quite funny to read at points. However, I still feel like I wasted four hours of my life which I can never get back. In my opinion, just skip this book. You’ll save yourself from going insane.
If you are interested in a better version of a book like this, I recommend the visual novel “Matches and Matrimony: A Pride and Prejudice Tale.” I loved this video game years ago when it came out and it is still my favorite choose-your-own-romance. In it, you play Lizzie Bennet (who you can give a different name), and you can end up with any of the famous Jane Austen men of your choice (Darcy, Bingley, Mr. Wentworth, Colonel Brandon, and more). That one is ten times better than this one and keeps with the true Regency spirit.
What are your thoughts about pick-your-own-adventure books? Do you know of any really good ones? Let me know down in the comments, follow my blog for more madness, and, as always,
Best wishes in your life full of adventure,