Just One Damned Thing After Another (Chronicles of St. Mary’s #1)

By Jodi Taylor

I wasn’t all that blown away by this. Considering the enthusiastic reviews, and how much I loved The Nothing Girl, I was disappointed. It’s a great idea, but I think she bit off more than she could chew. A select group is tasked with observing and documenting pivotal events in history. They are sent back in time after extensive training. It is a very high concept intriguing plot line, but like many reviewers, I thought the many many characters were just sketched in and I didn’t feel like I knew them, so I wasn’t invested enough. I will probably try another in the series, because I have reason to believe her writing might improve as she writes more books.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

August 4, 2017

The Something Girl

by Jodi Taylor

According to Russell’s many books on the subject, hen houses should be light and airy. This one looked like a Dickensian workhouse.

‘No one who has met you could ever forget you. I certainly can’t.’ I felt tears well up. ‘Why are you crying?’ he demanded, slightly panic-stricken. ‘What did I say?’ ‘Something nice.’ He seemed indignant. ‘I say nice things all the time. I’m famed for it.’

A very worthy sequel to the charming and unusual The Nothing Girl. Not quite the impact as the first book, as the arc that Jenny takes is not quite as dramatic. She is safe and sound, adored by her husband and ersatz family (even though she does not always realize it. She still struggles, sometimes, with very low self-esteem.) The plot revolves around her happy home being threatened by an enemy from the past and how she is able to triumph in the end. There were chuckles throughout while the subplot of Jack, the new kid on the block, brought the tears. As a big fan of unconventional heroes, Russell Checkland is in a class by himself.

The domesticity of the world and the comedy reminded me of Betty Macdonald or We Took to the Woods by Louise Rich. Old childhood favorites. I wish Jodi Taylor would draw the Chronicles of Saint Marys to an end, and concentrate her talents on book like these.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

October 2, 2017

The Nothing Girl

By Jodi Taylor

“Jenny, I’m so sorry. I think I may have encouraged you to marry a madman.’ ‘Yes, we’re going to be discussing this later. Oh.”

In reading The Nothing Girl, I have discovered a fresh funny voice in relationship fiction. And heaven be praised! She has a back list! I already had The first volume of The Chronicles of Saint Marys on my Kindle for some reason, and, to my surprise and excitement, she has written a sequel to The Nothing Girl, which I quickly bought as well. Hopefully she will fulfill the promise of the first book I read by her. I laughed, I cheered, I cried, I sighed in satisfaction.

I always thought donkeys said, ‘Hee-haw.’ That’s how you always see it written. Nice and neat. And brief. Hee-haw. Wrong. Our donkey goes: ‘EEEEEEEAAAAAWWWOOOOAARGGHHH,’ pauses briefly for the echoes to die away and then continues with: ‘EEEEEEEEEAAAAAWWWWWEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAWWWWWOOOOORRR. And it was loud. Good God, was it loud. Birds fell from the trees. The windows rattled. A low-flying jet did a quick U-turn and returned to base….

Rating: 5 out of 5.

July 25, 2017