Wednesday, February 22, 2017

UP IN FLAMES BY ABBI GLINES - BOOK REVIEW

Hello everyone!

I am back with another review, today it is the final book in the Rosemary Beach series, Up In Flames by Abbi Glines.


Well, this was the final book in the Rosemary Beach series - and the formula got shook up a bit.

Somewhere along the line, I went from enjoyed these books to being bored by the structure. So when I started this final book, I was excited to see that this one seemed to break that mold a bit.

The story starts off different than the others - Nan was standing up for herself. And you know, in the other books, Nan is painted as a villain. Which I get, she was not a nice person to many of the girls throughout the series. But this book felt less like an explanation for that behaviour and more like a different person who was strong but not as mean as she had been in the past. And maybe that's just her growth over the series. She outgrew her pettiness and gotten rid of her anger towards the women who stole the men in her life from her. I appreciated this new Nan - but I'm not sure about the explanation as to her changes.

Nan's romance involves two men, Major and Gannon. And to be honest, I wasn't a fan of either of them. I think part of the problem Nan faces is that she is on a higher level than the men of Rosemary Beach. And not in a negative way at all. It's just who she is. She's above all the hyper-masculine macho-man drama that is apparently pumped through the water at the club. So that takes out Major. He is a born-and-bred playboy who is not good enough for Nan. That leaves Gannon - and without spoiling things - he's not worthy of her either. I think my biggest problem with their relationship was that I finally thought Nan would rise above the formula - reform a manly man, unexpected pregnancy, quick marriage due to said pregnancy and "feelings," and then happily ever after. I thought if anyone could leave this series without a man/baby/marriage, it would be Nan. Because she is a strong, independent woman who doesn't need a (Rosemary Beach) man to make her into her best self. Sure, she has flaws, but at least she is able to live her life.

And I think this was my major problem with this book. There was an opportunity for Nan to be whoever she wanted to be, to go against the grain, as she has been her whole life, for one more time, and that opportunity was missed. She became a Blaire, or a Harlowe, just like she thought she wanted. But I don't see that life for Nan. She deserved better than what Rosemary Beach could offer her, and she knew it. I struggled with the love triangle because it didn't really feel like there was a lot of love. Major, as far as I could tell, didn't really love her that much and was mostly just using her for a job (I still don't fully understand the whole story here - a drug lord? Who were they trying to find?) and with Gannon, it was all lust.

I also thought that this book would be like Until the End in the Sea Breeze series, where we could see all the couples/children together one last time. There was a little bit of that but not to the scale I wanted for a series finale book. I guess we'll see more of it in the spin-off series?

Overall, this series had it's ups and downs for me, and I enjoyed many of the books, but I felt like this one needed more.