Review: Virgin River (Virgin River #1)
Series: Virgin River #1
Released by Harlequin on 1 April 2007
"Wanted: Midwife/nurse practitioner in Virgin River, population six hundred. Make a difference against the backdrop of towering California redwoods and crystal-clear rivers. Rent-free cabin included." When the recently widowed Melinda Monroe sees this ad she quickly decides that the remote mountain town of Virgin River might be the perfect place to escape her heartache, and to reenergize the nursing career she loves. But her high hopes are dashed within an hour of arriving: the cabin is a dump, the roads are treacherous and the local doctor wants nothing to do with her. Realizing she's made a huge mistake, Mel decides to leave town the following morning.
But a tiny baby, abandoned on a front porch, changes her plans...and a former marine cements them into place.
Melinda Monroe may have come to Virgin River looking for escape, but instead she finds her home.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, this has not changed my opinion in any way.
I am a member of the Not Just Any Book book club, and I got an email about this book. It was being translated into Dutch (or it had already been translated but was republished). I was curious, so I send an email back that I was interested in reading it. I got chosen and received the book not long after that. As I am not a fan of romance, I was reluctant to read it, but I was hoping this book would surprise me. Unfortunately, it didn’t really.
First of all, I noticed that the book was written in multiple POV’s, which is something I despise, especially if the POV change happens in the middle of a chapter. Sometimes, it felt like it changed in the middle of paragraph; like one part would be from Mel’s point of view, and then suddenly, it would be from Jack’s. The fact that the story was written in third person narrative made it even harder to understand whose POV I was reading from.
I couldn’t really identify with any of the characters either; at first I found Mel very annoying – you decided to leave LA and live in a tiny town called Virgin River, OF COURSE you won’t be staying at super amazing house. She also felt very childish at some points, I didn’t have the feeling I was reading about a twenty-something (or thirty-something? I don’t know) year old woman. As for Jack, yeah well – I don’t really have much to say about him. Doc was very annoying, but I think I liked him best in this book. Honestly, it felt a bit like I was reading the American version of the Casual Vacancy (ok, I know this book was released in 2007 and TCV in 2012 so technically it would be the other way around). There was also the lack of action in this book, which of course is kind of obvious in a book that mainly revolves around romance. The ‘action’-filled parts (including a drug-addict holding a knife to Mel’s throat) were very quick and not that exciting at all.
The reason I hardly ever read Dutch translations, is because I find them all so childish. I had thought it was only the Young Adult books, but unfortunately adult books have fallen prey to this too. It just felt way too childish for a grown-up story in which people have sex (which was very detailed, by the way, and it made me feel a bit uncomfortable (
yes reading about sex makes me uncomfortable)). I probably would have given it three stars if I had read it in English, but alas, I didn’t. I do think that the fact that the book was Dutch made it easier for me to read. If it had been in English, I probably would have stopped reading at some point, and not have picked up the book again (okay no, I would have continued reading it because I got it to write a review about). But still, the whole story didn’t really make it better.
In the end, I liked Virgin River, but I can’t really say I enjoyed it a lot. I won’t be reading the rest of the series (which has about twenty books or so, wow). If you like an adult romance story set in a small village somewhere in the mountains in America, I definitely recommend Virgin River to you!
My opinion in one gif: