Tag-Team Review: Optical Illusion (Paint #1) by Emma Jaye

Smile, wiggle, lie, apologise, and run for the hills.

That's the formula Chris has used all his life, but this time, he has something he’s never had to lose before, a family that cares. The problem is, his new brother’s very edible friend isn’t fooled by his act. If his secrets are revealed, they won’t want him and he has nowhere else to go.

Thanks to a suicide bomber, ex-military police sergeant Jase Rosewood is back in the English countryside. His plans for quiet recuperation are ruined by the effervescent, go-go dancing twink who has everyone wrapped around his little finger. Luckily for the gullible Matt, Jase can smell a liar a mile away, and Chris Bacon, if that’s even his name, stinks to high heaven. Assigned ‘Chris-sitting’ duty while Matt's on honeymoon, Jase has a week to discover what is hidden beneath the bright camouflage. It's a job, just like any other, so why does it feel so different?
Unfortunately, Jase isn’t the only one drawn to the boy who can’t stay still, but instead of wanting to reveal his true colours; they want to dull them forever.

Contains issues of physical abuse, but not between the central couple.




A Double DNF

Chelsea - DNF - 24%


I’m stopping here because if I continue I’ll be rating this book poorly and I don’t want to do that. I think If I had been in a different mood (one hella crazy one) I could have enjoyed this more. As it is, I couldn’t get into it. At all.

I didn’t like Chris. Like at all. He claims he’s ADHD but I’m sure he’s bipolar at the very least, his mood swings were like….


He was incredibly childish and I just couldn’t give two fucks about his history.

There were three POV’s in the first 10% and I usually don’t like any more than the two main characters POV’s. Anymore and it just becomes too crowded and side characters feel irrelevant.

I was also really wanting to read about a romance, but there wasn’t even a hint of romance poking it's head out. From what others have said it was probably on the way, but I wasn't enjoying the story enough to wait around for it.

While the writing wasn’t bad, the story and the characters were OTT and all over the place. If I didn’t have a mountain of other good books to read I probably would have persevered with this for a bit longer, but I just didn’t want to waste my time on a book I was not enjoying.

Obviously this book did work for some people, so read a variety of reviews and then be prepared for entering a crazy world with one rather manic main character.


Sheziss - DNF - 14%


I had a problem with this book since the very beginning. I wasn’t horrified right away but the writing style doesn’t agree with me, and it made it complicated for me to focus on the story, because it was damn distracting and formulaic.

What do I mean with this?

The author tells things. Facts. Info. Then she tells more things. Facts. Info. Then some more. And more.

I’m reading a chain of events, but with no real meat beneath. It’s like: I wake up, I brush my teeth, I go to work, I come back home, I sleep. Maybe I eat 5 times a day.

But no soul, no emotion.

Jason is in love with his BFF, Matt. Matt rejects him. Jason goes into the Army. 10 years later, he survives an explosion. He is kicked out of the Army. He meets Chris Bacon in Matt’s wedding (oh, my heart, that hurts!), who is a reflection of Matt.

We are told several times how alike they are.

It sounds so sad and pathetic: Matt doesn’t want Jason, but no problem, because Chris is there to replace him. 10 years younger.

Such a coincidence! Such good luck! Win-win!

Needless to say, I was wary ever since.

Chris is sick. Chris is poor. Chris is awesome. Suddenly, everybody wants to have him in his house.

The envy of every abandoned dog.

He needs to go to the doctor, to Matt’s exgirlfriend, Sarah, who is a GP.

I’d have paid to see that doctor interview.

The medical stuff sounded so weird to my ears. Maybe it’s because of the language barrier, maybe it’s because the health system is different from the one in the place I live in. But things are not clear for me in this matter. It seems Chris only spends a little while in the consultation but then he has to have been for a longer while, because, he is given prescriptions for two antibiotics, vitamins, iron, and sleep pills. As simple as that.

The space-time sphere is so surreal in this book.

We are never told how Chris feels. Dizzy? Feverish? Does he cough anyhow? Does he suffers from fatigue? Malaise? Does breathing takes him a huge effort? Does he have any pain, in the chest, in the stomach, wherever? Questions, questions, questions!

Matt gets him and takes him to the doctor.

Out of the blue.

I mean, I had no hint Chris was sick until they go to the pharmacy, because we are never explained how Chris feels.


Describing how a MC feels in a romantic novel is so basic I have no idea why the narrator didn’t mention any of this. I’m not even talking about the feelings for another person but about the most elemental of sensations. Yourself, your body, your inner voice.

We only get to see how he runs super fast and gets into the nursering home to see Matt’s father. BAM. And how fierce and snarky he is. BAM. And how pitiful he is. BAM. Just because.

The character development was superficial at least.

Then they mention the blood transfusion.

“How he keeps up the pace when he’s still so anaemic I don’t know. Sarah said that when she first saw him, if she’d thought he would stay in hospital, she would have admitted him, stuck him on an antibiotic drip and given him a blood transfusion.”

That’s serious, it means the hemoglobin is very low, less than 8g/dl (in some cases, they are recommended with less than 10g/dl). If he needs to be admitted, then admit him. Period. And if he needs the transfusion, you give him the damn transfusion, you don’t dance around complaining to your exboyfriend about doing it or not because oh-so-poor Chris suffers so much and he is so pitiful and oh-my-god, how the hell did he do this all alone!

He ended up giving his own address, and the name ‘Chris Bacon’ but the lack of a date of birth and previous doctor details were a problem for the receptionist.

I don’t understand this. Why has Matt to talk with the receptionist? Wouldn’t it be more logical to be Chris the one who gives his own data (I take for granted that in the UK in the 21st century, people have a tendency to know)? When Chris goes out of the consultation, he gets out immediately, instead of going to reception in order go give such information.

Oh no, he doesn’t. Let’s keep the doctors (and the administration) in the dark.

We are ninjas, hey!

Mmm.

Everything is so DRAMA-DRAMA-DRAMA. I needed all of this to be proved, not to be magnified simply for a dramatic feel.

The scene that made me realize I wasn’t sure if I was reading romance or a children book was the vomit scene after the wedding celebration.

“Fucking wonderful. Consider my previous offer of a blowjob rescinded.”

“Aw fuck Tigger, do you have to say stuff like that?” Mike moaned.

Chris grinned to himself. Payback was a bitch. “You should try it sometime mate, it tastes a bit salty, bit slimy, like uncooked egg white with extra salt. If you swallow quick when it hits the back of your throat, you hardly...” The sound of an electric window motor came from the back, followed by retching.

“You caused it, you get to clean it in the morning,” Jase said as if he was discussing the weather.

“I’ll do it when we get home if you like.”

“When we get home, you are going to bed,” Jase said firmly.

“So do you guys want some real live bacon baguette for breakfast, while I get my runny eggs?” The sound of another window opening and two stomachs emptying was music to his ears.


I don’t get which is the topic of the conversation here.
It’s ridiculous how puerile jokes are still present in adult romances.
Why is Chris Bacon considered so cool by them all? He’s such a stupid arrogant brat.

I just that I have the feeling the author doesn’t read his own words twice. Doesn’t consider them first. I get the impression she just writes without stopping for a short while in order to wonder: “Does it make sense at all? Maybe this one sentence is distracting for the reader? Does this paragraph sound absurd anyhow in the big scheme of things? Do I really want to portray the characters this way? Can it be I’m taking it all too fast, or maybe too far away in the dramatic sense? Should I write this or that with more depth so that it doesn’t strike as too rushed and nonsensical?”. IDK, certain details give me red flags constantly and distract me from the main story.

We can’t like them all…

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