Author: Penny Reid
Title: "Happily ever ninja"
Book 5 in series Knitting in the city
Main characters: Greg and Fiona Archer
Ok people... I have to be honest... I read this book in one day... could not put it down... and yet it took me a whole week before I was able to sit down and write a review... or at least try to do it, cause I'm not really sure I'm ready to do it yet, but I can't wait any longer in case some stuff will disappear from my mind ;) so here is my best effort for you guys... ;)
When Penny Reid said, on many occasions, that this book is odd and different, I was like "sure, but all your books are different and a bit odd and quirky in the best possible way, so why telling us this now?" :) after reading this book I have to say that she was right... it really was different in a whole other way ;) I can also say that now I understand why she was so reluctant about any details of this book... it really is the best way to read it... to not know too much about it so you can just sort of "go with the flow" ;) but don't worry, I will tell you some things... maybe a bit less than usual and I'll concentrate more on my impressions, but I will tell you some stuff ;) oh, and one more thing, as all other books in this series, this one can also be read as a standalone :) now let's focus more on the book itself :)
Our main couple met in college 18 years ago and at the beginning of the book they are already married for 14 years :) so it's definitely not your typical they-met-fell-in-love-and-lived-happily-ever-after-the-end-of-book story ;) they also have two kids, Jack and Grace, both of them under ten-years-old :) there is a novella about how they met available for free now -> "Ninja at first sight" :) you can find my review of it here with all the links in it :) but back to this book :) it's a long distant relationship most times, because of Greg's work and the book really show the reality of this :) this sort of every-day-ups-and-downs of being in a committed relationship, kids optional ;) plus there is also something else, but I absolutely cannot say anything more about it, you'll see for yourself once you read the book :) all I will say is that there is a very cool reason why there is the word "ninja" in the title ;)
Besides our main couple, we have appearances of all the previous couples plus the future main characters as well ;) and even though I am still more curious about Kat and Dan (theirs will be book #7) I have to say that after meeting Matt in this book (the hero of the next one) I can't wait to read his and Marie's story :) all this little glimpses and scenes here and there were a fantastic reminder why I love this series so much :) and even though Greg is tall, sarcastic and has an accent, I have to say that Alex from "Love hacked" is still my favourite ;)
I really enjoyed this book, although I think it will definitely resonate more with people in commited relationships... :) but to a single person, like me at the moment, it still was a great read ;) it was very honest and raw at times and I have to applaud Penny Reid for writing it this way... :) cause I don't think I've ever read or heard about anything like it before... a book about married couple that does not involve infidelity, sickness or something like that... but a book that is just a fragment of their lives... our chance to see how it all works... that there are some beautiful and intimate moments between two people who know each other for years... along with the every day struggles... that it takes a lot of work to create a relationship that will last... but it's all worth it with the right person :) also I really enjoyed a few chapters from Greg's point of view... cause usually her books are written from the perspective of our heroine and then the epilogue from the hero's perspective :) but this time we got a whole few chapters :) they were a look back in time to a different moments in their life and they were a truly great addition :) and since I am a big fan of two perspectives in books, I hope she will do it more and more in the future :)
Even though I really loved the whole book, my favourite part was the letters... :) let me explain and share something super cool for me :) some time ago Penny asked people to send her real life letters, e-mails, notes and stuff that we exchanged with our significant others :) or letters to future spouses in case some of us are still single... like yours truly ;) they could have been funny, sad, long, short... basically whatever you have :) and then she chose 23 of them to post fragments below each chapter number :) and I am one of the lucky people who are in the book :) if you are wondering, mine is under chapter 17 :) in case you don't have the book and you are curious what does it say, let me know and I'll send it to you... the quote, not the book ;) the fastest way to reach me is through my fb page :) but even if she would not pick my letter, I would love those quotes... I am not ashamed to admit that some of them made me cry... they were all beautiful and honest and so absolutely amazing that each and every one of them made my heart skip a beat :)
I have for you a few quotes from the beginning of the book because the ones from a bit further down the road would be much too spoilerific ;) and besides, I think the one I chose represent the style of the book pretty well ;) happy reading
Part of a conversation between Fiona and Greg through computer ;)
"'Could you at least take off your shirt?'
'Show me your tits.'
'I miss your skin, just... flash me.'
'Greg, be serious.'
'I am serious. Do I not look serious? Nothing is more serious to me than your body, specifically your tits and legs and mouth. And vagina, but the vagina goes without saying.'
I gritted my teeth so I wouldn't smile, or worse, laugh. I wasn't sure how he managed it, but even when I was in a foul mood and feeling overwhelmed - like today - he always found a way to make me laugh. 'Greg...'
'And your brain. Sorry, I can't believe I didn't mention your brain.'
I allowed myself to give in to his sweet silliness. 'I love that you mentioned my brain, because I love your brain.'
With a hint of vulnerability, he asked, 'But you don't love my vagina?'"
Fiona and Grace :)
"'You have to take a bath.'
'But the water is wet.'
'That's the point of water.'
'Can't I take a sand bath?'
I looked to the heavens beyond the ceiling of our apartment. 'What are you talking about?'
'Jack says people who live in the desert take sand baths.' Grace's little voice adopted an accusatory edge, as though I'd been keeping this vital piece of information from her. As though I'd been needlessly subjecting her to the horror of wet baths for the last five years, like some sort of barbarian water-pusher."
A bit of Matt and why I can't wait for the next book :)
"I am so sorry, Fiona. Sometimes my stomach does the thinking and I'm powerless against it. Some people have a devil and an angel on their shoulders; I have a stomach on one side and a tongue with giant papillae on the other. And then there's my irrational love for coconut."
Greg about the kids when he comes home :)
"Right... here's what we'll do: I'll get the kids. You take your shower. After homework and playtime, I'll challenge them to shots until they pass out. Then we'll eat the rest of their Halloween candy while binge-watching Game of Thrones."
Greg with the kids :)
"'Dad, mommy is not a robot.' Jack sounded reluctantly amused.
'I never said she was a robot. I said she's one-quarter robot. And as I've told you a hundred times, you're one-sixteenth robot - why do you think you're so good at math?'
'It also explains why your grandmother has no soul. She's one hundred percent robot.'
'Am I a robot?' Grace whispered her question; she must've been standing very close to our bedroom door.
'You have the same percentage as your brother,' Greg responded very gently, 'and that's why you don't like baths.'"
And the last one showing why I love the knitting group ;)
"Sandra ignored Marie's valid analysis of the situation and pointed her knitting needle at Nico. 'You're Catholic, right? What do the Catholics say?'
Nico lifted an eyebrow and regarded Sandra with sparkly eyes. 'I'm not the Lorax of Catholics. I don't speak for the trees of the faithful. That's why we have the Pope.'"