Book Review: The Girl from the Paradise Ballroom

Lately I’ve noticed a strange trend in the newly release books I’ve picked up that have compelling blurbs on the back- they aren’t compelling books.

For instance I recently read The Nest. It was on the Barnes & Noble best seller table. It had a gorgeous cover. It got only okay reviews, but it had a compelling blurb. So, I bought it.

It was all I could do to force myself to finish that book.

When I was offered The Girl from the Paradise Ballroom to read for a review I anxiously awaited its arrival in the mail. After all, this is what the back of the book reads:

The first meeting between Antonio and Olivia at the Paradise Ballroom is brief, but electric.

Years later, on the dawn of World War II, when struggling Italian singer Antonio meets the wife of his wealthy new patron, he recognizes her instantly: it is Olivia, the captivating dance hostess he once encountered in the seedy Paradise Ballroom. Olivia fears Antonio will betray the secrets of her past, but little by little they are drawn together, outsiders in a glittering world to which they do not belong. At last, with conflict looming across Europe, the attraction between them becomes impossible to resist–but when Italy declares war on England, the impact threatens to separate them forever.The Girl from the Paradise Ballroom is a story of forbidden love and family loyalties amid the most devastating war in human history.

Not my usual cup of tea but I was willing to give it a try. The “electric first meeting” referenced was not electric. I felt nothing between the characters. Maybe it was the third person point of view but it wasn’t engaging at all.

The book isn’t even really about the romance between Antonio and Olivia, it’s about every little thing that happens in not only their lives but the lives of Antonio’s family (especially his sister). The action drags.

Did I enjoy this book? Not really. Maybe it was just me, but after reading it I looked at other reviews and there’s a similar theme in all of them. Don’t waste your money on this book, but maybe give it a shot if you happen to find it in a 50 cent bin somewhere in a few years.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.