Review of ‘Body of Work’ by Charlotte Mills
This lesbian book was strictly in the just-okay category for me. While there were a few things I enjoyed, the story felt disjointed and I could never truly get into it. I loved her book ‘Payback’, it was one of my top reads of 2019, so I was very excited about this. Maybe I’m being a tiny bit harder on this since I was looking forward to it so much, but I don’t think so. There were too many things that were just odd or didn’t work so I just could not rate this any higher.
This book starts off with a contemporary fiction feel about a woman with a tough past who is still mired in her grief. Then the book took a lighter just romance feel, and lastly, the book turned into a mini-mystery. It felt odd how the book kept changing like it was searching for its identity. Instead of just sticking to one category and doing it well, each individual category suffered a bit instead.
I found the beginning to be very dry. Noa, an artist, is dealing with almost crippling grief but the problem was I couldn’t connect enough with her to feel bad for what she was going through. I mean it was awful all she had gone through, but I felt like I was watching through a filter, her emotions were not affecting me as a reader. Instead, I found her unlikeable and I was wondering why the other woman Paige had any interest in her. Noa was not a very nice person to Paige but Paige seemed happy to take it.
I do have to say that once the characters consummated their relationship, the book really improved. The sex scenes were well written, Noa started to act like a person, and Paige came out of her shell too. I started to feel like the book was finally turning around but then there was one, maybe two, too many sex scenes and the book started to feel rocky again.
The last part was the mystery part. The problem was it wasn’t really a mystery. There were no clues, no twists, nothing except we are just told what happened. That is not how a mystery works. Not to mention the “what happened” was just weird and way too reminiscent of a very famous movie. I can’t even say the movie name because I would spoil the ending since it is too similar.
This book has a really small number of characters and two of them were completely pointless. One was Paige’s friend and co-worker. She seemed to be Paige’s only friend and all Paige did was complain in her head about her and blow her off anytime they talked. It seems like her character would have been invented to be a confidant for Paige, instead, she just made Paige look like a bad friend. And then there was Paige’s brother. There is all this talk about the brother and his dog, and instead, we only see them both for a few paragraphs. It was just enough storytime to show that Paige didn’t care enough to let the dog go out to the bathroom and that her brother seems like a roid-head. Just really odd character choices that didn’t help propel the story at all.
Unfortunately, I have to say that this was a disappointment. The more I write this review the more I think I might have overrated this at 3 stars. But then I think back and I did really like the middle third of the book. It showed promise and gave me little glimpses of what I enjoyed in ‘Payback’. While this book was not for me, I still want to be a Mills fan. I’m just going to consider this a bump in the road and be sure that Mills’ next book will be another hit like ‘Payback’.
A copy was given to me for an honest review.