- File Size: 3431 KB
- Print Length: 500 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0990429261
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: June 10, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B071X1NSV8
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,314 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$17.99|
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Dear Aaron Kindle Edition
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|Length: 500 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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In her latest book, Dear Aaron, she doesn't deviate. Mariana gives readers the opportunity to know the main characters individually before they are romantically involved with each other. While you don't know 'everything' about the characters before they connect, you get to know them gradually, just as they get to know each other. Ruby writes to Aaron through a program that pairs soldiers and civilians as pen pals during deployment. Their friendship grows from their interactions, eventually leading to meeting face to face after Aaron returns home.
Ruby is probably one of the least-confident female leads Mariana has written. That said, she can stand up and speak out when pushed far enough, but for the most part she lives to keep the peace and limit risks. Aaron is coming out of a breakup via "dear John" letter when Ruby begins writing to him and he is cautiously friendly. He actually doesn't reply for weeks to her emails. Ruby is charmingly goofy, genuinely sweet, and refreshingly open. Aaron is able to relax and let down his guard within the structure of their relationship and they both begin to open up to each other about personal issues, and they begin to like each other within this safe space. The family life (strife) of both Aaron and Ruby color their views on relationships and both have to work to overcome the self-imposed restrictions to open their hearts to the possibility of a different, more fulfilling relationship possibility for themselves.
Mariana is a wonderful author because she writes books that you read over and over, and each time you glean something new you never noticed before. She doesn't give you EVERY thought the lead female thinks (all her books are written from the female protagonists' perspective) so you do have to work for some of the details. This is what gives her work 'legs'...the ability to hang around in your thoughts for a long, long time after you finish a book.
Here's where my review will go sideways for some of you. This is not my favorite MZ book. And yes, I still gave it 5 stars. It deserves 5 stars because I enjoyed the book so very much and because she creates the types of books I really enjoy down to my bones. But, it does fall short for me in comparison to her other works. I didn't feel the same connection to Ruby as I have to her other leading females. I think one reason is that Ruby doesn't have a true confidant other than Aaron. Each of her other characters had someone they could lean on and talk to, which in turn gave the reader more depth regarding the story line. Sal had her dad, Iris had Sonny, Vanny had Diana and Zack - and Diana had Vanny and the boys, Gabby had Eli...they all had their 'person'. Another reason this falls short for me is that towards the end, we have an intense portion of the book before Aaron and Ruby acknowledge their feelings towards each other, and then BAM we're given an epilogue that left me feeling unsatisfied. When loving slow-burn romances like I do, a really good epilogue is the 'reward' for all the work I've done being patient! I was reading it and I kept looking at the progress indicator in my kindle and kept thinking "it can't really be at 99%...there's SO MUCH MORE I WANT, NO NEED TO KNOW!".
All that aside, if you love Mariana, you will love this book. Her humor and perspective are so unique and you feel the love she pours into every one of her novels. I mean even Mozart didn't turn out a perfect musical composition every time he put pen to paper...wait...that's not the best example...he kinda did. I'll try again...even Charlie Hunnam has days where he may not look his best, but damn, it's Charlie Hunnam and he is a 9.9 at his worst. Dear Aaron isn't my favorite book of hers, but damn, it's Mariana Zapata, and she's still a 4.9 out of 5 on a bad day. Get this book and take your time to enjoy it. If this is your first MZ experience, I insist you read her other books as well. Then you'll understand the genius that she really is.
My other big issue with this book was the humor. Now I love to laugh, and I love books that make me laugh, but I don't like when one character is constantly laughing at the jokes of another when I myself don't find the dialogue the slightest amusing. I did appreciate the silly "dad jokes" thrown in, but otherwise I couldn't get why Aaron found Ruby to be basically the only human in the world to make him crack a smile. All the laughing and smiles just felt a little forced to me.
The only thing I didn't like about Aaron is the fact that to me he felt like an incomplete puzzle at the end of the book. I would have liked to have focused less on Ruby and the woes of her life and seen more of what made Aaron who he is. He seemed to have so many issues with his parents and even his friends, but I only got to understand the surface level of those problems. My lack of knowledge about him made the HEA feel less satisfying.
Finally, I want to say that even though I was not a fan of Aaron and Ruby and I found the dialogue much weaker in this book than the previous ones (which is ironic considering that the first quarter of the book is pure dialogue), this book did still give me the feels. It still had the heart-twisting slow burn that made me speed-read through each page to reach the point that that two finally got together. Zapata is still one of my favorite writers, and honestly, I think I if just liked the characters a bit more I would have greatly enjoyed this book.
The email back and forth got so monotonous that I actually started flipping pages without reading and I don't generally do that.
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I couldn't put if town.