Circe by Madeline Miller (♦♦♦♦)

Granddaughter of Oceanus, daughter of Titan Helios and sea nymph Perseid, Circe was different from the start. While her siblings discovered their unique gifts very early on and gained their independence—either by claiming their inheritance, like Perses and Aëstes, or by marriage to a wealthy demigod, like Pasiphäe—, Circe remained among her family in the halls of the gods. Her love for young fisherman Glaucus changed everything. Circe used a potion to transform Glaucus into a worthy suitor. Glaucus, seeing his station changed, fell in love with one Circe’s cousins, a sea nymph named Scylla. Out of jealousy, Circe put a potion on Scylla’s bath and, unintendedly, transformed her into a monster. Circe’s confession forced Helios to go to see Zeus, for witchcraft is something that gods fear can tip the balance of power. Zeus declared an eternal banishment for Circe from the halls of the gods to the island of Aiaia.

Exile was not easy but, as Circe learned, it had its advantages; being away f…

The Blue Bistro by Elin Hilderbrand (♦♦♦)

Adrienne Dealey has left behind a bad boyfriend in Aspen and has moved to Nantucket Island. She only has three hundred dollars in her pockets, borrowed from her dentist father. A stranger on the train suggests her to ask for employment at The Blue Bistro, the trendiest restaurant on Nantucket.

Adrienne arrives at the bistro early in the morning, in time to meet Thatcher Smith, the restaurant’s owner, who over breakfast conducts an informal interview. Adrienne doesn’t have any previous restaurant experience, but she has extensive customer service experience in the hotel industry. Given her background, Thatcher offers her the job of welcoming guests and anticipating their needs as an assistant manager.

Adrienne soon discovers that Thatcher likes her; he even goes as far as admitting that he loves her. However, Fiona, the bistro’s chef and co-owner, comes first. He is so close to Fiona that they act like an old married couple; their friendship dates back to their childhoods. Meanwhile, Fiona hides a semi-secret or two from the rest of the world.

Will Adrienne and Thatcher stay together in the end? Will she stay in Nantucket after the summer ends? Read the novel to find out.

This book is a fast read, though it needs serious editing. I read the first hundred pages in a few hours, then, I felt that the story became repetitive with descriptions of foods and the events at the restaurant day after day. The last hundred pages focused on the closing of the restaurant and how everyone felt about that, how the guests were stealing memorabilia…You get the picture.

The love affair between Adrienne and Thatcher is supposed to be an important subplot that doesn’t deliver; it is like fireworks…The book is advertised like a great love story, but it isn’t because Thatcher doesn’t even know how he feels for almost the entirety of the book.

I know Elin Hilderbrand can do better because The Island proves it; The Blue Bistro, though is tedious and disappointing.