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Jul 04

The Downside of Love by Meghan Quinn Review

5 SMOOCHES!

SYNOPSIS:

This isn’t a story about a love triangle. There is no triangle involved.
This isn’t a story about an accidental pregnancy. Although having a baby with her . . . I would.
This isn’t a story about lies and deception, even though at times I’ve lied to myself.

No, this is my story.

A story about sacrifice.
A story about a man who fell in love with the wrong girl.
A story I wish I never had to tell.

This is a story about the true meaning of the downside of love.

REVIEW:

I was drawn to Meghan Quinn’s books because I love romantic comedies. Hers have always hit all of my notes with their sexy romances punctuated by outrageous humor and clever banter. But there was always an emotional component to her stories that never failed to take me by surprise with the depth of feeling they evoked in me. Up to this point, in my mind, I’ve thought of Meghan Quinn as a romcom author, and perhaps it was a bit unfair on my part to pigeon-hole her this way. But in my defense, her unique brand of comedy is just so original and hilarious, it’s what stuck out in my mind and one of the things I looked forward to most when I sat down to read one of her books. However, having now finished reading The Blue Line Duet in its entirety, that romcom author label no longer works in my mind given what Quinn has delivered in this extraordinarily moving, multi-faceted and complex love story. Far beyond what I anticipated it would be and way more than what I even hoped it would be, I can truthfully say I was unprepared for the rush of emotion and just how caught up in this story I was. I’ve said time and time again in my reviews of Quinn’s previous works, that she always took me by surprise with the emotion in her romcoms, even when I knew it was coming. But the surprise she gave me this time around wasn’t just in the complete and utter battering to the feels I sustained, it was in the form of a shift in mindset in how I view her work and her as an author. I was already a fan of her writing, and I already had mad respect for her talent as an author, but now I’m a fan who is wholly impressed by the breadth of her capabilities, thrilled with the tremendous growth as an author she displayed here and so incredibly excited for what the future will bring from her.

Given that The Downside of Love follows The Upside of Falling as the second half of The Blue Line Duet, I’m going to be purposefully vague in this review. I do not want to give a word of this story away, because, frankly, anything—ANYTHING—I say about the story itself is a spoiler, and this is one story that needs to be gone into blind, without anyone else coloring a reader’s expectations or perceptions, for it to have the impact the author intends it to have on the reader. So, I’ll start by saying that I was riveted in place, unable to put this book down—literally. I was on a trip to Disney World with my family when The Downside of Love finally landed on my Kindle, and I found myself almost grateful for the knee injury that I am currently nursing (which requires surgery, mind you) so that I could stay behind in my cool room, knee propped up on a pillow and blessedly alone, to immerse myself in this gloriously moving journey to love. I needed that solitude to experience everything this book made me feel, and oh boy, did I feel. My emotions definitely got the best of me while reading The Downside of Love, and I rode the roller coaster of them, sometimes railing at what I was reading, always reeling with them and shocked to my core with how deeply I felt them and how invested in this story I was. I felt every conceivable emotion and then some, and I’m specifically not saying exactly what it was that I felt because that, too, is a spoiler. But suffice it to say that Ms. Quinn definitely intends to run her readers through the veritable wringer with the entire Blue Line Duet, and she did a bang-up job accomplishing that, totally nailing it.

There was so much—so many layers—to this story, and Quinn tackled them all with such skill, developing the entire story so richly and so completely for the reader. I’ll admit that I was absolutely devastated at the end of The Upside of Falling and not fully onboard at the start of The Downside of Love, but let me tell you, I was over that devastation quickly, and I was all in and totally immersed in the story, rooting hard for these characters. I fell so hard for them and this love story, and while it didn’t go as I initially thought it would, it absolutely concluded the way it was meant to be. I finished this story not only sated and happy and fulfilled, but it also left me ravenous for more of these characters and this world because there is more to be told.   (Right, Ms. Quinn?!)

If you don’t ever take a single one of my recommendations, I implore you to consider taking this one. To say that this love story is special is the understatement of the year. Do not miss out on what is undoubtedly one of the great love stories to be published this year. Without hesitation, this duet will be on my list of top favorites for the year—heck, it might even be THE top favorite of the year. I urge those readers who like their love stories angsty, a little difficult and hard-fought to read The Blue Line Duet as soon as humanly possible because this is that one-of-a-kind, not-to-be-missed, must-read romantic saga that you’ve been waiting—hungering—for.

An unforgettable, epic journey to a grand, once-in-a-lifetime, soul-deep love, The Blue Line Duet is a story that every contemporary romance reader needs to read. This is a story that will stay with me for a long time to come, one I will never hesitate to recommend and will probably do so often, and one that I will certainly reread. As with The Upside of Falling, if I could, I would give The Downside of Love by Meghan Quinn more than just the five smooches I’m giving it. This exquisitely gorgeous and memorable story, the impeccable writing and the fabulously talented Meghan Quinn deserve all the stars for what she’s given her readers in the Blue Line Duet.

~Danielle Palumbo

 

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