REVIEW:  Zipper Fall (A Steel City Story) by Kate Pavelle

REVIEW: Zipper Fall (A Steel City Story) by Kate Pavelle

ZipperFall1

Wyatt Gaudens, an advertising executive and adrenaline junkie, has fine-tuned the art of breaking and entering into apartments, misusing his considerable rock climbing skills. Once inside, he steals a pretty, shiny thing or two. When his friend Reyna complains that her jerk of a boss makes her workplace a living hell, he breaks into her boss’s home to get even. More than any other pretty thing, what really catches his eye the most is her boss, Jack.

Working hard to overcome his own lingering problems, investment specialist Jack Azzuri focuses on his second chance at making his business grow. But grief for his sister, Celia, recently killed in a suspicious climbing accident, sabotages his attempt to start over. When he meets Wyatt, he’s strongly attracted even though Wyatt is the last person he should associate with. With Jack’s explosive temper and Wyatt’s adrenaline addiction, the path to a stable relationship will be a tough climb. They might succeed if they can sort out what really matters, as well as learn to take the good with the bad. Wyatt hopes to speed their progress by solving the mystery that’s weighing Jack down: how did Celia really die?

Dear Kate Pavelle,

Unfortunately your book was a frustrating reading experience for me. I bought it specifically because I was in the mood for reading the story about a bad boy, but not so bad that he would be a killer, and a burglar who enters into apartments to steal pretty things sounded perfect.

Things went south very fast for me, though. I understand that Wyatt was supposed to be portrayed as an adrenalin junkie, but there is a fine line between that and overwhelming stupidity. There is no way for me to be convinced that Wyatt could have lasted for years as a successful burglar. When he enters an apartment and finds the owner home asleep, he decides that he is so smitten with the owner’s Greek god looks that he decides to film him, instead of you know, waiting till it is safe and making his escape pronto. Sorry, but no. And he knows that he is smitten within minutes, if not seconds.

When Wyatt continued to behave like an idiot and lost his day job in the most stupid way, any sympathy I had developed for him evaporated and unfortunately never came back.

The growing romance between him and Jack gave me whiplash. It was as if the writer expected me already to know these characters before the book began and did not give them motivations for their behavior that made sense to me. A lot of things were touched upon – dead family members, alive but feuding family members, past love traumas that weren’t really traumas — but nothing was developed in depth and very little made sense to me.

For example, more than halfway through the book we learn that Jack apparently has a controlling personality, and that apparently Wyatt decides he is not happy about that. But what was shown on the page was not strong enough for me to buy into his controlling personality, and more importantly, he does a 180-degree switch very fast. And then, hilariously, Wyatt does his own equally rapid 180-degree switch – one minute he claims he is being controlled and not happy about certain things Jack has done, but then when Jack starts treating him differently (as I said – very fast page space wise), he is unhappy that he is being treated like a “girl”.

I was also extremely confused about Wyatt’s relationship with his family. Based on his monologue, he was supposedly feuding with his father, but his father was right there at the first sign of trouble Wyatt got himself into (that he told his family about). I could have believed that because no matter how much we argue with the family, they will often still come to support us in times of trouble (of course not always). What I was confused about is that the story seemed to go back and forth about how much communication he had with his father and siblings in the first place.

I was also confused about Wyatt’s past love life, in the sense that I did not understand the purpose that the appearance of one of his exes served. I felt like the story kept manufacturing conflict out of thin air, but then failed to really develop it, so the potential for drama just went away. Please do not get me wrong – I was *not* looking for manufactured drama and angst! Earlier in the review I used the word “whiplash” and I think this is the best word to describe how I felt after I finished with this book. The story was pulling me in many different directions and did not properly take me in any of those directions to satisfy me.

I cannot really say anything bad or good about the writing style. It felt competent to me, but as I tried to explain above I was not happy with the story and I really was not that in love with the writing that it transformed the story for me. I cannot even choose the quote to give you a taste – probably reading the sample is the best way to get a feel for it.

Oh have I mentioned that halfway through, the story decided that it wanted to be a mystery as well? The less said about that the better.
Grade: D.

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