Back in December, when I did my first ever post of the WDIB? series, I got a few comments saying that youse liked the idea and wanted to see similar posts in the future. So, since I’ve slowly crept back into my reading habits (thank the Lord), I decided to put two of the books that I read up against each other, and find out who truly did it better.
The two books that I’ll be reviewing in this post are After the Rain by Jo Watson and Billy and Me by Giovanna Fletcher.
Both are of the romance genre (my favourite!), and show how two very different people are brought together. The two books are contrasts themselves, After the Rain being set in South Africa whilst Billy and Me in England.
If you wish to purchase any of the books, there will be a link to each book at the end!
After the Rain – 4/5
Some opposites attract;
some rip each other’s clothes off…
I feel like the blurb really captured the reality of the book, through and through. Stormy-Rain and Marcus are COMPLETE polar opposites, Stormy a care-free, hippie that has a thing for chakras whereas Marcus, a clean, polished sort of guy that goes with the more… logical approach to life.
Irrational and rational however, they CERTAINLY share a connection despite their efforts to hate one another. Love eh’?
Billy and Me – 3/5
Sophie May has a secret.
One that she’s successfully kept for years. It’s meant that she’d had to give up her dreams of going to university and travelling the world to stay in her little village, living with her mum and working in the local teashop…
I remember picking up the book and reading the blurb feeling really excited to read it, but looking back I feel somewhat robbed – not of money, but of expectations! I’ll speak more on this matter later…
After the Rain – 4/5
Stormy-Rain and Marcus were true opposites as I already mentioned previously, but what I loved even more about Watson’s capture of the characters was that they didn’t fit into the typical portrayal of ‘opposites attract’ such as the bad boy/ good girl cliche – because we’ve all seen that WAY too many times now.
Stormy’s character gave off many good ‘vibrations’, which helped her to be a likeable character. Of course, parts of her eccentric hippie-culture was ridiculous, but it made her unique and really stand out.
Marcus is such a sweetheart… It wasn’t even his dreamy description that sold it for me. It was his sincere and hearty instincts that really made me like him.
Billy and Me – 3/5
The only character that I really liked was the beloved Molly. She’s such a sweet and kind character, and her tight grandmother-granddaughter-like bond with Sophie was really touching to read.
I think Fletcher did a great job at showcasing Sophie’s fears and insecurities at being thrown into the world of showbiz, after shying away from people for a majority of her life – some chapters quite sad because of people’s unfair treatment towards her, but I felt as though Sophie May, for a character that is supposedly independent and rarely engages in relationships, would be more mature. I mean, she was only with Billy for a matter of weeks before she left her whole life behind for him.
Billy was charming, but considering that he’s an A- listed celebrity, there was nothing about his description that really made him stand out from the regular characters. Also, his naivety during their relationship was frustrating and cringe.
Reality check puh-lease!
As main characters, Sophie May and Billy could’ve been developed further. Fletcher had a good ideas in terms of them, but her actual portrayal REALLY let the story down.
After the Storm – 4/5
Although it’s set over the course of a few days, SO much things happen! It’s a constant cycle of laughs and cries which really made it an enjoyable read.
Stormy-Rain and Marcus’ relationship was written very well and felt real. It showed both their love and hate for one another, start to end, reinforcing the idea that no relationship is perfect. The two were very different people with different beliefs, so if they automatically clicked it’d be silly – and entirely ruin a good idea for the plot.
I loved seeing the characters of Stormy-Rain and Marcus grow, as it gave the story more of a meaning and made the ending that extra bit more memorable.
Billy and Me – 3/5
It was FAR too fast-paced and within chapters, I wanted to slam down on the brakes. Depending on what you like, it may be a good thing how quickly Sophie May and Billy’s relationship escalates, but I appreciate romantic books far more when enough time is given for the characters to get to know one another so that we, as readers, can also learn more about them and decide whether we’re feeling them together – or not. It just made the story unrealistic and didn’t excite me.
Also, it was pointless that Billy had MUCH more intimate moments with girls on set, than the one that he came home to each night. Again, unrealistic.
Going back to what I said I’d continue earlier in the post, the ‘secret’ was another MAJOR let down. As you’re reading the book, you can gather who the secret involves, but when I found out what it actually was I was disappointed. I was expecting something… filthier. Something that’d be a real twist to the tale, and would truly transform Sophie’s life if it ever got exposed.
Hands down, After the Rain did it for me!
I am in no way trying to slate Billy and Me, but after reading both books, it didn’t excite me as much and I truly believe that it could’ve been developed much further.
ATR had that uniqueness, fiery passion and humour that I look for in romance books. Jo Watson – good for you!
Want to make a purchase?
After the Rain by Jo Watson – available for £8.46 from Amazon
Billy and Me by Giovanna Fletcher – available for £6.68 from Amazon
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