I reread one of my favourite books. At first, I was nervous because I have reread past favourites and been disappointed. How could a book I love so much a few years ago be so blah now? Luckily, that was not the case with Reluctantly Charmed by Ellie O’Neill.
Title: Reluctantly Charmed
Author: Ellie O’Neill
Genre: Chick Lit – Fantasy – Romance
Age Classification: Adult
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia
Release: October 1, 2014
First, let me tell you why this book is a favourite of mine.
2. Irish folklore
3. Quirky MC
4. Red hair (which I am 100% jealous of)
5. A weird ending
I have always loved fairies but they are not often included in the more ‘grown-up’ stories, which is why I was happy to find this book. I also really liked the idea of the Irish folklore being a way to include fairies in a book that was not primarily a fantasy. I have always wanted to go to Ireland, but now I have a desire to learn more about Irish fairy folklore and I think it would be wonderful to do so in Ireland. Anyone want to shout me a holiday?
I am also a fan of Kate McDaid. Sure she can be annoying in the typical ‘there is no way that is possible even though it so obvious it may as well be smacking me in the face’ type of way, but if you ignore that she is just a quirky girl in her mid-twenties trying to make something of herself. She also has red hair and I love red hair. I just think red hair is amazing and sometimes wish I had raid hair, but I suppose I am happy enough with my brunette curls.
Her parents were also fabulous in that embarring way. They were just out to have fun and pretend to be celebrities while their moment lasted. I am a somewhat private person in that I don’t want people knowing EVERYTHING I do – not to mention I would probably be very boring to watch – but if I were in their position I may have done the same thing. Why not take the media’s money in exchange for talking on a television program or radio show?
One thing that sort of annoyed me was the obsession with Jim. It was not a huge focus of the story and I can see how he was somewhat necessary, but gosh he was a twat. Then there are Kate’s friends who I cannot remember the names of without referring to the book because they are annoyingly forgettable. By the way, I checked, their names are Lily and Fiona. I feel so horrible saying this, but Kate’s workmates Mathew, Marjorie and Colin are more memorable than her friends. Kate’s main client at the advertising company she works for is more memorable than her friends. I even remember one of the weird fans, Simon, more than her friends. To make that even worse, one her friends (Fiona, again I had to check) ends up in a relationship with him! Sure, a modern girl is expected to have friends, but they were so blah in the story that when they popped up I had no idea who they were. Oh, friends, yeah, that’s right, she had some… And they’re gone again. Okay, fairy time!
Then there is Hugh. I could tell from the moment he entered the story he would be a main side story character and it is pretty clear what his role is and his placement is a little too convenient. However, I actually found him to be a nice addition to the story for the most part. I feel he was predictable but in some ways I wanted him to be. His dog Setanta made me love him, that and because he was some weird, out of place country guy in Dublin. Maybe I am a little too much of a country girl but a nice pair of jeans and a shirt gets my heart racing more than a suit and tie ever will. Maybe that is why I appreciated his character and involvement in the story. The book is all about getting in touch with yourself and nature so of course, a country man is going to fit in better than a city boy.
Right, let’s move on to the actual story. I felt like I learned something. Sure, it may all be fictional, but a lot of it felt real and it felt educational. It was like a peek into a somewhat plausible mystical world that is only a thin veil away from us. It was also nice that the steps from the fairies were a mystery, little clues hidden in each one. Nothing the about the fairies was what it seemed to be and it was not until the last few chapters that the story took a slightly unexpected turn. I say slightly because there would need to be a book two if it went any other way, in my opinion. To be honest though, even with the ending we get here, I could see room for a follow-up, but this is one time that I will accept the stand alone just to ensure the fate of the characters and this story is not completely ruined by trying to push it too far.
The final chapter that takes place twelve months after the main story made me laugh. It is difficult to describe without major spoilers which sucks because I feel like these things made me love the book even more than I already did. Alright, let’s give spoiler free a go. I like that is was a happy ending, because I wanted Kate to have one, and I also like that it was not a perfect ending. Basically, the ending is positive but nothing like the typical fairy tale ending of perfection in every possible way.
Star Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
This baby got a Goodreads score of 5 out of 5 from me and I will tell you why. Does this book have faults? Yes. Is this book for everyone? No. But I loved it. You know how they say you are truly in love if you still love that person after you have seen all their bad traits and flaws? Well, I must love this book because I still love it years later after realising its faults. That is why I gave it a 5. For the average reader, I think it might rate a 3.5-4, but that all depends on personal taste and what faults you can look past if you love the story.
Over to you my friends!
Have you read Reluctantly Charmed by Ellie O’Neill?
Are you interested in the Irish folklore about fairies?
Do you have any recommendations of books similar to this?
Comment below or send me a message on one of my other media platforms. I would love to know!
Until next time bibliophiles!