BOOK REVIEW: Luna and the Lie by Mariana ZapataLuna and the Lie by Mariana Zapata
Purchase on: Amazon
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Synopsis:

The problem with secrets is that they’re too easy to keep collecting.

Luna Allen has done some things she would rather no one ever know about. She also knows that, if she could go back in time, she wouldn’t change a single thing.

With three sisters she loves, a job she (mostly) adores, and a family built up of friends she’s made over the years, Luna figures everything has worked out the way it was supposed to.

But when one of those secrets involves the man who signs her paycheck, she can’t find it in her to regret it. Despite the fact that he’s not the friendliest man in the world. Or the most patient.

Sometimes there are things you’re better off keeping to yourself.

Looking back on it though, there had been no way for me to know then how much Lucas Ripley would haunt me in the future. I’d had no idea as I had walked into that room to introduce myself what he would end up owing me.

Alright y’all, I have a lot of thoughts on this. In a happy holiday surprise, we were gifted a new Mariana Zapata novel. Of course I was elated to get started and dive back into another one of her novels. I LOVED the other two of hers I have read (“The Wall of Winnipeg and Me” and “From Lukov With Love”), and even though this one was diverting away from the sports theme, I was still ready to fall deep.

Let me preface this whole review by stating this was a solid four-star review. I generally really enjoyed the first 80%. It’s the final 20% where I started to have some issues, but we’ll get there.

First, let’s talk about the main characters. Luna Allen, our main girl of the story, is working in a car repair shop in Houston. She is good at her job, loved by her co-workers and has a special father-figure in Mr. Cooper, who gave her the job when she was just 17 and new to the city. Mr. Cooper is a lovely character and I enjoyed every interaction he had with Luna the entire book. It was so sweet and pure, and the love these two had went so deep. He and his wife were there for her (and her sisters) when she didn’t have anyone else. As you learn, her family life back in San Antonio was incredibly terrible and left Luna with a lot of scars.

The heart is more resilient than anyone ever gave it credit for, and I liked to think mine was a bad bish.

And then there’s Rip. The new, second boss at the Luna’s work. He’s prickly and standoffish, but Luna goes out of her way to be nice to him. I bet you can see where this is going…

As the story continues, Luna and Rip get to know each other much better. Rip is there to help Luna when she’s at her most vulnerable and they both begin to open up to each other and learn about their dark pasts.

And more tears just came right out of my eyes with each thing said into my ear, spilling over my fingers and wrists, down my arms as I stood there, letting my boss, a man who barely talked to me on a good day, hug me and tell me I wasn’t a sad, pathetic person who deserved to feel so small.

Coming in at 580 pages, and well, being a Mariana Zapata book, you generally know how this is going to go. It’s a slow-burn, in every sense of the phrase, and things move forward and backward as these two figure out what they are feeling and reconcile it with everything else in their lives. And even with such a large page count, I never felt like it was dragging or found myself getting bored. I enjoy the slow pace, as that to me is incredibly realistic and thoughtful. I love the small moments that are sprinkled in their daily lives as much as the grand giant moments that pop up when the time is right.

”You kill me, girl,” he murmured in the roughest voice I’d ever heard. “I swear to God, you’re a fucking puzzle I thought was all in the box, but every damn day I find a piece or two hidden all over the place.”

So if you’re still with me, you’re probably wondering, well if you liked it so much Cassie, what went wrong?

First, while I know this was a romance and not a mystery thriller, if you’re even paying the smallest of attention, you will generally figure out the “reveals” near the end. Like, it was incredibly obvious. Not really a big deal, but to sit through 500 pages of Luna not figuring it out, when I feel it’s been made clear in the first 100, was a tad annoying. I would have loved to see a bit more creativity here if the “lie” was going to be kept like a big secret for so long.

But the biggest problem I had was with Rip and his actions near the end. Let me just say, so I’m very clear, I have no problem at all with characters who are jealous over their love interests. It’s realistic and I think it can definitely add some needed drama or tension into the story. However, I find some of Rip’s jealousy and actions due to this jealousy to be a problem and honestly, a very unhealthy way of showing his dedication to Luna.

I’m about to get specific, so click for spoilers:

View Spoiler »

If you are still with me, thank you so much for reading all of this! I don’t normally write such lengthy reviews, but I just had a lot of thoughts and feelings on this one. (*insert Mean Girls feelings gif here*)

Overall, it was another good book from Zapata. I don’t think she’s capable of writing a bad book, even if I haven’t gotten to some of her older novels. However, for reasons mentioned above, I hope you’ll understand why I felt this missed the mark. I truly hope her next book keeps all of the wonderful things she does, but avoids some of the negative behaviors and actions I truly found problematic.

“You gave me these pieces of you I know you haven’t given to anybody else, and they’re mine. You can’t take ‘em back. I need them more than you do, you hear me?”

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