Tuesday, December 30, 2014
No Ordinary Love by Kenya Wright Review
This is going to be a somewhat difficult review for me. I enjoyed NO ORDINARY LOVE, but something kept me from loving it and I can't quite put my finger on what that is. The story is decently written, however there are some editing hiccups that were small and not overly distracting. Nyomi's and Kenji's characters were mostly fleshed out but there didn't seem to be enough story around them for me.
Nyomi is young, she's only 21 years old, and at 16 wrote a best selling book that exposed her father's dirty dealings and lack of integrity. Her father resents the book that she wrote and they have a very contentious and destructive relationship. However, it's stated that the public and the press turned against her later on after having initially hailed her a successful and bright young author, but I never quite figured out why everything went south with her book. Nyomi's angst stems from her abandonment issues with her father and her stressful relationship with her mother. She is on a mission to prove that her initial success was not a fluke and that she can produce another ground breaking book. Choosing to write a book on the Japanese sex industry takes her to Japan to stay with a friend and ex lover to research this very closed world.
Kenji is a young Yakuza boss who has stepped into the role of leader after loosing half of his family to violence and his father's rapid decline in health. Kenji does have a conscious and as the second son he had a brief stint outside of the dark world built by his father. Kenji finds himself at a crossroads and believes that Nyomi is the key to helping him find his way out of the worst that his world has to offer. Kenji has is own demons to face that stem from his own father and the horrors that he exposed Kenji to at a young age.
I want to have empathy for Nyomi's character because she definitely feels the abandonment by her father deeply and her mother seems to be a weak parent to say the least. She's struggling to find her own identity and become a strong and successful person in her own right. However, there's just something that isn't allowing me to anchor to her like I expected. The lure of the dangerous and unpredictable is what attracts her to Kenji and the story starts off strong, it just lost me along the way as the story went on. There's quite a bit of inner dialogue throughout the story so maybe that was part of what kept me from enjoying the story as much as I would have liked. Things are resolved rather quickly between Nyomi and Kenji so there are no cliffhangers and you do get a complete story. It does need to be mentioned that there is a brief scene of breath play between Nyomi and Kenji as well as disturbing sex practices mentioned that Kenji and Nyomi do not participate in themselves.