Unpopular Opinion Alert: Review of Sparrow by LJ Shen

Sparrow by LJ Shen- 2 Stars

The premise of the book is a mob boss’s son marrying the town tomboy. He is kind of forced by his father to do so, but we aren’t told why exactly until the end of the book.

What didn’t work for me:

1.The hero was an a-s-s-h-o-l-e. Don’t get me wrong, I love an asshole with a heart of gold, but this guy did not have one endearing quality. He spends about 70% of the book lying, cheating, and every somewhat decent remark that comes out of his mouth is later taken back when he talks about it in his POV. He basically admits every compliment he gives the heroine is a blatant lie to shut her up. So by the time he DID change his tune and started to fall for the heroine, it just wasn’t believable to me. The author took too long to show any redeeming qualities of his in my opinion and it made liking him hard. I didn’t care or swoon or lust for him when he finally started to show some decent behavior.


2.The heroine was so indecisive and so all over the place with her feelings, it became quite annoying to keep up with. One minute she hates the hero, one minute she wants to ride his face, the next she’s utterly obsessed, only to go back to wanting to stab him.


3.The book had the classic “telling not showing” thing I really really really don’t like in books. Obviously the MCs are going to wind up falling for each other, and I think the author was going for a slow build with this, BUT, once again I didn’t believe it when they finally did. And I think this was mainly because the MCs spend a good portion of the book talking about how they’re falling for the other via inner monologues but we don’t get to actually SEE this happening. So all their talk about becoming obsessed with the other just didn’t work. I’d rather read about the situations/dialogue depicting them falling in love rather than being told that is what’s happening. (I am not even going to get into the heroine’s unrealistic though whiney acceptance of her forced marriage.)

4.The book lagged too much for me. It started strong, bored me from about 15-70%, and then slightly picked up again.

5. Slight Spoiler – The heroine is a virgin. By the time they finally had sex it was extremely anti-climactic. She talked a lot about how she couldn’t wait to have sex, and decides to finally have sex with the hero AFTER HE HAS SEX WITH HIS MISTRESS, and then it just kind of…happened. I was expecting and hoping for this scene to be amazing, but sadly for me it was not.

Overall, this book had potential but it fell flat for me. I think a lot of it came down to personal preference so others may enjoy this a lot more than I did. I kind of forced myself to finish even though I never do this and usually just DNF. The main reason I picked it up was because of the whole mob aspect. I have been looking for amazing mob books that are even remotely as good as JM Darhower’s but have yet to find any =/ * and the search continues *

*ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review

3 thoughts on “Unpopular Opinion Alert: Review of Sparrow by LJ Shen

  1. Stacey is Sassy says:

    Yeah, I had a feeling that what you didn’t like would drive me CRAZY!! It’s not even the cheating, it’s more the deception and manipulation that I have a problem with. Great review my lovely 🙂


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