Review: The Girl from the Paradise Ballroom, Alison Love

This book is an ARC & was received for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are 100% my own.

Review: The Girl from the Paradise Ballroom, Alison LoveThe Girl from the Paradise Ballroom: A Novel Pages: 336
by Alison Love
Published by Broadway Books on April 19th 2016
Find the Author: Twitter, Amazon
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes and Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Genres: World War II, Literature & Fiction, Historical Fiction, Romance

The first meeting between Antonio and Olivia at the Paradise Ballroom is brief, but electric.
Years later, on the dawn of World War II, when struggling Italian singer Antonio meets the wife of his wealthy new patron, he recognizes her instantly: it is Olivia, the captivating dance hostess he once encountered in the seedy Paradise Ballroom. Olivia fears Antonio will betray the secrets of her past, but little by little they are drawn together, outsiders in a glittering world to which they do not belong. At last, with conflict looming across Europe, the attraction between them becomes impossible to resist--but when Italy declares war on England, the impact threatens to separate them forever.
The Girl from the Paradise Ballroom is a story of forbidden love and family loyalties amid the most devastating war in human history.

Book Review

My first love is historical fiction, so getting an ARC of The Girl from the Paradise Ballroom, by Alison Love was cool.

I loved the premise of this book, but I had a hard time getting emotionally involved with the characters. Maybe it’s just me because there are some great reviews out there for this story, so just take my opinion with a grain of salt and then go read it for yourself.

The story stars Antonio and Olivia, two star-crossed lovers of sorts, that chance a meeting at the Paradise Ballroom. Things aren’t simple in love (he’s married with a baby on the way & she just had an abortion), though, so the two go on with their lives.

Now, a lot happens in this story. It takes places over a long stretch of time, and that means there are a lot of players being introduced and POV’s to follow. But because I didn’t connect with any of the characters, I just didn’t care.

I respect the authors time in researching World War II, and I found the historical parts very interesting. Love writes about what Italians underwent during the war and what life was like being ruled by Mussolini. So, those portions were interesting to read.

It hurts to write this review because I wanted to love the book, instead, I found myself bored and disassociated with the characters, and in turn, the story.

In short

I can’t pinpoint what would have changed my mind about The Girl from the Paradise Ballroom. I love the era and historical fiction, so the only thing I can put it down to is preference. It wasn’t the story, per say, but more so the characters in my opinion. I didn’t like them, so their story meant nada to me.

Have you read this book? I’d love to hear what you thought of it, especially if you think I’m wrong!

Take care & be kind☆彡



About Alison Love

AlisonLove LiteraryLaundryList

Alison Love is a novelist and short story writer. Her debut novel, Mallingford, published in the UK and Germany, was described in The Times as ‘the kind of book that reminds one why people still like reading novels’, while her second, Serafina, is set amidst the political intrigues of 13th century Amalfi. Her latest novel, The Girl from the Paradise Ballroom, has appeared in the UK and Germany (as Das Lied, das uns trägt) and will be published in the USA in April 2016. Alison’s short stories have appeared in several magazines and anthologies, and her story Sophie stops the clock was shortlisted for the Bristol Short Story Prize in 2013.

The Rating Breakdown
Overall: three-stars

About Jam

I'm a writer and blogger from Los Angeles. If I'm not writing, then I'm reading. Somewhere in between all those words, I fit in time with my family. I also play around with photography, web design, and have a pretty cool collection of shot glasses. Visit the About page for more!

2 comments on “Review: The Girl from the Paradise Ballroom, Alison Love

  1. Yes, sometimes it happens that way and there’s no connection… I once read a book which was worse. It was a saga about Dublin. In the moment I connected with some characters there was a time-jump and they were old and died and their kids took over. I struggled again to get a connection and then the same happened again…

    Actually I was stepping by to look at your A to Z Challenge posts, but it seems that you’ve decided not to take part?!

    I hope in your next book you’ll connect with the characters again. Happy reading!

    • Thank you for stopping by! I had to forgo the A-Z Challenge this year and I’m still really bummed about it. I wasn’t on time for the beginning and had to rearrange my schedule. Uggghhhh, I really did want to participate… Happy travels! 🙂

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