The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata
Publication Date | February 28th, 2016
| Book Review |
I read this book a while ago (shame on me for just getting around to reviewing it,) but I’ll say that at the time I read this book, I was about to jump ship on the romance genre. (Except for my tried and trues, of course.) There seems to be a line that is not clearly drawn for some writers between what sex is and what love is, and I’m supposed to believe that a good banging equals happily ever after. Well, it’s obvious to me that Mariana Zapate is fully aware of this, and damn if this woman doesn’t give good slow burn! I loved everything about this book. Vanessa and Aiden were perfect in the sparring and the way things evolved between them. Even while they weren’t getting along, the progression of this relationship felt so effortless and organic – probably because neither one of them saw it coming. Vanessa was such a fun heroine. She was sassy and honest – someone I would want to be friends with in real life. (Maybe…she does have a propensity to turn to thoughts of murder when things don’t go her way. I sure don’t want to be on the receiving end of that.) She is someone who has worked hard to overcome the obstacles in her life, and this is where she and Aiden really share common ground. Oh, Aiden. Look, not to sound cheesy, but this man is so damn dreamy. He’s a man who gets what he wants not because it’s handed to him, but because he works his ass off for it. I love how purposeful he is in everything he does; I love how he always always always sticks up for Vanessa (except for the dinner roll incident,) especially to her face. When Vanessa talks negative about herself, you can be sure that Aiden is not going to let it slide. But he also never oversteps his bounds – he knows when Vanessa is capable of taking care of herself, and he’s right there being her biggest cheerleader. Honestly, their banter is second to none; it was so much fun to watch, and the way Vanessa had to count to ten (sometimes more than once,) to put up with Aiden had me in stitches. And while it may not have seemed so on the surface, I love how comfortable Aiden was with Vanessa, like she was the only person he could be himself with. And their nicknames for each other…swoon! They were cheesy, but the story behind all of them was adorable.
While the secondary cast was full of assholes from Vanessa and AIden’s past and present, they were well written characters that made me want to throttle them, and since I’m pretty sure that was the author’s intent, she certainly accomplished that! My favorite secondary character was Aiden’s teammate and roommate, Zac. He and Aiden’s relationship may have been an arms length one, but Zac was a good friend to Vanessa, and kudos to the author for never crossing that line of friendship between them. It means I know Zac will be in Vanessa’s life for the long haul, and that tickles me pink.
Now, I am just going to put this out there – the reviewer in me says this book could have been edited down. A good 50 or even 100 pages could tightened this book up, but the reader in me just doesn’t care. I would not give up a single page I got to spend in Vanessa’s head; I loved every moment and really, I probably could have read more and loved it. I think it’s clear, at this point, that I was wild over this story. Vanessa and Aiden had such terrible pasts that I was rooting so hard for them. To see them get everything they didn’t know they wanted made my heart so full, and I know this is a book I’ll return to again and again. (Especially since, at this point, I’ve already listened to it three times.) If you like spending a lot of time with beloved characters and a road that is filled with little gestures along the way leading to a big happily ever after, you’re going to love this book!
| Audiobook Review |
Callie Dalton narrated The Wall of Winnipeg and Me, and she did a fantastic job. She captured the essence of both characters, and she did all the voices wonderfully. You knew exactly who was talking when she started speaking, and I love the way she did the men’s voices. I’m thrilled to see that she has narrated most of Mariana Zapata’s back list, and I cannot wait to explore more from both of them!
| Rating |
| Some Favorite Quotes |
Be. Still. My. Heart. This one may have been my favorite line from Aiden. When you read The Wall of Winnipeg and Me, you’ll get it!
I got you for longer, didn’t I?
You’re a Graves where it matters. I don’t know anybody else who could do what you’ve done. Come out on top of what you have. You can do this. You can do anything, do you understand me? Even if you limp your way through the last sixteen miles, you’re going to finish it because that’s just who you are.