Review: No Judgments by Meg Cabot

noNo Judgments

Author: Meg Cabot
Series: Little Bridge Island, book 1
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (September 24, 2019)
eBook, 384 pages
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Summary
The storm of the century is about to hit Little Bridge Island, Florida—and it’s sending waves crashing through Sabrina “Bree” Beckham’s love life…

When a massive hurricane severs all power and cell service to Little Bridge Island—as well as its connection to the mainland—twenty-five-year-old Bree Beckham isn’t worried . . . at first. She’s already escaped one storm—her emotionally abusive ex—so a hurricane seems like it will be a piece of cake.

But animal-loving Bree does become alarmed when she realizes how many islanders have been cut off from their beloved pets. Now it’s up to her to save as many of Little Bridge’s cats and dogs as she can . . . but to do so, she’s going to need help—help she has no choice but to accept from her boss’s sexy nephew, Drew Hartwell, the Mermaid Café’s most notorious heartbreaker.

But when Bree starts falling for Drew, just as Little Bridge’s power is restored and her penitent ex shows up, she has to ask herself if her island fling was only a result of the stormy weather, or if it could last during clear skies too.

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3_5stars
Rating: 3.5 stars

Review
CW: sexual assault (remembered)

I wanted to like this book so much more than I did. I am trash for a natural disaster romance, and Meg Cabot’s Boy books and Queen of Babble series essentially got me through my New Adult years. Parts of this book are everything I’d hoped for! Bree is great, Drew has some great swoon-worthy moments, and I love that they band together to rescue animals in the wake of a Cat 5 hurricane. And while some of the way Cabot handled Bree’s backstory and fallout was handled really well, some of it was just… not.

The same can be said for the way evacuation and preparation ahead of a major weather disaster is handled – Bree can’t leave town because of an elderly pet who is recovering from surgery and can’t be moved, some of Bree’s neighbors justify staying in town because last time it cost them a lot of money to evacuate when it ended up not being necessary, others use the disaster as an excuse to go to Disney World, while another set have a house party for everyone who didn’t evacuate. So on the one hand while I appreciate the depiction of the decision of whether to evacuate and how elderly pets/people and financial concerns play into that, some of it was also handled in a super cavalier manner that I wasn’t impressed with. I also expected more storm drama, and was let down that the hurricane basically passes in the night with barely a blip. :/ Come on!

15-years-ago-me would have probably just read this book quickly and not delved too far beneath the surface, but older-and-wiser-me (or is it just more-world-weary-me??) is a little less enthusiastic about a book that basically takes several major issues over the past year or so (the increasing disastrous weather events, sexual assault and the #metoo movement…) and then tackles them in a way that can’t quite decide if it’s serious or funny. The characters are fun and funny, but don’t have a lot of depth and while they’re not cardboard cutouts of people they’re sort of … bad clay sculptures of them? … rather than being fully fleshed out, multi-dimensional, REAL people.

This is the first book in the Little Bridge Island series, and since I really disliked the prequel (Bridal Bootcamp) I probably won’t continue reading the series. It was fine for what it was, but I don’t really have an interest in investing any more time into this series.

An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss+ for review. All opinions are unbiased and my own.

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