(Review copy provided for honest review; affiliate links)
Hello! Good to see you again! I’ve been away for a few weeks both finalizing my second novel, now called Deadly Avatar, and jumping deep into the query process. But that’s a post for another time, and I’ll be back with more about that soon.
Today I’m back with a review of the second Veronika Layne book (click here to see my review of the first book), Veronika Layne Has a Nose for News, by Julia Park Tracey. This review won’t contain spoilers for the new book, but will contain a few soft spoilers for the first book, so if you want a virgin reading, go read that book first!
Okay. So. Veronika Layne is an independent, opinionated, environmentally-conscious twenty-something journalist who has recently been merged into a large media conglomerate; in the process she has been knocked down the the bottom of the corporate ladder, relegated to covering the fluffiest of fluff pieces. She wants two things out of life: to report real news, and to bask in the affection of her new boyfriend, Aidan.
Too bad that Aidan is flying off to Columbia University to get a Master’s Degree in journalism, while Veronika is stuck behind in California. Veronika is not the sort of woman to tie her identity to a man, and is horrified to find herself pining over him. She throws herself into her work, and while covering a local city council meeting she stumbles on a celebrity house flipper; he seems to have a disregard for local laws, and Veronika’s nose tells her his motives aren’t pure.
Nose for News is a fun, fast read, with smart writing. Julia Park Tracey explores the agonies of long-distance romance in the age of text messages, IMs, and mysterious Facebook photos with insight, wit, and humor. We can all relate, and want to both smack Veronika (stop checking his FB page obsessively!!) and hug her at the same time, because we know the pain. And while the story would have been an entertaining one just with the mystery and the romantic tension, the book goes a level above by allowing Veronika to grow from what she’s experiencing in a meaningful way. And this time around Veronika gets to work with an intern, Ingrid; Veronika converts her from a designer-label princess to a budding hippie in a funny-bone-tickling subplot.
If you’re looking for a strong female protagonist to spend your evening with, give Veronika a try. Just be prepared for the girlcrush you may develop. Right now the book is free if you have Kindle Unlimited, (so is the first book!) and I believe I've mentioned how much I love free. :)