Be Careful What You Wish left me feeling disconnected from the characters and bored at the obvious plot line.
The story takes off when scientist, Ana Madrigal, is photographed speaking to celebrity, Ken Nakamura, after their luggage is accidentally switched at the airport. Media outlets soon run wild speculating about who the mystery woman is and how she is linked to Japan’s hottest celebrity. Ken’s recent breakup causes his manager to suggest he pretend to be in a relationship with the studious scientist to keep people’s minds off his failed relationship. In every way, Be Careful What You Wish For, follows the fake relationship turned real trope.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy this trope. I love seeing how the couple moves from fake, to unsure if they’re still pretending, to officially in love. But in this story neither character brings anything to the table. Ana starts with the usual “giving the hero attitude so he realizes she’s not like the women who usually fall all over themselves for him.” My issue with that over-used pattern, is that there’s no reason for Ana’s attitude. Ken begins their relationship with kindness and consideration. In fact to ask her to play his girlfriend, Ken himself goes to visit Ana at work and takes her out to lunch to talk. He doesn’t arrogantly send an assistant or swing by in a limo showering her in hundreds, reminding her of her own insignificance. He is simple, direct, and real throughout their interactions. So why the attitude?
As their “relationship” progresses, Ana turns from angry and aggressive to childish. Unfortunately, Ken regresses with her. At every turn Ana reminds him they are in a “pretend relationship” as though they are in middle school. And as Ken grows to realize he loves her, he can’t or won’t convey any of his emotions. They choose instead to make each other jealous or snap at one another making them both seem immature and ridiculous. Add to that the fact that Ken and Ana finally kiss in Chapter 26! Two adults acting like children, dancing around how much they love each other and they haven’t even kissed yet? Excessive.
The worst comes when in a panic Ana tells her parents that she and Ken are engaged. Ken (being in love with Ana) backs up the lie. So now these adult characters are going through with a wedding because Ana is too ridiculous to explain she lied to her parents? For Ken’s part, he loves her but tells her he has his reasons for going along with it. She’ll have to find out those reasons on her own. What?
I was also thrown out of the story by the overuse of Japanese words. Sometimes used with little or no context for me to understand what was being said. Yes, the story takes place in Japan, but the use of Japanese in nearly every sentence made it seem as though the author was shoving the country down my throat. I get it, they are in a country that uses a different language and different expressions. At times it felt as though I was watching a Japanese soap opera. A glossary in the back makes me assume the author thought readers would flip back and forth looking for the meaning then getting back to the story. A great way to kill the flow of a novel and cut the connection to the characters.
Ultimately the story dragged on, the dialogue felt forced and childish, and neither character left me wanting more in the least.
-Reviewed by Michelle