Book review time! Today’s discussion is about In a World Without Coffee, the first entry in a new paranormal/time-travel romance series written by Lydia Guleva. This book became available in wide release earlier this year.
Before we go on, please be aware that I received a free copy of this novel from Booksirens in exchange for providing an honest review.
In a World Without Coffee – Doctors Without Boundaries #1 – Lydia Guleva
Goodreads rating: 4.01 stars / 77 ratings / 36 reviews
My overall rating:
Well, that was fun!!
I have to admit that a couple of chapters in, I wasn’t sure where the story was going. This is some weird sci-fi fan-fic version of Outlander and what exactly are we trying to accomplish here? I started to get skeptical and envisioned a world where this became a DNF, but I convinced myself to give it one more chapter.
And I’m glad that I did.
I’m really not sure what it was that finally grabbed me. It could have been the FMC’s sense of humour (which I found very much like my own), or the MMC’s need for companionship and connection (very much like myself), or the FMC’s caffeine addiction (100% me). Whatever it was, I found myself captivated by a story about a woman trying to find a way to help people in a strange world that is completely against her, the friends and family that she makes along the way, and the love story that evolves as Jill and Vin find their places in each other’s lives. The background characters were all equally as charming as the MCs, and the author has built a captivating environment for future stories to be added.
Unfortunately, I can’t give this book all the stars. There were some things that kept it from perfection.
There were some definite pacing issues throughout the book. Things seemed to move quickly — way too quickly to follow, at times. Like, I have to go back and read this chapter again to understand what just happened because we’ve gone from A to D and I can’t find B or C, type of quickly.
And along with that pacing issue, the romantic plot of the story just kinda…..happened. No build-up, no leaning in. There wasn’t even that instalove moment when the MCs realize they’re head-over-heels for each other. It was as if they had always been in love and had always known it. Of course, we’re in love. Can’t believe that we have to express this out loud.
Now, with both of those things said, this is a really short read. Like just over 200 pages short. So I’m sure things needed to be sped up to match the page count. I think ultimately the story would have benefited from another 100 pages, but if those were the two things that were discounted in order to include humour, character development, and world-building, I’m okay with that.
I’ve already grabbed the next entry in the series, and I’m already looking forward to the one after that.