Book Review:   To Get to the Other Side, by Kelly Ohlert

Image belongs to Alcove Press.

Title To Get to the Other Side     
Author:  Kelly Ohlert
Genre:  Fiction  
Rating:  3 out of 5

Trixie isn’t exactly sure what she was thinking when she stopped her car in the middle of downtown Chicago, scooped up a chicken struggling to cross the road, and drove off… but she does know that she has to find a new home for herself and her new feathered friend. The landlord at her apartment doesn’t allow pets and has caught Trixie in one too many pet-smuggling attempts in the past.

Bear likes his quiet life with his close-knit family, who own a flower business, but he’s in for a rude awakening when his meddlesome sisters post an ad to rent the spare room in his simple home, without asking his permission. Still, when Trixie responds to the ad, he agrees to let her move in, despite immediate worries about keeping things platonic.

Determined to keep her new room, befriend Bear, and give her rescue chicken the care she deserves, Trixie fights to keep her walls up and resist her romantic feelings for Bear. However, it’s not long before the pair’s proximity and chicken parenting ignite flames that have Trixie and Bear testing the boundaries of their platonic ground rules. They have to figure out how to save a family business, pay for mounting vet bills, and navigate their own emotional baggage if they want to find the love that they all deserve.

The premise of this sounded really cute, I mean, a rescue chicken? Definitely some humor in there. But, these characters felt like caricatures:  with some overexaggerated features (Trixie’s unexplained “quirkiness”, Bear’s fear of his bad-guy father) but only surface level personalities. They felt like paper cutouts that the author had thrown darts at a dart board to pick out their character traits, without bothering to do the work to make them real. This made the entire story fall flat, and made me almost stop reading.

Kelly Ohlert lives in Michigan. To Get to the Other Side is her debut novel.

(Galley courtesy of Alcove Press in exchange for an honest review.)


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