Hands Down by Mariana Zapata Review of a book I so wanted to love but fell short

Synopsis

Before he was Big Texas, he was Zac the Snack Pack.Bianca Brannen knows time—mostly—heals all wounds. Including those your once loved ones might have unintentionally given you. (Those just take longer.)

She thinks she’s ready when a call has her walking back into her old friend’s life. Or at least as prepared as possible to see the starting quarterback in the National Football Organization. Before the lights, the fans, and the millions, he’d been a skinny kid with a heart of gold.

Waltzing out of Zac Travis’s life should be easy. Just as easy as he walked out of hers.

 

Review

 

3 stars

 

I so wanted to love it but ….

 

I am a fan of Mariana Zapata. I loved The Wall, From Lukov with Love and Kulti.

 

This book has all the ingredients of her signature brand:

 

-an athlete here football player Zac (friend of Aiden for those who like me fell in love with the Wall of Winnipeg);

-a courageous, loyal and friendly female character: Bianca alias the Lazy Baker;

-a slow burn (of course or it would not be Mariana);

-friendly side characters to boost the story like CJ, Boogie, Connie etc.

 

So why didn’t it really work for me??

 

Let’s try to find the reasons.

 

Bianca has always been in love with Zac, her cousin’s best friend who took the little girl under his protective wing. Only …something happened and they didn’t see each other for ten years.

Bianca is hurt.

They were best friends and she tried to contact him for two years but Zac never answered.

She guessed his new life as a professional athlete, the girls etc. had him too busy to remember his childhood best friend’s cousin

But when she is forced to come to his rescue at her cousin’s request, he does not recognize her!

Of course, she would be hurt!

But once he realized who she was, he did all he could to cross her path again and again, determined to catch up with lost time

 

This story centers around a misunderstanding and it had Bianca all doubting herself. For years, she’s been insecure and it was hard for her to believe that Zac could be interested in her in any romantic capacity!

Bianca being a vlogger and a baker made her extra relatable to me 😊

But where things turned wrong was that Bianca sort of  …wallowed in her inner thoughts? She was constantly trying not to bother Zac, not to inconvenience Zac, because of course Zac didn’t see her as a lover but as a sister etc. etc.

Some of these inner doubts is great, too much had us going in circle.

 

Zac was a loveable character but I would have loved knowing him better. In his own book here he seemed more like a side character. Lacking some depth. Yet I could see that he was a great and kind guy. He had humor and I loved him somehow. I just wished I could be more in his head or that he would have been more “fleshed out”.

 

What was also hard to believe in was the romance.

The friendship was amazing but Zac constantly calling her “kiddo” made her seem like his little sister rather than a potential love of his life. I know Mariana writes slow romance and I love her for that but still…

 

There was also something stressful that happened to Bianca and we didn’t get to the bottom of the story either

 

Now what was great here?

Well I really liked that Zac having doubts about his career Bianca was there to boost him!

It was obvious that they were perfect for each other and they had a good banter going on! Rather as friends as I mentioned but the banter had me snickering and smiling.

Both had insecurities and that made them real, human.

 

What I also found really endearing was getting a glimpse into my two favorite stories: From Lukov with Love and the Wall! That was like the cherry on top. These cameos had me all warm and fuzzy inside.

 

All in all, I liked it but I didn’t love it. I hope that the next book will make me fall back in mad love with Mariana.

 

Have you read that book? What did you think of it?

 

Thanks for reading.. 

 

Sophie

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15 Replies to “Hands Down by Mariana Zapata Review of a book I so wanted to love but fell short”

  1. OHH And in WAIT FOR IT we have cameos of Vanessa and Aiden too AND a cameo from Kulti and Sal bc Sal and Diana are cousins…Casillas!!

  2. You should read, if you havent, WAIT FOR IT, Diana, Vanessa’s bff, is the protagonist. I REALLY loved this one and there was even a little part that made me cry. And the couple really worked Diana and Dallas

  3. Great and honest review, Sophie!

    1. Thank you Kayla!

  4. thebrowneyedbookworm says: Reply

    This one was such a disappointment for me. Probably my least liked MZ book

  5. Wonderful review, Sophie! I like how you bring us along to a journey to discover the reasons why this didn’t go as well as you’d hoped it would, like a mystery within a review! 😛 But man… kiddo? Sounds like something to turn you off hahahah

  6. I downloaded this one but haven’t read it yet. I must admit, her last couple of books (Luna, Best Thing) were firmly in the “meh” category for me so I really hope that when I read this one I have a different reaction! (But I fear I will not…)

    I adored Zak in Wall of Winnipeg… You have me excited for Lukov and Winnipeg cameos!!

    1. That was the same with these books too for me Nicci!

  7. Oh god kiddo is definitely not it!

  8. Aww, that’s annoying. I know what it’s like when that happens, especially when it’s a book from a fav author too. Sorry this one didn’t work out for you, but I’m sure there will be other reads ou’ll love, Sophie.

    1. Thank you Alexandra!

  9. on no and I was looking forward to reading this one. I just love her work so much. Those misunderstandings can be a deal breaker for me though at times.

    1. Well Renee maybe you’ll love it better than I did!

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