Review: Love in Lowercase ~ BRC

March has swept into the Houston/Galveston area with rain and eighty-degree weather. Our winter was almost non-existent. Summer will most likely be mosquito-littered and sticky as all get-out. Blech. We will soldier on, reading books by the pool, with iced chai and watermelon… But I’m getting ahead of myself. It’s still March, and this month’s book is Love in Lowercase by Francesc Miralles, evidently an International Bestseller.

0313 Love 110From Amazon:
A romantic comedy for language lovers and fans of The Rosie Project, about a brainy bachelor and the cat that opens his eyes to life’s little pleasures

When Samuel, a lonely linguistics lecturer, wakes up on New Year’s Day, he is convinced that the year ahead will bring nothing more than passive verbs and un-italicized moments—until an unexpected visitor slips into his Barcelona apartment and refuses to leave. The appearance of Mishima, a stray, brindle-furred cat, becomes the catalyst that leads Samuel from the comforts of his favorite books, foreign films, and classical music to places he’s never been (next door) and to people he might never have met (a neighbor with whom he’s never exchanged a word). Even better, the Catalan cat leads him back to the mysterious Gabriela, whom he thought he’d lost long before, and shows him, in this international bestseller for fans of The Rosie Project, The Solitude of Prime Numbers, and The Guest Cat, that sometimes love is hiding in the smallest characters.

Let me start by saying that I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED The Rosie Project. I gushed about it. When I saw this book recommended for fans of TRP, I snatched at the chance to read it. Let me tell you, this book is nothing like The Rosie Project. There are a few similarities: it was written by a male author, and told from the POV of a male professional who is extremely passionate about his work and looking for companionship. That’s pretty much where the similarities end.

I have read a lot of romance novels, and a lot of novels that have included romantic side plots and elements. I would not, however, classify this book as romantic at all–for two simple reasons. The romance plot is almost entirely one-sided. Samuel remembers knowing this woman as a child, and when he happens to see her again, in passing, after thirty years, he suddenly realizes he’s in love with her. He is obsessed with not only finding her again, but professing his love. It’s borderline creepy. Secondly, while a tiny thread of obsession is woven through the storyline, it really takes a backseat to the rest of the novel–there are very few interactions between Samuel and Gabriela. Plus, Samuel gives up on Gabriela multiple times in the book, and is actually tentatively pursuing a different woman. That’s pretty much the definition of not romantic.

Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I can proceed with the rest of the review. Beyond my above complaints, I’m not entirely sure what to make of this book. It almost seems like a collection of the author’s favorite books (with the occasional movie or piece of music thrown in), quoted, paraphrased, and referenced, to make a story.  It’s philosophy with a HEAVY dose of absurd.

I couldn’t relate to almost any of Samuel’s decisions.  Example: He dislikes cats, but at the beginning of the novel, one runs through his door, and when he can’t lure him back out, he decides that he’ll keep him a couple of weeks. [insert eyeroll].  Then there’s the instalove with Gabriela (based on games of hide-and-seek as a six-year-old), and his agreement, when his upstairs neighbor (whom he’s just met) goes into the hospital, to WRITE AN ENTIRE BOOK for him, in order to meet a nonnegotiable deadline.  [There aren’t enough eyerolls in the world.]

To sum up, this book was…interesting, but also tedious.  I’ll admit, it did have somewhat of a happily-ever-after.  By the end, Samuel’s life is much fuller, and there is the promise of a real romance in his future. If you don’t dive into it with any preconceived notions, you might just be okay.


Side note: I wasn’t able to finish last month’s book, The Wild Girl. When things started moving into the truly disturbing, I was unwilling to read any further. I’m disappointed I couldn’t get to the happily-ever-after.


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@Barrie Summy

FCC: I checked this book out from the library, and the Amazon URL above is linked to my Associates account.

Posted in book review club, Uncategorized on 03/02/2016 12:10 am


  1. I’m glad you read a library copy, given how you feel about it. :)

    Since a heavy dose of absurdity doesn’t stop me from reading anything, I might actually give this a try!

    • Alyssa Goodnight

      I could see you liking this, Stacy… This isn’t really my sort of book, but I might have liked it better if it hadn’t been touted as a romantic comedy.

  2. Thanks for the thoughtful review. The book sounds like a mixed bag, esp. for romance readers, but it obviously has appeal for a lot of readers.

    We haven’t had any winter to speak of here in SoCal either. There were days in Feb. where we had 95 degree weather! This is just nuts. I don’t envy you the upcoming summer, but I fear ours won’t be much better. I don’t think I like this global warming. :(

    • Alyssa Goodnight

      This felt a lot more like literary fiction, Linda, which I don’t read much of. But I can definitely see how it might appeal to others. It does make you wonder though, what others consider as elements of a romance. :)

  3. I wonder if this book seems somewhat nonsensical in place because it’s from another culture? Which different expectations and values when it comes to literature? I recently read The Dinner, a Dutch book. I didn’t like one single character in that book, not even a smidgeon. And then I stumbled across an interview with the author who said many N. Americans had pointed out this very thing, but that rooting for characters wasn’t required in the Netherlands. Anyway, just a thought. I hadn’t meant to type an entire essay!!! Thanks for reviewing! Are you okay if I leave Love in Lowercase listed as romantic comedy?

    • Alyssa Goodnight

      Maybe that’s it, Barrie. I can concede the cat situation, but writing an entire book…no. 😉 Definitely leave it as a romantic comedy–evidently some people think it classifies.

  4. Good for you for putting down a bad book. Sometimes I am too hopeful, and read to the BITTER end!
    I really don’t like romantic comedies as books.
    (ツ) from Cottage Country Ontario , ON, Canada!

    • Alyssa Goodnight

      For the longest time, I would finish a book no matter what. But I’ve gotten to where I can’t justify the time. If I’m not enjoying it, I don’t finish anymore. :)

  5. Ugh, thanks for the warning. Your excellent review/analysis shows how misleading an enticing jacket flap can be. I

    • Alyssa Goodnight

      Barrie made a good point, Sarah. Maybe people in other countries would consider this a romantic comedy. (I neglected to mention that the author is from Spain.) But I most definitely wouldn’t.

  6. Whoa. That’s an awful lot of wild leaping, isn’t it? I can’t imagine the circumstances that would prompt me to write SOMEONE ELSE’S BOOK. Sheesh.

    Thanks for the warning.

    • Alyssa Goodnight

      Me either, Ellen! I couldn’t ever get past that one plot point.

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