The Black Notebook had me feeling very conflicted about how I felt about it while I read it. On one hand I thought it was a cute, funny and sweet story about opposites. However, I did have some issues with Seven that made it hard for me to relate to her. I did enjoy the male lead, Colin Stillman quite a bit, but some things in this book felt a bit forced and a bit unrealistic.
However it is a quick enough read and it is sweet, so I did enjoy myself while reading this and I especially enjoy the last 25-30% of this book.
Seven is keeping secrets, a lot of secrets, so many that she finds herself needing to write them down in order to remember them and free up some space in her mind. Which is probably a good idea, however there’s a few questions that the author never answers that I couldn’t stop wondering about throughout the book; 1. why are people telling Seven their secrets? We’re told she’s good at keeping them, but that doesn’t really tell us how any of this started. 2. If you’re going to be bringing something to school, you should probably be keeping better track of it. I know it’s a plot device, but the execution feels a little too contrived, a little too forced, and so it ends up annoying me.
I also found Sevens views on Colin to be pretty judgmental and largely without any real reasons behind them. Yes he’s a jokster and he doesn’t take everything seriously, but I do feel like Seven is overreacting for what I was expecting from her character as we get further into the book. It’s a little too extreme and it doesn’t fit with what I had seen of Seven up until then and it feels a little too much like it’s done for plot’s sake rather than being something she’d do as a character.
That said, Colin and Sevens interactions when she’s not being overly judgmental and keeping her tunnel vision off is actually very cute and funny. You actually see why and how they’d like each other and why they would work together, which is why it’s such a shame that Sevens reactions to him doesn’t feel like they fit with her character very well.
I understand that it’s to make the plot work, but the execution leaves something to be desired and it unfortunately makes the high points of this novel lessen in its weight for me.
Still, it was an enjoyable enough read and the writing is nice, I just wish the plot was executed a little better.