Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on 5th May 2020
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When Graham Barnett named his diner The Tourist Trap, he meant it as a joke. Now he's stuck slinging reindeer dogs to an endless string of resort visitors who couldn't interest him less. Not even the sweet, enthusiastic tourist in the corner who blushes every time he looks her way…
Two weeks in Alaska isn't just the top item on Zoey Caldwell's bucket list. It's the whole bucket. One look at the mountain town of Moose Springs and she's smitten. But when an act of kindness brings Zoey into Graham's world, she may just find there's more to the man than meets the eye…and more to love in Moose Springs than just the Alaskan wilderness.
‘The Tourist Attraction’ is quirky romcom by Sarah Morganthaler and certainly fits the ‘cute’ label, with a ton of secondary characters adding squiggly (and sometimes unbelievably complicated) lines and flavour to the plot. But that was also where it also unfortunately stalled for me.
After the witty, entertaining start, ‘The Tourist Attraction’ seemed to consist of more fumbling, awkward moments—all calculated to be rom-com funny—but in doing so, compromised on depth and perhaps, emotional entanglement that didn’t go beneath the snappy and cute one-liners. There were interesting bits but bigger and bigger pockets of lull and scenes that didn’t seem to build to anywhere, and if it was wild to begin with, I started increasingly skimming towards the middle and end when Morganthaler simply added on Zoey Caldwell’s bucket list and her increasing ‘bumps’ into Graham Barnett.
Graham wasn’t all I expected, but then, maybe I’d become accustomed to reading about the typical (and fictional) mountain man living in the remote bits of the country. Instead, the odd levity that his character had and his inexplicable attraction to Zoey made him very much a surface protagonist in some ways; I was waiting for the other side of the coin to drop or a tragic revelation in some aspect of his life but it never did. Ditto with Zoey who by and large, created little conflict with her entrance, only that she and Graham didn’t entirely make the world’s most interesting or eye-catching couple that I was solidly for or against.
Essentially, I came off the book slowing asking myself what the point was—admittedly there’s little romantic and familial drama that would appeal to some readers—and couldn’t quite figure it out even after Graham and Zoey finally made out into their sunset…obviously a case of just me.