Joint Review: Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid

Posted May 2, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 5 Comments

Joint Review: Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny ReidReviewer: Holly & Rowena
Neanderthal Seeks Human (Knitting in the City, #1) by Penny Reid
Series: Knitting in the City #1
Also in this series: Neanderthal Seeks Human
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: March 14, 2013
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 403
Add It: Goodreads
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Series Rating: four-stars

There are three things you need to know about Janie Morris: 1) She is incapable of engaging in a conversation without volunteering TMTI (Too Much Trivial Information), especially when she is unnerved, 2) No one unnerves her more than Quinn Sullivan, and 3) She doesn't know how to knit.

After losing her boyfriend, apartment, and job in the same day, Janie Morris can't help wondering what new torment fate has in store. To her utter mortification, Quinn Sullivan- aka Sir McHotpants- witnesses it all then keeps turning up like a pair of shoes you lust after but can't afford. The last thing she expects is for Quinn- the focus of her slightly, albeit harmless, stalkerish tendencies- to make her an offer she can't refuse.

Holly: Rowena and I have both been hearing a lot about Penny Reid, so we chose Neanderthal Seeks Human, book one in the Knitting in the City series, for our April joint review book.

I read it before Rowena did and I have to tell you, the heroine annoyed me. She was written as an extremely intelligent, but oblivious individual. Mostly she came off as lacking in common sense.

What did you think?

Rowena: I agree about the heroine. It took me a long time to read this book because I kept stepping away because I couldn’t believe how dumb the heroine came off. She was too smart to be so dumb about a lot of the things that went on. Like when Quinn kept telling her that the company was his company and she kept not understanding what he meant? There were too many instances where this happened and I wasn’t a fan of that.

Holly: I could have understood if she missed a few cues here and there, or even if she was oblivious until someone spelled things out for her, but that just wasn’t the case. Even when things were spelled out she completely missed them. She was completely lacking in common sense. It was frustrating.

Rowena: Yeah, I agree with Janie. I don’t think the way that she was written really pulled off her personality. It just didn’t work for me. I really liked the random trivia that she threw out. That was probably my favorite part with her.

I didn’t mind the random trivia facts that she threw out when she was nervous. I actually liked that stuff but the lacking of common sense for someone so smart didn’t work for me.

Holly: I thought the random trivia facts were hilarious, and I loved how she just babbled when she was nervous. But man, I couldn’t get past how dumb she could be.

Rowena: Then there was Quinn. He was great and I would have liked him more if he was more upfront about every little thing with Janie. He had too many secrets for my liking.

Holly: I really liked Quinn, but you’re right, it would have been nice if he’d been more upfront with Janie. It was obvious he knew she was oblivious to most things. He should have spelled things out.

Rowena: Yes, he knew that she didn’t understand that the company belonged to him and he kept letting her think what she wanted to think but also, he knew a lot of things about her and about those around her and he didn’t tell her and for what? He didn’t owe anyone but Janie anything so why keep her in the dark about things that affected her personally? He could have saved himself a lot of trouble if he was upfront with her about everything.

Those little things kept taking me right out of the story and I kept needing to walk away from the story for a bit because I could not deal with all of the unnecessary shenanigans.

Holly: Right, that’s what I mean. He knew she didn’t understand what was going on with him, his company, her sister, etc. Yet he chose not to tell her, to keep her in the dark. I didn’t like that. He should have let her know what was going on.

Rowena: But how great was that knitting group?

Holly: That knitting group was amazing. The scene toward the end with them? Oh man, I about died laughing. I want to read more of this series just for them.

Rowena: The way that the knitting group came together to fight the bad guys had me bent over at the waist laughing. They truly saved this book from a lower grade because even though they weren’t front and center in the story, they were still a big part of it and their part had me laughing a lot. These are the kinds of friends that a woman needs in her life.

Holly: While there were some enjoyable parts – most notably the knitting group and their shenanigans – I didn’t love this book the way I expected to. It came highly recommended from so many, I thought I’d love it. I loved the knitting group enough to try another book in the series, but Janie really killed this book for me. I’m giving it a 2.75 out of 5.

Rowena: Yep, I pretty much have the same thoughts. There was potential but overall, most of the comedy stuff missed its mark with me though I will not permanently say no to any of the other books in this series. I really do need to get to know the other ladies in the knitting group, especially Sandra. She sounds like a riot and I’m all for reading her book.

I’d give this one the same grade, 2.75 out of 5.

Final Rating

Holly: 2.75 out of 5
Rowena: 2.75 out of 5

Knitting in the City

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5 responses to “Joint Review: Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid

  1. CelineB

    I always felt like Janie was on the autism spectrum, but not diagnosed, which could easily be why she didn’t pick up on emotional cues. Also having a super high IQ and lacking what a lot of people would call common sense is actually pretty common. I’m objectively a very smart person, high IQ, was in the gifted program, easily got good grades without really trying, can spout a lot of random trivia facts like Janie and I often do a lot of dumb things or miss things that in retrospect are super obvious. Tina Fey actually had a story in Bossypants where she recounts doing something stupid and says something like she was in the gifted program, but she’d never qualify for the common sense program. Speaking to other friends who were also in the gifted program, this is a common feeling. So I both understand Janie and your disbelief that she could be simultaneously smart and dumb since people often have that reaction to me.

    I would definitely say to not give up on Penny Reid though! Maybe skip the second book in the series though. I remember liking it okay, but it seems to be one a lot of people dislike.

    • A friend of ours recently said the same thing – she figured the heroine registered on the spectrum and made allowances. Another friend suggested Janie was very much like Sheldon from Big Bang Theory. Looking at it that way a lot of what Janie did made more sense. Still, the level of obliviousness was too high for me to buy fully into it, even looking at it from a different perspective.

      Thanks for the tip about the second book. I’ll probably skip it and go straight to the 3rd.

  2. Sharlene Wegner

    I read this book recently, too. I had read Beauty and the Mustache, which I recommend, but I wanted to go back & read the knitting books in order. I have to say, I also did not love Janie, and agree that she was on the spectrum. Whatever you do, don’t read the follow up, Neanderthal Marries Human. She got even more annoying and I couldn’t even finish the book. I may just read the Winston Brothers and let the rest of the knitting books lie.

  3. Sharlene Wegner

    Oh, also I read the Hooker and the Hermit by Penny Reid and L.H. Cosway and liked that heroine even less than Janie, if you can believe it. I DNF’d the book.

  4. Monica Perrine

    I loved Janie–perhaps because she reminds me of ME! Oh, I’m not as clueless but am very unobservant. (And I’m smart but I hate to brag so please put this down to a fact to support my case not showing off). I found the combination in Janie lots of fun. Yes, brilliant but she truly cannot take care of herself so someone has to and I didn’t find that sexist.

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