Thank you to Berkley Publishing Group and NetGalley for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Trigger Warning: This novel and review discuss the following: LGBTQ, religion, discrimination, relationships, illness, death, grief, depression, suicide.
Goodreads Rating: 3 Stars
This is the second Kimmery Martin I’ve read, and her second publication. As a Kentucky transplant, I’m all about supporting the local authors- so even though I wasn’t completely enamored with The Queen of Hearts, I jumped on the opportunity to read Martin’s follow up, The Antidote to Everything.
In her second novel, Martin introduces Dr. Georgia Brown, a spitfire urologist who made plans with her best friend and fellow doctor, Dr. Jonah Tsukada, to visit Amsterdam for a medical conference. Just as they were planning to leave, Jonah is under fire by the hospital admins. Discriminating (legally in the state of North Carolina) against the LGBTQ community, which Jonah is both a part of and also a primary physician for, the hospital begins to tell the LGBTQ patients that they are no longer welcome to the clinic, nor will Dr. Tsukada be able to see them anymore. This sets off a whole series of events that leave Georgia fighting for Jonah’s job, life, and patients.
Although I think that Martin’s second novel was a tighter, more cohesive and entertaining read than her debut, I was still struggling with certain aspects of her writing that, at this point, seem to be her style. One of those aspects is Martin’s emphasis on her personal Kentucky background. I love when authors bring a piece of their lives to their writing, but to me, Martin almost forces it upon her characters and therefore onto her readership. For example, Georgia’s admiration of a good bourbon and her time in residency in Louisville- if Martin had mentioned it once or twice without much ado, I would have been able to accept it more readily as part of Georgia, but Martin mentions bourbon fifteen times (I counted) throughout the entirety of the book. Additionally, she inserts references back to her last novel, which aren’t all that necessary for the plot. As the reader, it just distracts from falling into the world she’s building, because I keep being pulled back to the author, and her intentions for mentioning these things.
Aside from that, I also really wished that Martin had focused her novel on just Georgia and Jonah. I loved their chemistry together, and though I’m a sucker for a romantic subplot, I felt that Georgia and Mark’s relationship distracted from the main plot of Georgia and Jonah’s relationship. Speaking of distractions, there was some word and phrase choices that felt a little to forced or stereotypical which led to some predictability in the plot. Also, I yet again wanted more character depth, and more of the grit that makes medical dramas so captivating and thrilling. Martin’s own medical background should make this easy!
Okay, okay, so it feels like I’m tearing this book and it’s author apart, but I do want to say that I yet again enjoyed Martin’s overall work- her pacing is good, the plot kept me guessing, and I wanted to know what would happen at the end. Oh and the humor!! What I’m trying to say is, THIS IS NOT A BAD BOOK, and MARTIN IS A GOOD AUTHOR. I just had higher expectations, and was bummed that it wasn’t the knockout I had hoped for.
With that in mind, Martin mentions that a character from this book might be getting a spotlight in her next novel, so I’m really hoping I can finally give this Kentucky author the 5 stars I so desperately want to give her, in her third book!
Expected Publication Date: February 18, 2020
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
TL/DR: The Antidote for Everything by Kimmery Martin is a medical drama about a woman named Georgia, who must help clear her best friend’s reputation after accusations fly in their conservative hospital.
Read it? Yes.
Recommend it? For those who love modern women’s fiction, romance, and medical dramas- yes.
Buy it? I would buy this book for two reasons- to support local authors, and because I love Martin’s book covers. Otherwise, I would borrow a copy of this book.
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