Review: Ninja at First Sight by Penny Reid

Posted 25 November, 2015 in Reviews / 0 Comments

Review: Ninja at First Sight by Penny ReidTitle: Ninja at First Sight
Series: Knitting in the City #4.75
Author: Penny Reid
Genres: Chick Lit, New Adult, Novella, Romantic Comedy
Release Date: November 21, 2015
Amazon (affiliate link) • Goodreads


Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review. Read more

About Ninja at First Sight:

'Ninja at First Sight' is a prequel standalone novella for Knitting in the City book 5, 'Happily Ever Ninja'.

'Ninja at First Sight' is 40k words.

This novalla is the expanded origin story for Greg and Fiona. The first 16k words of this novella are from the short scenes included in 'Scenes from the City', which is no longer for sale.
Related Books: Neanderthal Marries Human, Love Hacked, Scenes from the City, The Hooker & the Hermit, Attraction, Heat, Capture, Truth or Beard, Happily Ever Ninja, The Player and the Pixie, Grin and Beard It


So, this happened last week:

And it was really bad, because it was days until I could actually finish because of work and shiz and stuff and more shiz. I had to avoid the Facebook fan group, not because of spoilers but because of reactions I’d be jealous of.

But that was the cool thing about this novella, and my lack of overall memory: even though I read a portion of it a year ago, it felt like new. Last year’s version was a shorter story. And when someone with a bad memory reads a short story, then over the course of a year reads several hundred books before rereading, it feels hella different. Well, not different, but new again.

Sorry, I’ll try to keep this shorter than the book. I, as a bumbler, tend to have that issue with pretty much all my novella reviews. #sorrynotsorry

Wo-kay now.

Pre-S: I have no idea what genre to call this. Parts were distinctly adult, some were new adult, and some even felt most like YA. So I’m going to say the genre is a romance for anyone with any level or age of adultness in their brain.

We need to set the scene. Did I mention it’s the 90s? So yes, there is a Dr. Dre reference, as there should be. (Although I am more of an East Coast fan for that era. Biggie, son!) It’s also in Iowa, and they go to Manganiello’s!

Now first, let’s talk about Greg. Remember how I created my own character stereotype based on my boyfriend’s old roommate and current best friend – the lovable douchebag? The guy that acts horribly all the time, but knows it and is sufficiently self-deprecating about it to pull it off and come off as endearing anyway? That’s Greg’s spirit animal.

Greg wasn’t really self-deprecating, but he was British, so he can still make almost anything endearing.

Sidebar: Boyfriend and I are currently bingewatching Ray Donovan and a lot of Greg’s jokes remind me of the offensive crap Ray’s dad, Mickey, says. And he does not pull it off like Greg does. I like literally (not figuratively) shudder when he speaks.

Back to business: I mean, look at Hugh Grant. Look at how much we, as a society, have forgiven him for (I’m not just talking about his personal life – some of his movies got very intolerable), and just because he mumbles with an accent? Yup! I’ll just smile and gaze into your eyes – say whatever the hell you want. All good here. 🙂

So that’s Greg.

I also want to kidnap Fern and make her walk around and compliment me. She gives the BEST compliments:

Yes, a Grace Kelly, Coco Chanel. You make everything look purposeful, like high fashion. You’re…” she waved her free hand through the air theatrically, “beautiful, gorgeous, you’ve got panache, infectious…joie de vivre! Sagesse attrait! There is just something about you, something wonderfully magical and ethereal.”


Her compliments reminded me of Miss Celine on Gilmore Girls. I searched forever for a great gif of one of her compliments, but sometime’s life’s not fair. But to her, Rory and Lorelei were Audrey Hepburn and Natalie Wood.

“Natalie Wood! Why, Audrey Hepburn, look! It’s Natalie Wood!” I wouldn’t mind being Natalie Wood.

Now, Fiona.

Fiona was really cute most of the time. I pictured a pixie-ish, Peter Pan type shawtie. But also kind of Tinkerbellish. Combine Peter Pan and Tinkerbell and try not to find everything the result does, adorable. “Turned on virgin” can either be hilarious or insufferable for me personally, but she came out a winner. 😛

I could relate to her a bit. For example, the shyness. I was the same way most of my freshman year. Although at 11:30 on a Friday night, I’d be more likely to be having a one-woman dance party or watching Will & Grace in my room than sleeping. But still, not with everyone else at the parties. Or hanging out with the other people staying in the dorm, for that matter. “Introverts unite! … in our own homes.” 😉

However, sometimes I found her a little judge-y of other girls. It wasn’t what she said/thought that struck me (which I usually agreed with), but more the way she places emphasis during those thoughts. Not just subtly berating them in her mind, but also making sure to set herself apart from them and note the difference between them.

But I’m aware I may be projecting my own experiences being judged and snubbed onto the situation. I also don’t remember her coming off that way to me last year, before said experiences happened, so projecting is so very possible. The language was just really familiar I guess.

Mostly, I really liked that there managed to be a lot of…writing?…without feeling like one of those rushed novellas I hate. I’m not a huge fan of novellas much anymore. Instead of cramming in a ton of major plot points, or even minor plot points, instead you see brief snippets. Random conversations Fiona has in the hallway. A random afternoon memory. And it showed how Fiona had changed without showing Fiona changing over the course of the semester, which probably would have felt rushed in a novella.

About Penny Reid:

SEX! It all started with sex, between my parents. Personally I don’t like thinking about it, but whatever works for you is a-ok with me. No judgment. The sex happened in California and much of my life also occurred in that state until I moved from the land of nuts (almonds), wine, silicon… boobs, and heavy traffic to the southeast US. Like most writers I like to write, but let’s get back to sex. Eventually I married and gave birth to 2 small people-children (boy-6, girl-4 as of this writing).

By day I’m a biomedical researcher with focus on rare diseases. By night I’m a knitter, sewer, lino block carver, fabric printer, soap maker, and general crafter. By the wee hours of the morning or when I’m intoxicated I love to listen to the voices in my head and let them tell me stories. I hope you enjoy their stories.

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