Yep, we’re still on that summer romance hype! Worry not, I’m currently reading some non-fiction stuff which should be ready in the coming weeks for me to review! Bare with 🙂
I need to start with how I found this book. You see, there’s a popular band in the UK called McFly, and at a concert in my teens, I looked up and saw the significant others in a box to the side of the stage. One woman in said box stood out a little bit, in a dainty floral dress and a bit kitsch to be honest. A quick google told me this lady was Giovanna Fletcher, the wife of Tom Fletcher, who has a book out next week?!?! Oh my goodness must purchase that I thought. I admit it’s a bit of a weird way to get into a book review, but what I’m trying to say is that I went into this with no expectations.
The story centres around our girl next door, Sophie. She’s content with her small town life in the English countryside, working at the local cafe. Without trying to sound rude, she’s extremely unremarkable, but in a lovely way. We get the usual mother and best friend/colleague relationships that are expanded upon quickly before the plot really gets going. It’s actually pretty accurate of a small town to be honest! At least there’s no glaring stereotypes that are incorrect (note: I’m agreeing that the stereotype about the elderly in coffee shops being nosey is completely true)!
Now in walks Billy, the film star who’s temporarily come to town to film a new version of Pride and Prejudice. In the novel, he says he wants to get away from “the teen flicks that made him famous”….. it might be a tiny bit on the nose there Giovanna, but we’ll roll with it! You can’t help but think there’s some experiences in here that are semi-autobiographical; but it actually adds to the realism a bit.
As you can imagine, it panders through an awards show, multiple encounters with high fashion and the insecurities at being surrounded by subjectively beautiful women in the film industry. It’s a reflection of insecurity, and honestly just from the description of the events and knowing the differences between their worlds you can easily see why. It pays off in a big way, and the warm fuzzy feeling you get finishing this book off is one of the best of all.
I’m also not ashamed to say that I cried during this book. You’ll know when you get there, but because I read this when I was around 17, it was probably one of the first times a book affected me this much. Probably why I hold what essentially is a piece of chick-lit in such high regard.
At it’s core, the book centres around the theme of knowing your own worth and knowing yourself. As RuPaul correctly says “If you can’t love yourself how the hell you gonna love somebody else?”… Alas, Sophie or Billy don’t strike me as people who watch Drag Race on the regular…. By the end of the novel, you really do feel like Sophie and Billy are a little bit more at peace with themselves, and that’s the winning message from the novel. Sure, great they got together at the end (spoiler); but through each other they can be a lot more relaxed and themselves. It’s a lovely, heartwarming sort of thing to read.
To conclude, having gone in with no expectations, it far exceeded them. It a sickly sweet love story that will put a big smile on your face for just a few pennies. There’s also a second book in the series, but I’m not going to re-read that yet for the purposes of the reviewing, but watch this space!