Tuesday 4 February 2014

Review: How to Get A (Love) Life by Rosie Blake

Some people book last-minute holidays, walk barefoot in the grass or party on a week night. Not Nicola Brown. Nicola is the kind of girl who double-locks the front door, leaves the plastic covering on new furniture, sticks to a super-strict diet and definitely, absolutely Does Not Date.

Her colleague Caroline – loopy, warm and exasperated by her, knows that Nicola's reluctance to lose control means she's living only half a life. And so she lays down the gauntlet: Nicola must cast aside her hang ups and go on as many dates as it takes to find true love in time for Valentine's Day.

The pick of local men is, quite frankly, a bit rubbish. And there are only three months until February 14th. Surely it's an impossible task? But, as Nicola is about to find out on her dodgy dates, letting go isn't quite as scary as she imagined. In fact, it's rather a lot of fun...

Review: I was very lucky to get a review copy of this fabulous debut novel and I was extreme,y excited to read it. This is just the kind of book you need to banish those Winter blues. It's funny and light-hearted and has that all important chick-lit formula. I loved the concept behind the story-the idea that Nicola has to find a date before valentines day, a challenge if you will. We've all been in the position of need edging a date for a certain event or time in our life and it made it all the more fast-paced that Nicola had that deadline. 

The structure of the book is great and definitely makes for some page turning. Each chapter is introduced with a personal ad, all of which link to the events of the previous chapter. These all end with a different box number so I'm not sure if these are inspired by real life,or just the fictional events in the story, it made each chapter start with a chuckle though... It's also wonderful because Nicola goes on all these disaster out dates. Again people will identify with these dates because we've all been set up with someone entirely unsuitable or ended up meeting someone from an Internet date and them turning out to be not quite who we thought they were...

I really liked he main character of Nicola. She began the book a little weak, overruled all the time by her brother and her workmates but she really came into her own as the book went on. I really liked her relationship with her boss, James and her attitude to all these failed dates. There is a storyline which involves her starting a carpentry class and describes her achievement when she actually made something, I think that this was a real turning point for her in the novel and I really respected her from that point on. 

This book definitely has a happy ending, for all the characters. The date that Nicola does end up with is the one I was rooting for all along, and I'm sure many readers will feel the same. Some parts were definitely a little predictable, but that's what made the book more enjoyable for me, I knew what I was getting and I was happy with that. If you're looking for something light and funny and very much against the slushiness of valentines day then this is definitely one for you. Fans of other chick-lit writers will definitely find something special here and it's a lovely quick read that will keep you entertained this valentines day! 

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