When singleton Sarah starts having dreams about an acquaintance from her past, Brett Last, she gets a little respite from her own abysmal love life. Brett is very much the man of her dreams, and there’s no way he could be that perfect in real life, not that she is likely to run into him in reality. Until she does! But can Real Brett live up to Dream Brett?
Giovanna Fletcher really knows how to do chick lit and this latest book is no exception. A great premise is backed up with a great bunch of characters. And the dreams which kick off a number of the chapters have that perfectly authentic blend of bizarreness and normalcy – there’s even a sweet cameo from the author’s husband – and lend the book its USP. Real Brett’s arrival on the scene was a bit too belated for my liking and Sarah’s responses to him were a bit unfathomable as she’s rather cool and distant. Yet it’s charming and endearing throughout, and comforts you like a great big warm hug. (JC)
Maddy, Robert and Ben are three friends who have known each other since childhood. Growing up together, they were affectionately known as 'The Tripod' - were three people that made up one whole; without each other they were nothing. This novel follows them as they go through childhood, adolescence and their early to mid-twenties. Maddy has never fancied either of the boys, they've always just been her friends; she's seen them at their best and at their worst, and has never wanted to be anything more. However, as the three grow up, a whole host of complicated emotions stem from each of them and soon the three of them are trapped in a love triangle; one that is full of emotion and potential heartbreak. What do you do when you have to choose between the two people you love most in the world?
I found that I connected instantly with Maddy; when I was growing up I had a lot more male friends than female friends and have had two best male friends, so I could completely relate to the dynamic between the three main characters. I think this is a really strong point of the novel, so many people will be able to relate to the situation Maddy finds herself in. The story is told from three viewpoints which made for some really lovely insights into the way each character was feeling. I loved getting into Ben's head and seeing how he felt (he was probably my favourite of the two guys) and it was really interesting seeing how each character perceived the others' behaviour in totally different ways. Maddy is the perfect female lead; she is funny, caring, confusing, loveable, just everything a teenage/young female character should be!
The novel takes place in various locations: in Peaswood where the three grow up, at university, in Paris, in London...the list is endless! I loved how smooth the transition from each location was and how accurately and concisely Gi managed to describe them. She has the perfect narrative voice for this genre and writes in such an experienced way that you fall head first into her fictional world. The characters are beautifully formed and develop spectacularly well over the course of the book. I adored this book from the first page to the last - it's a beautifully told story exploring the notion of friendship and first love through three gorgeous characters who will capture your heart. (LL)
A tragedy in Sophie May's childhood has left her rooted to her home in the sleepy Rosefont Hill. Instead of uni, a gap year and having fun with her peers, she lives at home with her mum and works at a tea shop, owned by her best friend, the pensionable Molly. Her life seems to be moving gently along until the arrival of a film crew, who are filming a new adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, and the leading man, Billy Buskin. When Billy starts frequenting the tea shop, the two strike up an attraction and the relationship blossoms with Sophie agreeing to move down to London with Billy where he is due to start a play. In London, Sophie is thrown completely out of her comfort zone but she tries to adapt to Billy's lifestyle and career. When his latest film sees him paired opposite a former girlfriend however, their relationship is tested to the limits.
This is a sweet and charming debut. However, I felt the romance between Billy and Sophie was rushed and therefore that it lacked real intensity or interest and there were other elements of the plot that I felt were underdeveloped. Sophie's secret which is emphasised in the blurb and is hinted at throughout is also not particularly different or overwhelming. However I enjoyed Sophie's journey and also found the sections dealing with loss very moving. (JC)