Wednesday, April 9, 2014

How to Get a (Love) Life by Rosie Blake

3.5 Star

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...

Kaley - 3.5 Star

How to Get a (Love) Life had all the elements of a great chick lit novel – bright coloured cover, British, seemingly daunting task with a deadline, and lots of dating. Unfortunately, Rosie Blake's novel didn't thrill me as I'd hoped. This wasn't a bad novel but it left me wanting more.

I've probably mentioned it here before but I'll say it again: I'm a big character girl. If I don't click with the main character, I'm likely not going to click with the rest of the novel. This was, I think, my biggest problem with this book. Nicola sort of got on my nerves. I couldn't understand why she wouldn't open herself up to a new relationship (we eventually learn why she's so skittish but it takes a long time for that info to come to light). I was also annoyed by her rigid rules. She lives by a schedule but that's not really living. I'm not judging her for having her set ways, I'm just saying that, in my opinion, Nicola and her personality didn't really work as a chick lit heroine.

I usually love when I don't know who the main character is going to end up with at the end of the novel. In this case, I was actually really surprised when feelings started to develop between Nicola and the eventual leading man. I think she was, too. Which was actually quite nice and a departure from the norm (when you totally have the romance figured out), but also sort of strange. The best way I can describe the way I felt is by comparing this book to the movie The Proposal with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. They don't really appear to fit together as a couple so it's sort of a surprise when they do admit they've fallen for each other. I have no idea if that helped clear things up or not!

Reading as Nicola went on disastrous date after date was probably my favourite part of the novel. She gets into all sorts of awkward situations (one of her dates decides sea kayaking is a good was November) and it was fun to see how she handled herself. I loved the scenes in her carpentry class the most, I think. I loved how she felt so accomplished after making her tray and how she was able to make friends with some of her classmates.

Overall, How to Get a (Love) Life wasn't a winner for me but that doesn't mean that could be the case for everyone else. I heard from multiple people that they loved Rosie Blake's debut novel so she's obviously done something right! Check this one out if you're looking for a light read that will make you smile.

Thank you to Novelicious for our review copy. All opinions are our own.

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