Friday, February 21, 2014

Book review: Just a Girl, Standing in Front of a Boy

By Becky Gulc

Lucy-Anne Holmes has written one of my favourite novels from the past couple of years, Unlike a Virgin, so I was so happy to receive her latest novel, Just a Girl, Standing in Front of a Boy, for review. Here is the synopsis:

''My love story may not be the sort you read about in books or see in films . . . Love stories have glorious highs and ghastly lows. But when it comes to my own life, I'd have to say, you can keep your fabulous highs and I'll happily steer clear of the terrible lows.'

After a rocky start in life, Jenny Taylor, 27, star receptionist at the local doctors surgery, has things all worked out thanks to a list of ten daily things she must do to keep the blues at bay. But her life is turned upside down when she meets aspiring musician Joe King. And reliable boyfriend Matt proposes. And then her mum leaves her dad and moves into Jenny's flat determined to 'bond'.

Hilarious, honest and heartbreaking,
Just a Girl, Standing in Front of a Boy is an edgy modern love story that will make you look at your own love story in a whole new way." (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon UK)

Just like in Unlike a Virgin, this novel has a fantastic central character to whom I warmed immediately. Jenny (known as Fanny) is sweet, funny, a good friend, and someone who has been through difficult times. When we meet her, she feels real and someone to whom you can easily relate. I was only a few pages in when I knew it would be one of those books I would be excited about picking up each day.

Although engaged, Jenny's love life is far from straightforward in this novel and there are various twists and turns relating to this that I felt weren't predictable and in that sense were a welcome change to a usual "will they, won't they?" saga. The dilemma of wanting security or holding out, and even whether to believe in spine tingling love (or bit twitcher!) are written so well I felt every emotion with Fanny; when she falls in love you feel like you are falling in love too.

Fanny has some great relationships which are a real strength of the novel. Everyone would benefit from a best friend like Philippa, who helped Fanny through a low period and suggested a daily list of things she should do to try and keep depression at bay, which lends itself to some very sweet and comical moments in the novel. The core group of friends, which includes housemate Al, also go on 'musketeers missions' together whenever any of them face a problem..again there are some very funny moments and I felt like I was part of these missions when reading about them.

Fanny has a difficult relationship with her parents and when her mum comes to stay with her it's not always straightforward, but I loved 'watching' this relationship develop and there were some very emotional moments involved. There's also a bit of a mystery in figuring out exactly how her mum knows the delectable Joe King.

I would highly recommend this book if you want to smile, possibly shed a tear and feel like you're on a pleasant emotional rollercoaster ride.

Thanks to Sphere for the book in exchange for an honest review.

You might also enjoy:

No comments: