Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Book Review: When Polly Met Olly

By Sara Steven

Polly and Olly were never supposed to meet…

Polly might spend her days searching for eligible matches for her elite list of clients at her New York dating agency, but her own love life is starting to go up in smoke.

Even worse, she can’t stop thinking about the very person she’s meant to be setting her latest client up with… surely it can’t get any worse!

But then Polly bumps into oh-so-handsome Olly, who heads up a rival agency, and realizes that perhaps all really is fair in love and dating war...
(Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)

This was my first venture into a novel that details the inner workings of the matchmaking business, and I found it to be an interesting and unique experience. The way that Polly enlists her clients and finds a match for them, it was eye-opening and even a little shocking at times. That feeling is evident in Polly, as well. She has her own dreams and aspirations, none of which had ever included becoming the middle man for potential couples.

I really liked the dynamics between Polly and Olly. Just the name rhyme itself presents as quirky and cute. He’s a much older man who views life as formulaic, while Polly has always had a “take it as it comes” approach. This could be why she feels she’s been sitting on the sidelines of her own world for so long, and what draws her to Olly. He is steadfast and successful, making his own aspirations come true. Yet, there are a lot of hidden agendas and conflicts of interest that throw a wrench into everything, making her question his motives and what he really wants.

While Polly is trying to help others find love and stumbles and falls into her own love life in the process, I felt her story encompasses more than that. Like so many of us, she’s trying to find her way. Find the career that she can feel passionate about, work on growing more of a backbone when it comes to what she needs and at times, deserves. It’s not an easy road to walk on, and we get to see that growth and development in Polly, which lends into her ability to find the right person who ultimately compliments her, and makes her a better person.

Two relationships worth mentioning in Polly; Polly’s friendship with Gabe, and her working relationship with Derek, her boss at ‘To the Moon and Back’. Gabe is Polly’s roommate, and best friend. He’s her compass, a reflective mirror into her own insecurities. She sees a lot of her own shortcomings in the way he chooses to live his life, and he calls her on it, and in turn they both become a support for the other in living to the fullest. Derek becomes a much-needed confidante, an unexpected one for Polly. He really has her best interest at heart, even when it’s inconvenient for her. It was nice to see and be part of their banter and back-and-forth dialogue, the polar opposite of Olly and the relationship she has with him. While the primary focus is Polly and Olly, and what will eventually happen for them, it’s in the friendships that we learn more about how Polly ticks, making her a likable character, one we want to root for.

Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Zoe May lives in Oxford and writes romantic comedies. Zoe has dreamt of being a novelist since she was a teenager. She spent her twenties living in London, where she worked in journalism and copywriting before writing her debut novel, Perfect Match. Having experienced the London dating scene first hand, Zoe could not resist writing a novel about dating, since it seems to supply endless amounts of weird and wonderful material!

Perfect Match was one of Apple's top-selling books of 2018. It was also shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists' Association's Joan Hessayon Award, with judges describing it as 'a laugh out loud look at love and self-discovery - fresh and very funny'.

As well as writing, Zoe enjoys walking her dog, painting and, of course, reading.

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