Saturday, 22 March 2014

Bargain Read: How to Get a Love Life - 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...

I briefly mentioned Rosie Blake's How to Get a (Love) Life in my Bargain Reads roundup last week and since then this fabulous little novel has shot down to 89p, so I thought I'd better get my review up quick-sticks.

How to Get a (Love) Life is a funny little book, and by that I mean the entire time I was reading it I had a smile on my face. Nicola's life is a little bit empty so she's filled it with routine, routines that are actually starting to take over. Concerned for her friend, Nicola's colleague challenges her to get a (love) life by the dreaded February 14th.

Nicola's journey is, above all else, amusing. She sets about living her life and begins on her quest, managing to get herself in some hilarious situations along the way - aided and abetted by her well meaning friends of course. It was Nicola's friends that really lifted the book for me; her brother, Mark, is quirky and colleague Caroline is completely charming.

Throughout we get flashes of a darker part of Nicola's past that begin to explain her heavy reliance on the routines that won't let her down. As the book progresses Nicola beings to emerge from her shell and become the heroine of her own story. Blake's novel is well paced and had me racing through it to see how Nicola's story would end, hopefully as it should.

However, How to Get a (Love) Life isn't perfect and is, at times, annoyingly underdeveloped and perhaps a tad too short but it is still a great debut novel that had me itching to read more. Shouldn't you always leave your audience wanting more? Sure to provide a few laughs and being a good, quick and lighthearted read I'd recommend the novel for those who don't necessarily want a romantic epic but are after a quick and easy smile.

I don't know how much longer How to Get a (Love) Life will be a mere 89p on the Kindle, but even if you miss the boat (you won't if you go ahead and get it now, just sayin') then £1.99 isn't too shabby either.

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