Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Book Review - From Notting Hill with Love...Actually by Ali McNamara

From Notting Hill with Love...Actually by Ali McNamara
Publisher: Sphere (Little, Brown imprint)
Release Date: 25th November 2010
Genre: Adult fiction/Chicklit

Summary (Amazon):

She was just a girl, standing in front of a boy ...wishing he looked more like Hugh Grant. Scarlett loves the movies. But does she love sensible fiance David just as much? With a big white wedding on the horizon, Scarlett really should have decided by now ...When she has the chance to house-sit in Notting Hill - the setting of one of her favourite movies - Scarlett jumps at the chance. But living life like a movie is trickier than it seems, especially when her new neighbour Sean is so irritating. And so irritatingly handsome, too. Scarlett soon finds herself starring in a romantic comedy of her very own: but who will end up as the leading man?

As soon as this book appeared on my radar, it was one of those I had to have yesterday. A chicklit novel with Richard Curtis’ movies as a theme in the plot? Yes please! What rom-com film, Richard Curtis loving reader wouldn’t want this for a book?

 It’s all told from Scarlett’s point-of-view and whilst I kept wanting to read one more chapter, I didn’t love the book as much as I thought I would. There were a couple of slow points, couple of predictable plotlines and I didn’t get Scarlett’s engagement with David. I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact someone so full of life as Scarlett would even stay with David after a couple of weeks, never mind think about marriage. I know the reasons for it are explained in the book, and these are just fictional characters, but still…life’s too short for that nonsense! But if it wasn’t there, then there wouldn’t be much of a story to write about, so it all adds to the drama.

 I loved Scarlett. I could be Scarlett. I’m a daydreamer, constantly daydreaming about the ‘what ifs’ of my life and making a movie out of it in my head. I got Scarlett. So naturally, my hate for David, and little bit for Scarlett’s father, increased the more it went on. Everything was about the business and how it all came first whilst constantly being on Scarlett’s back. It was hateful to read. But then Oscar and Ursula came into and how I adored these two. They knew how to liven up a page by living life to the full! And they totally got Scarlett and her daydreams!

Scarlett’s interactions with Sean were just what I love in a book. Every time Scarlett wasn’t with Sean, those were the slow bits. Sean is just how a man of today should be. He thought her fanciful at first, but the more time he spent with Scarlett, the more he understood and became her enabler. I could just sigh now.

 For her first novel, I really can’t fault Ali McNamara! I only hope my first novel will be a fraction as good as this. I highly recommend it for all the reasons I said in my first paragraph! And the ending…divine! Just how a chicklit should end!

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