Today I’m going to be featuring a debut novel that actually came out a while ago. In February 2015, I went to a book signing at my local independent bookstore because I enjoy hearing the authors talk about their books and there was free champagne. After hearing Melissa Pimentel speak, I immediately went and bought two copies of her novel to get signed. One of them went to one of my closest friends for her birthday and the other has had a place on my bookshelf ever since.
I didn’t get much reading done this week but I’m planning on reviewing A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab and potentially its sequel next week in much more depth.
Overall Score: 7/10
Book Summary (from Amazon)
Love by the Book charts a year in the life of Lauren Cunningham, a beautiful, intelligent, and unlucky-in-love twenty-eight-year-old American. Feeling old before her time, Lauren moves to London in search of the fab single life replete with sexy Englishmen. But why can’t she convince the men she’s seeing that she really isn’t after anything more serious than seriously good sex? Determined to break the curse, Lauren turns her love life into an experiment: each month she will follow a different dating guide until she discovers the science behind being a siren. Lauren will follow The Rules, she’ll play The Game, and along the way she’ll journal her (mis)adventures and maybe even find someone worth holding on to. Witty, gritty, and very true to life, Love by the Book will have you in stitches.
Before starting this novel, you must set the proper expectations. This will not be a serious novel reflecting on love and relationships, this is a very light, fluffy read. Which makes it perfect for summer or if you need something quick and refreshing. As long you don’t expect it to be something it’s not, this book is good.
At the beginning of the book, Lauren has just moved to London and decides to re-invigorate her dating life. She does this by going to her local bookstore and picking up some dating guides. Having been the recipient of one or two of some more modern dating guidelines throughout the years (my mother wanted to make sure I knew how to identify red flags), I could absolutely relate to this part of the book. After a horrible date or a break-up, I would start to wonder if the secret to dating and finding a good man could be found in those books. I never actually opened them but this book explores what could happen if you date only according to the specific rules found in some of the most popular books.
The novel is segmented according to which book Lauren is using, with what happened on each day, and a summary of how successful she found each technique (Disclaimer: You probably shouldn’t attempt these at home). I personally liked the structure but I could see how it would be a turn-off for some readers.
I really enjoyed watching Lauren go on her adventures and at first some of them did seem a little outlandish or improbable. However, as I’ve heard more dating stories from my friends, I’ve come to realize that they really aren’t. It’s just that (probably for dramatic effect) Melissa Pimentel uses all of the more out-there dating stories and embellishes them a little.
I will say that I adored the ending although 99% of that is because of the very last page. This book is really a funny book about dating and I would recommend it for a quick summer read. Did I love this book? Not entirely. Did I like it and enjoy it? Absolutely.
Page Length: 336
Genre: Fiction, Chick lit
Publisher: Penguin Books