23 August 2010

Book Review: A Funny Thing About Love by Rebecca Farnworth

Carmen Miller thought she was set up in her life - she has a good job at a comedy agency, she has a great flirty banter with Will from her office who she's pretty sure likes her too, and she has a great group of friends. However, when her ex-husband gives her a call to say his new girlfriend is pregnant, Carmen starts to feel like she's losing control of her life a little bit. When she's offered the chance to move to Brighton, Carmen grabs it with both hands hoping a fresh start is just what she needs.

When there, she bumps into single dad Daniel and is immediately smitten... however, Carmen's hiding a big secret that she is sure will jeopardise the future of her relationship with Daniel, and any other men she might meet too. Just what is Carmen hiding that she thinks is so bad, and will Carmen's life in Brighton be the barrel of laughs she is longing for?

I first came across Rebecca Farnworth when I found out that she was the ghostwriter for Katie Price's female fiction which is quite successful, and I have actually a few of those books too so when she brought out Valentine last year, I was really looking forward to it and luckily I loved it and thought it was one of the great summer reads of 2009. Rebecca is back this summer with her new book, A Funny Thing About Love, so when I was given the chance to review it, I jumped at the chance because I had loved Valentine so much. Would Rebecca be as successful in her second outing?

I have to confess that sadly I didn't think this book matched up to Valentine in any way, shape or form. I didn't warm to the main character of Carmen in the way that I did to Valentine, and I think that's where my real problem with the book was. Yes, Carmen has her own serious problems that are well covered in the book by Farnworth, but I just found her a little too bland to carry the book as far as it needed to go, and I found myself losing interest in Carmen and her ways at various points throughout the book. I found her "will they, won't they" relationship with Will a tad annoying, and her dalliance with Daniel was even worse if that's possible.

The book begins in London but around 1/4 of the way through, it moves over to Brighton where it remains for the rest of the book. I actually found the scenes set in London were really funny and good, I liked the characters such as Will, Tessa and Carmen's other friends, yet I found when it moved to Brighton, it just seemed to get a bit bland and dull. Farnworth brings in Daniel, Viola and others to try and make it interesting but it just didn't work for me because I found them quite annoying and they seemed to not fit in with Carmen either. It was a shame because from around 1/3 in to the book, I found my attention waning and it seemed like the story was just going through the motions rather than aiming to get anywhere.

There was a good storyline within the main book and that was Carmen's secret to do with children. I don't want to say too much as I don't really want to give too much away for those who want to read this book, but I thought this particular story was well written, and Farnworth handled it really well, with sensitivity and feeling that really comes across to the reader as you progress through. We also see how it affects Carmen too, which is interesting because that then moves into her relationships with the other characters in the book, and I felt this part of the book was very well done, and it's a shame the rest of the book doesn't match up to this.

Sadly for me, this was one book that was a bit of a disappointment. Having loved Valentine, I was really hoping that this would be just as good, but sadly I found it a bit bland and far too predictable for the most part. I hate it when chick-lit books live up to the expectation that critics have for them and this is one book that does just that. There was nothing much memorable about it for me, the characters - especially Carmen - weren't particularly nice or interesting to read about, and I just carried on to the end so I could applaud myself for knowing exactly how it would end. A real shame.

Rating: 3/5


  1. Oh, I've got this one in my TBR pile but sounds like it's one that I'll skim read or even give up on. If I can't get on with a book I give up!

  2. i wonder if the secret is that Carmen can't have children?? These books are usually quite predictable. I was going to read this, but it doesn't sound that great. Thanks for the review!

  3. i actually really enjoyed this book! though i have to say, it did take me a fair while to read- not something which occurs very often i must say! :)