20 February 2014

Book Review: Just A Girl, Standing in Front of a Boy by Lucy-Anne Holmes

"'My love story may not be the sort you read about in books or see in films . . . Love stories have glorious highs and ghastly lows. But when it comes to my own life, I'd have to say, you can keep your fabulous highs and I'll happily steer clear of the terrible lows.' 

After a rocky start in life, Jenny Taylor, 27, star receptionist at the local doctors surgery, has things all worked out thanks to a list of ten daily things she must do to keep the blues at bay. But her life is turned upside down when she meets aspiring musician Joe King. And reliable boyfriend Matt proposes. And then her mum leaves her dad and moves into Jenny's flat determined to 'bond'. "

Rating: 4/5

You can buy Just A Girl Standing in front of a Boy as a paperback or an eBook now.

I love Lucy-Anne Holmes' books. They are always brilliant reads, and I have been looking forward to reading this one for a while now. I love the plain and simple cover - together with the book's catchy title it certainly piques your interest in the book and makes me want to find out more about it! I was lucky enough to receive a proof review copy from the publishers, and eagerly set about reading it last week. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and thought it was one of Lucy-Anne's best books to date. Here's why I think Just A Girl Standing in Front of a Boy is a must-read.

Jenny Taylor thinks she has finally met the man of her dreams, her very own Mr Right, when she meets Joe King. The pair feel like kindred spirits and are sure they are destined to be together. However, Jenny's plans are thrown into awry when her steady boyfriend, Mr Reliable, Matt proposes to her. It's all Jenny has wanted for a while, but now it's happened, she's suddenly feeling very unsure. Just as Jenny is trying to sort out her life, her mum turns up on her doorstep too, wanting to make amends for all the years she's spent without being close to Jenny, and to start getting over Jenny's dad, who she has just left! Jenny doesn't quite know how to deal with all her problems, and needs to find a good place to start...

First of all, I want to say how well written this book is. I really was able to lose myself in Jenny's narrative, feel part of her world for a while and I loved that. I love feeling a part of a book, and Lucy-Anne's writing is just brilliant for that. As usual, she has created a lead character that you can love. Jenny Taylor is the perfect friend next door - she's funny, she's warm, she's kind and she's just a nice person. Her best friend Phillippa is another one who I loved, the pair have such a warm and genuine friendship, it's nice to read that in a book! Jenny's finally coming through her depression, and what Phillippa does to help her get over that is nothing short of amazing, we all need a friend like that in our lives.

Jenny's love life is a bit complicated, and although she's got a boyfriend, Matt, you can understand why she falls for Joe King. There's quite a bit of joking about their names, and the pair seem spookily similar, like they are destined to be together. I was willing Jenny to get rid of Matt, but he's a bit like a bad smell - you can't get rid of him if you try! Then there's the added problem of Jenny's mum Pam coming to live with her out of the blue. I loved her character, trying to be young and single again, leaving Jenny unsure of how to deal with her mum and her new escapades! It was funny, I did laugh as I was reading it, and you could certainly have fun putting yourself in Jenny's shoes, I don't know I would have dealt with all her things going on!

While there is the funny side to the book, Lucy-Anne cleverly balances this with a more serious and sombre side too. There's a shock revelation at the end of the book that I didn't see coming whatsoever, and it really shocked me. It showed us a totally new side to Jenny, and this part of the book moved me to tears - it was so well done and so emotional, but it seemed right somehow that it was there. There's a lot of love in this book - love in its different forms - between friends, mother and daughter, boyfriend and girlfriend etc, and it shows us how all these different loves in our lives can shape us as a person. The book flows beautifully and I enjoyed it from start to finish. The book moved me, it made me laugh and it made me smile. I loved Jenny Taylor, and I'm sure you will too, how can you not?! A wonderful book, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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