Monday, 23 August 2010
Review: Single in the City by Michele Gorman
Released: June 24th, 2010
Grade rating: B/B+
It’s official. Hannah has left her friends and family in the US behind and is following her dream. To live in London. Unfortunately she's completely unprepared for what's in store. She’s going to find: 1. Her dream guy. A prince or Hugh Grant would be nice. Or does she have to settle for her half-naked Australian housemate or an "English gentleman" with terrible hygiene habits? 2. Her dream job. Something fantastic in fashion. So how has she ended up being the mini-me for an evil party planner who doesn’t even trust her to arrange the paperclips? 3. Her dream friends. But everyone in London seems to have known each other for years and Hannah’s having trouble getting to know nice people. Who’s she going to have fun with? Dream life? Should Hannah just dream on? Maybe it would have been simpler and cheaper to just get a new haircut. Was she mad to move 3,000 miles away from everyone she knows? Will she ever find love and her perfect life in England?
I don't read a lot of adult chick-lit but, when I do, I like it to be of the lighthearted variety. Single in the City was a fun, humorous read about a subject that interests me: the difference in US and UK culture. Gorman is an expert transitioning from one continent to another, and it definitely showed through in her story.
Single in the City started off a little bit slow for my taste, and I did wonder if I'd like it. It took me a good 50-75 pages to warm to Hannah and her decision to move from Connecticut to London, and it could quite well be because she was older than characters I usually read about. I'm used to high school drama, not 26-year-old life-changing decisions. I quickly got used to reading about (shock horror!) adults and adult problems, and soon enough I was invested in Hannah and her hilarious adventures in England.
Now, as we Brits all know, we're very different to our American friends. We have strange foods (not strange to us, obviously), ridiculously ancient buildings, a habit of saying "sorry" a lot, and a Queen complete with a whole Royal family. An American moving, or even visiting, here for the first time would see many cultural differences, and not all of them for the positive. Gorman did a top job of highlighting the randomness of England, and I did feel sorry for poor Hannah as she tried to navigate her way through it all.
From questionable men to crazy Aussie roommates and a boss that should be removed from the country, Hannah experienced it all. In fact, there was never a dull moment with her, and she had her fair share of embarrassing occurences. I mean, seriously, who flies over the handlebars of a mountain bike because they don't know how to use it?!
Gorman has written a great story about making friends and fitting in, and it should be an inspiration to anyone with a hankering to dramatically change their life and/or move here to sunny England. The characters were realistic, the setting familiar and the plot fascinating. Whether you like to read adult chick-lit or YA, Single in the City is definitely a book worth devoting some of your time to.