Thursday, 10 April 2014
Review: The Best Thing That Never Happened To Me by Laura Tait and Jimmy Rice
Format: Paperback (July 3rd) / eBook (April 10th)
Released: April / July 2014
Everyone remembers their first love. Holly certainly remembers Alex. But she decided ten years ago that love wasn't about mix tapes and seizing the moment - though she's not exactly sure it's about secret dates with your boss, either. But what if the feelings never really went away? Alex wants to make every moment of his new job count. It's a fresh start in a big city, and he's almost certain that moving to London has nothing to do with Holly. Almost. How do you know if it was meant to be. or never meant to happen at all?
The Best Thing That Never Happened To Me is another fantastic adult novel that caught my eye. Written by Laura Tait and Jimmy Rice (co-authors! Dual narration! Yay!) it tells the story of Alex and Holly, teenage best friends who lose touch and don't rekindle their friendship until they're almost thirty. It's a story about lost love, missed opportunities and those elusive second chances that we rarely get to experience.
Alex and Holly are both brilliant characters, I loved them equally and was rooting for them the whole time. Alex is dry in his humour, a bit self-deprecating and intent on changing the lives of his students at his new job in a London school. He's never forgotten his friend Holly, the one that got away and never came back. Holly is in a somewhat strange relationship with her boss, keeping it secret and hoping one day he'll wake up and tell the world. She's headstrong, ambitious and stuck in a job and a place where she doesn't really want to be. Their lives are so realistic and I'm sure countless twenty-somethings will easily identify with their situations, as well as their desire to do something better.
This book jumps backwards and forwards through time, to when Alex and Holly were heading off to university and then fast forwarding to eleven years later. I love stories that do this because it gives such a great insight into the characters and what they've been through, and it also cements that lifelong friendship between them. I'm also a huge fan of stories told from two alternating points of view, which is what you get here. It's great to read two sides of the same story and to get both Alex and Holly's thoughts - there's no other way this book could have been written, and Tait and Rice do it so well. I just want to give them each a high five!
The Best Thing That Never Happened To Me is an excellent read; one that I'm happy to have found and experienced. It's one of the best romantic comedies I've read and is perfect for the big screen - I would love to see Alex and Holly come to life like Mark Darcy and Bridget Jones. It's the same kind of happy, humorous tale, well suited to anyone who likes Richard Curtis and his backlog of irresistible rom-com films. I'm no expert when it comes to adult books, but this is one I'll be recommending to everyone. I hope Laura Tait and Jimmy Rice have a long writing career ahead of them and I for one will be eagerly awaiting whatever they do next!