Sunday, December 28, 2014

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

Just a Girl Standing in Front of a Boy
Lucy-Anne Holmes
416 pages, Sphere
1st January 2014

'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 'The Smiling Fanny Manifesto' - a list of 10 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'.

Just a Girl, Standing in Front of a Boy will make you laugh and cry - and it will make you look at your own love story in a new way. Lucy-Anne Holmes is the bestselling author of 50 Ways to Find a Lover.
 From Goodreads
I saw an acquaintance of mine tweeted about this book 2 months ago, and she said its good and funny and pretty much enjoyable. That made me thought that I had to read this. It received a freaking good ratings and reviews from goodreads so why not. So when I saw this book at Big Bad Wolf, I was ecstatic ! RM 8 for a book is pretty much a real good bargain in my country, so grab it I did, and what a book it was !

This is a Jenny Taylor - or Fanny, as she would prefer - love story, hence the title, which I believe is a quote from the famous movie Notting Hill. Her terrible and traumatic teen life makes her lost all confidence in her. When she found her ultimate best friend Philippa, things changed. She regained her confidence back, she found and be the person she wanted to be, and finally things are working for her. Through this book, the readers were introduced with The Smiling Fanny Manifesto which oh my God, is so brilliant ! It is a list of 10 things Fanny had to do every single day to keep her smiling, from doing a kind deed to have a face-to-face conversation with somebody. The adventures she and Philippa went through while completing this list are so funny and enjoyable and freaking amazing that I thought "Oh I should do this too!".

Through this list, she met her sensible fiance Matt and things were pretty okayish between them, though Philippa are so against their marriage which I dont get why in the first place. Matt is a very good looking man but a little too workaholic for his own good. His relationship with Fanny, given the history, is a bit disturbing to me and as the story goes, I understand what Philippa feels. He sucks at being a boyfriend, what even a husband. Best friend has this magical instincts, dont they ?

Things got pretty miserable when Fanny's mom, came to live with her after leaving her cheating husband. Fanny didnt get along well with his family --- her parents are one of the major cause of her teenage depression, so having to face her mom every single day pretty much screams disaster, or so she thought. Within the pages, Fanny met Joe King. Joe King made her stomach flutters and all that stuffs which Matt didnt so you can guess what happened from here.

What I love about this book is that although the title pictures a cheesy love story, the book actually tells more than that. It's Fanny's relationship with everyone around her that I adore the most. Fanny is a good lady. The kind who makes your heart warms just by thinking of her. She has an amazing friendship with her best friend, doing all kind of amazing adventures, and have fights with each other that couldnt last more than a day. Her wonderful daily interactions between herself and her flatmate, colleagues --- everyone. Also, her relationship with her mom grows within the pages. Oh, the love her mom has for her was incredible ! 

The second thing I love about this book is how the ending was done. Lucy-Anne couldnt make a better ending for this one. It was perfect. I love how unexpected, saddening, heart-breaking, funny and beautiful it is. I didnt cry though, because a friend of mine did, but that didnt matter because I was satisfied.

Of course there are a few flaws - like I dont like how cheesy Joe King was, I literally cringed - but it was tolerable. This is an enjoyable read overall. I might search for more Lucy-Anne books after this.

"Hello, you dont look very happy and I hope youre not offended but this might help. My best friend wrote this for me when I was down. It's called the Smiling Manifesto. I've been doing all the tasks now, daily, for years, and it really helped me. If you dont want it, you might know someone else who could use it" - Jenny Taylor

My Rating :  

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