Well, hello there! Welcome to my stop on the If We’re Not Married by Thirty Blog Tour hosted by Bonnier Zaffre. I’m very excited to tell you all what I thought of If We’re Not Married by Thirty by Anna Bell.
If We’re Not Married by Thirty by Anna Bell
Publication Date: 1st December 2018
Publisher: Bonnier Zaffre
Genre: Romantic Fiction
Format: Review copy from Bonnier Zaffre
Synopsis: Lydia’s not exactly #LivingHerBestLife. She never imagined she’d be here at thirty – newly single, a job that’s going nowhere and her friends all winning at life when she’s still barely taking part. So she jumps at the chance of a free holiday and jets off to sunny Spain. Then, out of the blue, she bumps into her childhood friend, the handsome and charming Danny Whittaker. She’s always had a crush on him and they soon enter into a passionate holiday romance. But this relationship could be more than just a fling. Years ago they made a pact that if they were still single when they turned thirty they would get married. But noone really follows through on these pacts . . . right? Could Lydia’s back-up man really be her happy ever after?
When I was offered the opportunity to be part of the blog tour for Anna Bell’s latest release, If We’re Not Married by Thirty, I couldn’t say yes quick enough. I’m always up for reading a “will they, won’t they” romance – its my favourite type of story! I’ll be honest though, I’m feeling the pressure to be as good as my fellow blog tour-goers… *sweats nervously*
I’m scanning Instagram, as I always do in my break, wondering why I do it to myself. I mean, I love looking at all the beautiful photos, yet it always leaves me feeling a little bit empty. Why is my version of real life nowhere near as glossy?
Lydia isn’t living her best life. Or should I say, #LivingHerBestLife. Newly single, her career is at a standstill and she is living in the basement flat of her sister’s house. When Lydia is offered the opportunity to have a few days away in Barcelona, she takes it, determined to have a break from it all. However, the last thing she expects to be doing is sharing her holiday flat with childhood friend (and childhood crush) Danny Whittaker. One night, Lydia and Danny recall their “if we’re not married by thirty” pact, and quickly dive head-first into a romance. Will a pact made by two teenagers hold up nearly 10 years later?
I haven’t read any of Anna Bell’s books before, and If We’re Not Married by Thirty has the honour of being the first. If this is what her books are like, I’ll be reading more. From a few pages in, I was hooked, and I read the book whenever I could get a spare moment, even if it was on my phone at the bus stop! Set in the present day, If We’re Not Married by Thirty is a hilarious and heartwarming story that took me by surprise. I went into the book expecting Danny and Lydia’s pact to go horribly wrong, in a similar manner to other books I have read. I was relieved to find that If We’re Not Married by Thirty is a different kind of story. At its heart, it’s about two people who are meant to be together, but never quite found the right chance. Contrary to the synopsis, social media doesn’t play a big part in the story, although the mentions of Christmas made me feel quite festive.
The story is told from the perspective of Lydia, a likeable and witty character who we can all empathise with. Who doesn’t compare our own lives to the filtered ones of Instagram? I’ll be honest, I may have swooned a few times over Danny Whittaker. What. a. heartthrob. *fans self* I have to give a special mention to both Lydia and Danny’s mum, they were hilarious. I nearly choked on my own laughter during a certain scene. They should have their own book… I’m thinking a prequel? Anna, call me.
Even though the story didn’t have huge cliffhangers or indeed some scenes of nail biting tension, there were still enough twists and turns to keep the story interesting, and more importantly, keep me reading. One thing that made this book stand out for me was the way the chapters started with the emails and letters Danny and Lydia had exchanged over the years. It was a wonderful way of showing the extent of their friendship, and after reading a few of their letters I couldn’t help but root for them to realise their feelings. For those of you who like your loose ends firmly tied up, you’ll be pleased to hear we find out what happened to Lydia and Danny a few years down the line, and there isn’t an Albus Severus in sight. *wink*
I have been in a reading slump recently, as evidenced by November Wrap Up, but If We’re Not Married by Thirty snapped me right out of it. There is no better feeling than the one you get from reading a book, and a great one at that! A big thank you to Bonnier Zaffree for giving me the opportunity to read my very first book from Anna Bell. I am sure it won’t be my last…