Book Blurb: When unlucky-in-love Sam bumps into her first boyfriend, the charming but roguish Charlie, she falls head first for him all over again. He may have broken her heart years ago, but she’s determined to win him back – even if she has to chase him all over London…
Sam’s friends have their doubts about whether cheating Charlie is really the man for her, but they have their own problems to deal with. Uptight Mara is struggling to trust anyone after a bad break-up; sexy corporate go-getter Claudia has her self-confidence rocked after a health scare; and sensitive, intelligent Ed, has been secretly, hopelessly in love with Sam for years…
As Sam chases her lost love like a women possessed, getting into ever more outlandish situations and making a fool of herself in the process, she finds herself wondering how far she’ll go to win Charlie back. Or will she finally see what’s right under her nose?
Hello everyone! Long time no see! Life has been getting a bit crazy for me recently with deadlines fast approaching, getting volunteer shifts at a local bookshop, applying for a job, and being obsessed with reading. Like seriously guys, there is still one week left this month and I have already read five books! Five! That is literally the most I have read in one single month in a really long time. So with that being said, I am finally publishing a review for a book this month. Hooray!
Today I will be reviewing for you Chasing Charlie by Linda McLaughlan. I was kindly sent this book by request from Black and White Publishing. With this being my second book to review for a publisher, I was so thankful to have loved it as much as I did. My second to last review, Genuine Fraud, sadly didn’t get the same love and that was from a best-selling author… meanwhile Linda McLaughlan is a debut novelist. Which honestly guys, the book doesn’t really show that. It is so good!
So seeing as how much I enjoyed splitting up my points for review from love and dislikes, I thought that it would be a positive thing for me to set that up as my system for these reviews. I will do like, love, and dislike – though some books will only use two. Now let’s get into this!
- Careers. Within this group of friends, you have one who works in the film industry, a photographer, a female business woman, and a librarian. What a mix! I absolutely loved the combination of these as they are such rare jobs to be included in fiction (well I guess not necessarily the business woman and librarian, but oh well).
- Realistic relationships. Drama, cute dates, passion, and cheating. All things that happen in real relationships and many experience. I have read novels that include these before but they are always so blown out of portion and just down-right annoying. However! This one used them so realistically and the characters really did grow with the experiences and made the story even better.
- Character Development. This book starts off with a simple introduction while still getting right into the action so that you aren’t bored nor confused. Your love for the characters grow as they grow, as they experience MANY up’s and down’s together and individually. Each character is just so strong as an individual that I can honestly say they would work in a movie exactly as they have been written – no changes. Did I love some characters from the very beginning? Yes. Did I grow to love some? Yes. Did I hate some but was later given a reason to pity them? Yes. Good job McLaughlan! A “full circle” plot.
- A “full circle” plot. I knew what I wanted and expected to happen the whole time and the ending did not leave you pissed off – What a thing to find for once! Books with endings that leave you satisfied but still surprised are so rare nowadays so I applaud McLaughlan for achieving it. The plot really is complete and strong – so many things happen but you are always given a reason as to why. It really is a fantastic easy, guilty-pleasure read.
- All friendships and families are connected. Friends are friends with siblings. Friends are friends with families. Families are friends with families. Each character connects at some point and it is all just so cute and perfectly tied together.
- Individual lives still tie together. In this book, you see both the friends lives together and individually. They all have their struggles but at the end of the day, they still turn to each other for love and support. As dramatic as things get some time, you are always shown how strong of a friendship there is as no matter what, they get through everything together. It makes you love the characters even more which is a beautiful thing to achieve.
- The ending!!! It was so good! Exactly what I wanted while still being full of surprises. I haven’t felt that satisfied after finishing a book for quite a while so it was refreshing and gives me hope for McLaughlan’s future as a novelist.
- Stereotypical. Some of the characteristics and events were a bit too stereotypical for me. The business woman is sleeping with her boss – heard of that one before. The sister is wicked and selfish – shocker. The ex-boyfriend is a player – gee I didn’t see that one coming. Like yes, I understand why each of these characters were the way that they were and it does make the story what it is but it was still a bit unoriginal in that sense.
- Random topics. One of the friend’s brother’s emails a work friend throughout the book sending pictures of his sister. 1. That is weird and made me uncomfortable the whole time. 2. Did the ending connect the two together? Yes. 3. Do I still find it weird and have a lot of questions? Yes. Another friend got chlamydia. Like yes this added massive drama to her portion of the story but it was still weird to read about and seemed a bit unnecessary. Good on McLaughlan for the originality though, I guess.
- Poor language and grammar. I must admit that I giggled repetitively when I read the first page of this book. It was just so poorly written and seemed like a bad young adult novel. It got better further into the book but at the end of the day, the main character’s language still seemed way too immature and messy. I understand that being immature was a part of her character but it still got annoying and I found myself enjoying the other characters more which is a shame.
Overall, I am very thankful that Black & White Publishing sent me this book for review and I applaud Linda McLaughlan as a debut novelist. I do think that there is room to grow as a writer for her but who doesn’t have that?
Would I suggest this book to a friend?: Yes but only if they enjoy this type of book.
Was it perfect as a guilty read?: Heck yes!
Would I pick up another book by Linda McLaughlan?: Yes and I really hope that she does come out with another one!