It Had to Be You by Ellie Adams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The worst break-up ever . . . Could be the best thing that has ever happened to her.
Lizzy Spellman has been dumped. At a party.While wearing a Henry VIII costume. By the man she thought was The One. Someone even filmed it, so now she's a massive YouTube hit sensation too.
Just when she thinks things can't get any worse, she meets the rudest, most cynical man in the world, and gets a new mission in life. To prove him wrong.
Love does exist, and she's going to find it . .
I have read Jo Carnegie novels before and her writing is easy to read and characters easily identifiable with. This book is another by Jo Carnegie, writing under the name of Ellie Adams. We begin with meeting Lizzy the main character who has been unceremoniously dumped by her boyfriend Justin at a fancy dress birthday party where the only costume she could get was Henry VIII and to top it all someone has videoed the whole thing and put it on YouTube adding to her humiliation and embarrassment.
Lizzy is a typical Bridget Jones character; she works for a PR company marketing various products for clients, she is an ordinary girl not a goddess or supermodel, she weighs a few more pounds than she'd like to. she overeats and drinks when she's depressed, sometimes makes disastrous decisions leading to misunderstandings and can never quite say 'no' when she really should but what makes her so likeable is that she comes over as real, flawed like the rest of us and a genuinely nice person.
She faces life's trials and tribulations with the help of her friends Poppet and Nic, two similar singletons living and working in London.
I felt that Nic was introduced to us as just too manly to make her eventual plight believable; I kept thinking that Adams was going to reveal that she was a lesbian but that didn't happen and I never quite felt that she fitted the profile she was given which was a shame as she was a strong independent woman and didn't quite come over as believable with the outcome that Adams gave her.
Poppet was just that, a sweet poppet of a girl, sensitive, hopelessly romantic and seeming to come straight out of a Jane Austin novel, an old fashioned girl trapped in a modern world. I liked Poppet a lot and felt that Adams could have given her more 'air time' in the book, although I accept it was essentially Lizzie's story.
The love interest Elliot was both strong and sensitive although not when we first encounter him, he appears over bearing, rude and selfish but he develops nicely as the book progresses.
The story followed the usual chic lit profile and moved smoothly along but after Lizzy and Elliot became an item it felt as if Adams had run out of ideas and the conflict between them appeared to be a little too contrived and to me Lizzie's reaction to an obstacle (don't want to give anything away) was over dramatic. We were also constantly reminded of the close relationship the friends have and yet Lizzie didn't bother to find out what was wrong with Nic when she fell out with her so this didn't really fit in well with Lizzie's character for me. Lovely moments of humour, loved her mother and sitting down to 'picky bits' for supper, the conversations she has with her client who is trying to promote constipation and get bowel movements on the front of the Mail, and her quest to get Happy Halo 'out there'.
The ending was predictable although it seemed a little bit rushed - overall this was a nice quick read, perfect for taking on holiday, nothing too serious and a good measure of humour. This novel sits up there with the best of the chic lits and I have no problem giving it a 4.5 star rating.
I would like to thank the publisher for sending me a copy to review. The proof copy sent to me however did have typos and needed better proof reading which interrupted the flow and distracted me.