Ever since the start of this year, I have suddenly found myself out of the reading rut that I have been stuck in for the longest time. I had felt it slowly weaning off at the end of 2018, but something about the feeling of a fresh start that comes hand in hand with a new year has done wonders for ability to relax and peel myself away from simply binge-watching Netflix for an entire day and feeling so sluggish and disgusting by the end of it.
I have no doubt that this will all change once my final semester at uni gets fully under way and I am up to my eyeballs with books to read and words to write, but for now, I am reaping the benefits. And that is why I am so glad that the second book I read this year was such a winner.
By Mariah Dietz
Publish date: 10 January 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Page count: 465
(ARC provided for review purposes)
Breaking up is hard to do.
It’s even harder when you’re not expecting it.
Brooke Jensen is a planner. Not only in her personal life but also professionally as one of the most sought after event planners in Chicago.
But, when the ideal life she built for herself, complete with handsome, long-term boyfriend and perfect apartment crumbles, she realizes there are some things you just can’t plan for.
While trying to start anew from her best friend’s guest room and discovering the best doughnuts in the city, an idea sparks to life when she meets Levi. He’s intriguing, funny, and shockingly good-looking, and what had been a few stray thoughts becomes a new passion for Brooke, a blog detailing learning how to be single. The project introduces Brooke to new people and experiences, and keeps returning her back to Levi.
But, Brooke learns kismet may have been wrong when she learns Levi is the last person she should be interested in.
Falling for the wrong guy once has Brooke hesitant to start a new relationship, but Levi is quickly proving that The Fallback might be even better.
I want to start off by saying that Brooke is a truly wonderful character. I have started writing this review mere minutes after finishing the book, and so it is all so fresh in my mind. I found her strong-minded and motivated, caring and generous, and just an all round great gal, to be honest. I really loved her commitment to work. Sure, she worked herself into the absolute ground but I couldn’t help but admire her ability to juggle a million things at once and be so successful in her field. It is rare to read about a working woman who is doing so well, and it was pretty inspiring actually.
Now lets talk about Levi. If you read my feature last week on book boyfriends and how they give us an unrealistic outlook on love, but I adore them anyway – then Levi is exactly who I had in mind at the time, although I didn’t realise it yet. I only wish he was introduced slightly earlier in the book. It was around the 20% mark into the book that he first appeared, I think, so I felt like I was just kind of waiting for him to pop up before then. But, not to worry, because he more than made up for it.
I also thoroughly enjoyed Mariah’s writing style. It was clean and easy to read, and not overrun with clichés (which is one of my absolute pet hates). It is a pretty long book at 465 pages, but I absolutely flew through it in no time at all. The characters were developed well, and I had such a clear image in my head of how I expected them to be. I really loved the dynamic between Brooke and her best friend Felicity. It reminds me of my own friendships and living with my best friend while being at university, which is the most fun. Admittedly, neither of us have young kids running around, but it is how I can imagine our friendship to be in ten years time.
One other thing that I did pick up – as I am sure many of you would if you are like me – is how crazy it was that Brooke’s blog managed to get so popular so EASY. She doesn’t do anything in terms of promoting, she simply sits down and writes a post when she feels like it about whatever interesting thing she has done now. Don’t get me wrong, it definitely sounds like a blog I want to read. But, the way that she talks about it really just being for her and she doesn’t think she has much of an audience, and then all of a sudden she seems to be getting amazing recognition from it?! This is rather nit-picky of me though, and probably not something the majority of people would pick up on if they didn’t have a blog themselves and therefore didn’t realise just how much work goes on behind the scenes every day. And if that is the only real gripe I have, then that is not bad going.
Mariah Dietz lives with her husband and three sons, who are the axis of her crazy and wonderful world in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Mariah grew up in a tiny town outside of Portland, Oregon, where she spent most of her time immersed in the pages of books that she both read and created.
She has a love for all things that include her family, good coffee, books, travelling, and dark chocolate. She’s also obsessed with Christmas ornaments and all things Disney.
Amazon UK (available on Kindle Unlimited)