5 STAR BOOK REVIEW: Life or Something Like It by Annie Lyons

Life or Something Like ItLIFE OR SOMETHING LIKE IT
by Annie Lyons
Publisher: Carina UK (UK) / (USA)
Publication Date: July 2015(UK) / (US)
Format: Ebook
Source: ARC

Step into someone else’s shoes for a day…
And it will change you for a lifetime.

Cat is very good at her job. She runs a PR company with her best friend (and secret crush) Jesse, and is never happier than when her high-profile celebrities are glittering in the spotlight.

But when her footballer client gets in the press for all the wrong reasons, Cat’s career takes a sudden nosedive. So when her brother Andrew unexpectedly needs her to look after his kids for a few weeks, she can hardly say no. She’s happily single, hasn’t exactly been the ‘World’s Best Auntie’ over the years, and what she knows about looking after children would fit on the back of a postage stamp. But it’s only temporary until she gets her real life back on track – isn’t it? (Goodreads)

DividerEvery so often, I am lucky enough to be asked to read and review a book that completely takes me by surprise. Usually, this is due to the fact that I either I am asked to read a book that is out with my usual genre or it is an author that I haven’t heard of. In the case of this book, it was really neither. I had been asked to read one of Lyon’s previous books, Not Quite Perfect (which I am embarrassed to say is still sitting on my To Read Pile) and also I have been known to read books in the contemporary romance / Chick Lit genre. After reading Life or Something Like, I am really kicking myself for not picking up Lyon’s previous book sooner, if it is even half the quality of this gem of a book.

Like many books in this genre, the plot line centre’s round our unlucky heroine being thrust into a situation that is completely out of her depth. In this case, we have Cat. Our early thirty career woman being forced to take a sabbatical from her normal hectic life and in avertedly looking after her niece and nephew. It is during this journey of self discovery, she also ends up finding love in the most unlikely of places.

Where this book, in my opinion, really excels is in putting the romance in the background. Cat isn’t out to find a man in her life and though she has many personal reasons for this, the focus of this book is on her family. Here is a woman, so scared of what she might lose, she puts up barriers between those who she should be closest to. This is made all too clear with her early interactions with her niece and nephew. She has spent so little time with them that she doesn’t know them as people. As the book progresses, you see this morph and change and Cat changes before our eyes as her “fears” over children begin to melt. The result is that Cat has real empathy for those who have children.

Yes, Cat makes mistakes and although they are funny to read about, these situations are cemented in a reality that any parent or aunt can relate to. Lyons has captured these typical situations fantastically and you could almost imagine that these were told with some humour at a later date.

What makes matters worse for Cat, is the fact that her niece’s best friend’s uncle, Finn, seems to be Super-Uncle and can somehow read children like he is the uber-guru of children. Naturally, at first Cat is just rubbed up the wrong way with Finn’s know it all-ness and it does seem he is rather smug about it all. However, it is only during a holiday away to the coast, that we, and Cat, begin to see deeper within Finn. An attraction or some sort of chemistry begins to develop between the two characters and though it isn’t the sort of instant sparks flying I am used to seeing in books I have read recently, the organic development of their relationship is no less enjoying to watch.

As is the case in all matters of the heart, more than a few spanners are thrown in the works. Deep down I knew that everything would work out ok between Cat and Finn, but Lyon’s did manage to cast in a bit of doubt on who Cat would end up with, when her unrequited love seemed to suddenly show interest. I will admit, I did have my doubts on his sincerity and the situation around his sudden change of heart, but I did still wonder if there would be a curve ball or two.

This worrying was all for nothing and everything worked out for all parties concerned. When reading the epilogue of the last book, Lyon’s had me squeeing as I made an assumption about Cat and Finn’s future. This was a red herring, but what did transpire still made me happy and seemed to fit in nicely with the whole tone of the book. This just was one of those feel good books that you can’t help but smile at and I really enjoyed it.

Life or Something Like It is the perfect holiday or summer read, with characters you instantly fall for and in my case empathise with. The pages seemed to slip by and I was surprised at how quickly it seemed to be over.

Reading Life or Something Like It has reignited my love for this genre and has me adding Lyon’s on my must read list. She really has a gift for this sort of storytelling and would not be out of place in sitting beside Sophie Kinsella, Cecelia Ahern and Lindsey Kelk. This really is a book that will have you hooting with laughter one minute and welling up the next, all the while knowing that everything will work out in the end.

5 star





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