Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Reviewed: Love and Other Man-Made Disasters by Nicola Doherty

TITLE: Love and Other Man-Made Disasters
AUTHOR: Nicola Doherty
PUBLISHER: Orion Children's Books

PUBLICATION DATE: June 2, 2016

Amazon - Goodreads
Juno is scared of a lot of things. Climate change, urban foxes, zombies - the usual. So when she goes on a skiing holiday with her mum's adrenaline-mad new husband and his tearaway twins, she doesn't hold much hope of surviving.

Then she meets Boy.

Gruff, hairy and thrill-seeking, he's everything Juno doesn't like. Or is he?

Juno's about to discover there's nothing more scary than falling in love.



I’m a big fan of Nicola Doherty’s romantic comedy novels and was really excited to hear her new book was going to be a contemporary teen romance because Nicola’s style of writing felt like the perfect match for that genre. And it was! Love and Other Man-Made Disasters is a really refreshing read – fun and warm and simply a really sweet little page-turner.

Juno is a worrier. The world is a scary place and she stresses about all the scary things to the level she struggles to enjoy a life outside of studying for her A Levels. Which means a skiing holiday with her mum, her new stepdad Ed and his two eight year old twin boys is Juno’s idea of an absolute nightmare.

I loved Juno’s character straight away. She had something about her that made her genuine but also a bit more likeable than many other fictional teen characters. Maybe it was because she wasn’t keen on her new stepdad, didn’t like their new living arrangements, didn’t like being dragged away from her studies or her friends and yet still didn’t feel the need to kick off and strop for the whole book. It was just lovely to read from her perspective and I found myself really rooting for her and enjoying seeing the growth of her character throughout the book.

This book gave me all the warm fuzzies! It was sweet, really sweet and the story was so endearing. Juno might have a lot of worries but as she approaches her skiing holiday, she’s blissfully unaware that falling in love might become one of them too. But then she meets Boy, the beardy skiing instructor and there is that something about him, as much as she doesn’t want to admit it.

I also loved Boy’s character. He offered something different to the typical teen love interest and I really felt like I knew and could buy into his character. Over the course of this novel, Nicola really made me feel connected and invested in the story and all of the main characters as they were developed really well. Boy was a fascinating one and his character struck a chord with me and oh how I wanted a happy ending for him…

Love and Other Man-Made Disasters was a heart-warming story and had all the components I love to see in a novel of this genre. It’s a really entertaining book with a cute story and a focus on friendship and family too, with plenty of funny moments as well which I’ve always loved in Nicola’s writing. Some of my favourite moments included the character of Tara who was a bit of a disaster but in the nicest way possible – she really made me laugh every time she was involved in the story. Ed’s twins Henry and Josh also contributed to some of the funniest moments in this book – they were adorable yet at the same time high maintenance little gits too!

This book is fairly short and its quick chapters make the entire read fly by. One more chapter was never enough. Reading it, I did think a few times that the pacing might be too quick for everything to be satisfyingly developed and resolved. But of course I’m not the writer and when I finished the book I realised Nicola had her timing and pacing spot on. Everything just worked beautifully and the ending felt fitting and “right” for the characters involved – I adored this book from the first page to the last and can’t wait to read Nicola’s next YA novel!







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