Saturday 22 October 2016

Reviewed: Single By Christmas by Rosa Temple

TITLE: Single By Christmas
AUTHOR: Rosa Temple
PUBLICATION DATE: October 18, 2016

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You’ve heard the saying, ‘opposites attract’ haven’t you? Well meet 27 year old Alex Marshall, a party girl with a penchant for free flowing Prosecco, and her devilishly handsome scientist boyfriend, Charlie, who loves jazz and dinner for two.

Alex and Charlie are together for 11 blissful months until Alex goes out of town and does something she will later regret. Was she drunk? You bet. Does she want Charlie to know? Well what do you think?

With the couple about to spend their first Christmas together will Charlie be the forgiving kind or will Alex be Single by Christmas?

Single by Christmas is an amusing romp of a read packed with romance, humour and the most chaotic of chick-lit heroines. The story follows Alex and her boyfriend Charlie as Christmas is approaching. The beginning of the book has Alex waiting for Charlie to show up on Christmas Eve, but as she explains, she is not exactly expecting him to be there. Alex has made her mistakes but throughout this book we see her grow, a little, and as she thinks back on some of the mistakes she has made in the run-up to Christmas, we see her character develop (a bit!) along the way.

Alex’s life is a series of mishaps and misunderstandings. She is a bit of the typical chick lit heroine, a nice girl who means well but is a bit ditzy and swerves from one chaotic event to another. She also has a penchant for parties and loves little more than a few drinks with her best friends. But even though I found her a little bit frustrating at times, I did like Alex and she is a character you will to get herself together. When you think it’s not possible for Alex to find herself in another awkward situation, she out does herself again and it was certainly a fun read following the mistakes she makes.

Rosa Temple’s writing styling is bubbly and vibrant. Alex narrates this book on a day-to-day basis in the lead up to Christmas. The writing is fast-paced and the chapters are addictive, so it didn’t take me long to finish this book as Alex details all the ways things were going wrong with her and her boyfriend Charlie. We learn a lot about Charlie through Alex’s words and thoughts and really it was hard to find anything to dislike about him. If I’m honest, I found he was portrayed a bit too perfectly but then that’s down to personal taste and my love of flawed characters. I sympathised with him quite a bit throughout this book, especially when he had no clue that Alex was keeping important things from him. The chatty tone to this book had Alex come across more like a friend than a character in a book – although if I was her friend I’d have been a lot less lenient with her than Shalina was about her owning up to what she’d done!

The characters in Single by Christmas were entertaining. From the disastrous to the loveable to the trouble-causing, Rosa created vivid characters who were made easy to picture and easy to love or hate. The book in its entirety was engrossing reading with its quick chapters and fast-moving events. It was easy just to say “one more chapter” then find yourself still reading five chapters later, and I love those kind of books. The story had plenty of humour and was, at times, laugh-out-loud funny. It focuses on the run-up to Christmas rather than being a hugely festive story, but if you like your books full of laughter, friendship, booze and calamities, Single by Christmas is definitely a book you will enjoy.

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