Our Stop

What if you almost missed the love of your life?

Romantic books aren’t really my go to but I should probably give them more of a chance if Our Stop is anything to go by.

Nadia is a bright, dazzling woman who just can’t seem to get herself together in the morning, vowing every week to start afresh (How hard do we all feel that?). One Monday on the 7.30 from Angel, ragged but on time, Nadia’s BFF texts a copy of the paper’s Missed Connections page which seemingly has a message in it – meant for her:

To the cute girl with the coffee stains on her dress. I’m the guy who’s always standing near the doors… Drink sometime?

Is she the cute girl? And if so, then who is the guy?

The guy as it happens is sensitive (and fit) Daniel, whose dad has just died. Daniel finds himself seeking comfort in the idea of Nadia and, at the suggestion of his flatmate, decides one day to do something about it. So begins a back and forth of epic proportion as the pair communicate via Missed Connections.

But when they try to meet IRL, they seem to keep missing each other. Is it really meant to be after all? Well, you’ll have to read to find out but… I think you have an inkling.

Our Stop really is delightful. Sure, it’s corny but as Iris is The Holiday says, and I often quote:

I like corny. I’m looking for corny in my life.

The central characters are likeable and I’ve a lot of time for the detail and ‘padding’ out that Williams’ has done with the supporting acts. I’ve a real soft spot for Daniel’s recently widowed mother, who has a meltdown over a stolen Henry the hoover – and Daniel’s new best friend, security guard Romeo. In addition to the will-they-won’t-they, we examine grief, the idea that we’re not grown up enough, new same-sex love, consent and toxic masculinity. You can tell it’s written by an intelligent and socially engaged author – and in places I really recognised her writing style from the posts I enjoy on Instagram.

There a couple of sections that stand out to me – Daniel comforting his mum when the hoover disappears (though we all know it’s not about the hoover), a chat about grief between two dudes at a Romeo & Juliet Secret Cinema event – Nadia educating Eddie on the brilliance of Nora Efron.

There’s a lot to like here and it’s a lovely Saturday afternoon, back in bed read.
Sure, as with most romance you have to suspend a little disbelief but isn’t that the point? Sometimes you have to be open to the idea of hope and that is what this is. Open your heart, put yourself out there and great things can happen.

I’m very much looking forward to the next novel from the same author.

Book details:

Our Stop
Publisher: Avon (8 Aug. 2019)
ISBN-10: 0008320527
ISBN-13: 978-0008320522
Bought new paperback for myself

What are you reading?

Late Summer Reading List

I’ve spent the best part of the last two months trying to get through the first book in the Game of Thrones series – and although I’m enjoying it, there’s a lot to get to grips with. I love the story and many of the characters but I wouldn’t exactly call myself a fantasy girl. Thankfully, I’m coming to the end so I’ll be able to pick up something new soon. I have a couple of books waiting in the wings, hence this late Summer Reading List.

I’m only 28% through my Goodreads Reading Challenge and according to the app, will need to read two books a week for the rest of the year to hit my target of 50 books in 2019. Better get my skates on then, I guess.

What I’m Reading Next

The Corset by Laura Purcell

This book has been on my radar for a while. I loved The Silent Companions and found it genuinely eerie – so I have high hopes about the follow up. I’ve already spoken about it so I don’t want to repeat myself but I’m looking forward to dipping back into Purcell’s version of Gothic goodness.

Honestly, this is the kind of book I normally reserve for Autumn reading but fuck it. It’s windy enough out there to appeal to my nesting sensibilities, so bring it on.

My Thoughts Exactly by Lily Allen

“So, this is me. Lily Allen.

I am a mother, and I was a wife. I’m also a singer and a songwriter. I have loved and been let down. I’ve been stalked and assaulted. I am a success and a failure. I’ve been broken and full of hope. I am all these things and more.

I’m telling my truth because when women share their stories, loudly and clearly and honestly, things begin to change – for the better.

So, this is my story. These are my thoughts exactly.”

I’ve got a soft spot for Lily, who hasn’t always got it right but has always been seemingly honest, which I admire. She also been through an awful lot in her career and personal life, so I suspect this autobiography is going to be pretty eye-opening stuff. I’m holding out for heaps of scandal and a healthy dollop of bitching about other celebrities.

Our Stop by Laura Jane Williams

I follow Laura on social media and find her quite endearing, so when I saw she’d written a novel, even though it’s not my usual kind of book, I wanted to check it out.

When I was grabbing dinner in Sainsbury’s at the weekend, I found it for the bargain price of £2.99. Well I’m a girl of limited means, so what was I going to do?

The premise is this:

“What if you almost missed the love of your life?

Nadia gets the 7.30 train every morning without fail. Well, except if she oversleeps or wakes up at her friend Emma’s after too much wine.

Daniel really does get the 7.30 train every morning, which is easy because he hasn’t been able to sleep properly since his dad died.

One morning, Nadia’s eye catches sight of a post in the daily paper:

To the cute girl with the coffee stains on her dress. I’m the guy who’s always standing near the doors… Drink sometime?

So begins a not-quite-romance of near-misses, true love, and the power of the written word.”

Cute, huh?

No Big Deal by Bethany Rutter

Bethany is an internet staple for me, someone I’ve followed and admired for a long time. I’d go so far as to say she is one of the people most responsible for helping me change my way of thinking towards my own body. I’d definitely recommend you check her out on Twitter and beyond.

NBD is her debut fiction novel and I am so excited to meet her fat protagonist, Emily. I suspect this is a book I could really have done with back when I was a teen and I just really hope it gets the attention and acclaim it undoubtedly deserves.

A little outline:

“A warm, funny YA debut about a fat girl embarking on her first romance, female friendship, valuing herself and not settling, by one of the best body positive writers in the UK.”

So that’s me. Getting ready to hunker down with several good books and a duvet.

What are you reading?