“It Had To Be You” Ellie Adams Book Review

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I read a lot of books and enjoy reading books from various genres, but when Autumn approaches nothing beats curling up with a good chick lit novel, a big mug of tea and preferably a chocolate biscuit as well. One of my favourite chick lit series is about a village called Churchminster, written by Jo Carnegie, so when I saw she was writing a new book I pre-ordered it immediately. I was a bit confused a few months later when the book arrived, but the author was Ellie Adams. I don’t understand why established writers pen books under a pseudonym; sometimes the reason is obvious, for example, if they are trying to write in a new genre, but as the new book is chick lit I am a bit baffled.

The plot of It Had To Be You is centred on Lizzy Spellman,  who has just been dumped at a costume party, where she was unfortunately dressed as Henry VIII; Lizzy didn’t handle the break up gracefully, and the event was filmed and uploaded to YouTube by someone who attended the party.

Lizzy has to deal with unwanted attention from the press, who have dubbed her Jilted Headbutt Girl, and a nightmare of a boss who expects Lizzy to manage an unrealistic workload and blames her whenever anything goes wrong. Luckily Lizzy has support from her two friends Poppy & Nicola; together they drink a lot of alcohol and set the world to rights.

Of course, being chick lit a new man, Elliot, enters Lizzy’s life and takes up a lot of her attention. Elliot, when he first encounters the heroine, is brusque and taciturn to the point of being almost rude, he could have walked straight from the pages of Pride & Prejudice. As Elliot and Lizzy spend more time together she gets to know him and realises that she misunderstood him. In my opinion Mr Darcey as a character template, and the transition from hate-to-love, are used too frequently in modern literature. The difference here is in the execution, in the way that Ellie Adams handles the interactions between the two characters, Lizzy doesn’t particularly like Elliot, but she recognises that he is in pain and befriends him; the relationship then develops naturally from there. The dialogue between Lizzy & Elliot is believable and highly entertaining, and the supporting characters are very engaging. I hope that this is the start of a series, as I really want to know what happens next in the sub-plots of the supporting characters.

The female characters are very different to the characters in the Churchminster series, they are unashamedly “ladette” like and a lot more relatable. Lizzy is a professional woman, who drinks too much and occasionally makes a scene (we’ve all been there).

This book is amusing and definitely one I will read again; there were quite a few laugh-out-loud moments, namely the unfortunate encounters with Reuben and when Lizzy decides she’s had enough of her brother’s toxic girlfriend. From the first paragraph, this book had me in stitches.

I give this book 4 stars out of 5.

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