Friday, August 2, 2013

Lovestruck in London

Lovestruck in London
by Rachel Schurig
Published by Amazon Digital
Genre: chick lit, YA
Thanks to NetGalley for the preview
3 / 5

A common fantasy for young girls (or .. ahem ... slightly older girls) is commoner-girl-meets-rich-and-successful-man. We saw it in Pride and Prejudice when two middle class Bennet sisters married wealthy men. Then there is Kate Middleton, who either did us a favor or ruined us forever when she married Prince William. See? She proved that it can work!!

In this play on the fantasy, we have middle class Lizzie (named after the Darcy marrying Miss Bennet), a Detroit-born middle class daughter of Mexican immigrants who heads to London for a graduate degree in literature. Only a few nights into her nine month-trip pass before she meets Thomas Harper, a co-star in a wildly successful Twilight-type movie franchise. Thomas is taken with Lizzie, in part because she has no idea who he really is. He looks familiar, but she isn't a fan of his popular movies. She comes to him with no preconceived notions of what he's like or what she thinks he's like.

The two begin a courtship, and the nine month gestational period is probably not accidental. Only after the nine months, the love their birthed will either be abandoned (when Lizzie returns to Detroit) or nurtured. Of course, this relationship does not come easily to either of them. Lizzie feels beholden to her parents and five older siblings, and staying in London to date an actor is not on her family's list of Things to Do. For Thomas, acclimating Lizzie into his life requires patience, to say the least.

Will true love conquer all? Will Lizzie and Thomas find a way to stay together?

You probably already know the answer to that, but the book is fun to read anyway. If it seems a little familiar to those of us who read Tina Reber's Love Unscripted and Love Unrehearsed, then so be it. The two do share some similarities. Fortunately, Thomas and Lizzie are entirely likable and relatable. And lucky. Not many of us experience a fast-paced love affair like these two do, and their problems seem almost forced and inconsequential. We get it. Lizzie feels guilty over the London schooling and for not having the same ambitions for herself as her family does. But at the same time, she's a reader. She knows that life is unpredictable and that love is worth pursuing. Thomas is a good guy, but Lizzie occasionally gets frustrating.

What becomes more frustration, though, is a lack of tension. Yes, there is Lizzie's obligation to her family, but it almost feels forced. One of her siblings is so mean and derisive that she appears to be a caricature of an evil stepsister.

The good news is that despite her occasional "what in the world is she thinking?" moments, Lizzie is darn adorable. You become invested in her and her story, and she will make you enjoy this book, even if it is devoid of any mystery as to its outcome.

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