Published: the 26th of February 2015
Written by: Jane Costello
Narrated by: Alex Tregear
Length: 10 hrs and 46 mins (481 pages in print)
Source: Amazon Audible
There are six months left of Emma Reiss’s twenties. . . and she has some unfinished business.
Emma and her friends are about to turn thirty, and for Emma it’s a defining moment. Defined, that is, by her having achieved none of the things she’d imagined she would.
Her career is all wrong, her love life is a desert and that penthouse apartment she pictured herself in simply never materialised. Moreover, she’s never jumped out of a plane, hasn’t met the man she’s going to marry, has never slept under the stars, or snogged anyone famous – just some of the aspirations on a list she and her friends compiled fifteen years ago.
As an endless round of birthday parties sees Emma hurtle towards her own thirtieth, she sets about addressing these issues. But, as she discovers with hilarious consequences, some of them are trickier to tick off than she’d thought…
I’ve finally found a RomCom for the ladies that are either just about to turn the dreaded three-oh, or have already waved goodbye to their twenties and are embracing their thirties. As someone who have already made my peace with my twenties being behind me, but also realised that in some aspects I like my thirties a hell of a lot better, this is just the pick me up I needed!! The book market (at least the genres I read) are filled with heroines in their early twenties, who are walking around with massive chips on their shoulders, from not living the lifestyle promised in the glamorous TV shows and so called “reality” tv (as if reality has anything to do with it). This is a book for the people who know that’s not how life really is. If anything I’d say this book is for the more realistic. For the people who realise that life doesn’t owe you anything, and that there’s not such a thing as getting everything you ever dreamed of, without putting in a lot of effort.
When Emma finds a list she made with her friends many years ago, consistent of twelve things to do before she turns thirty, she’s bummed to realise she can cross a grand total of zero things off the list. With a countdown timer of six months, suddenly every decision she makes is with that list in mind. But while she’s busy chasing the dreams and visions her younger self had, there’s a point where she has to consider if that will truly make her happy. Is it worth taking a leap of faith and change things, just because she once upon a time thought other things were what she wanted? As Emma shows the list to her friends and sister, they all forced to realise how far they’ve all strayed from the path they thought they’d find themselves on. The feminist is now someone’s mistress, the one who used to revel in one night stands is now a single mother, the glamorous sister has left her model life in London for a guy.
Emma and her friends are like a much needed breath of fresh air!! They’re just your everyday normal women, with nothing special or fancy about them. They’ve known each other forever and stuck together through thick and thin. None of them are achieving their dreams by stepping on others, being mean or vindictive. They’re not stuck in a mindset of what life owes them, they’re focusing on what they can do to change what they’re not happy about – and that’s a trait I wish was applied to more heroines. Emma’s last six months in her twenties are filled with ups and downs. While she does make mistakes, she learns from them. Most of this book takes place in Liverpool, where I’ve lived there for about one year. I really like that it’s a different setting than the usual NYC or London scene and on top of that, I really felt like I could really follow the girls around town when they’re out and about.
While there’s a lot of “laugh out moments” I felt like the story was perfectly balanced between funny and the seriousness. There was a few times where I thought the author could have handled the situation differently. Like when one of Emma’s friends, the mistress, Facebook friends her lovers wife by accident. Instead of simply cancelling the friend request, it turns into a thing where the lover has to log in to his wife’s Facebook and delete the request. Or when there’s an incident with her neighbours kid being smacked around by the mums new boyfriend. Emma calls the dad who doesn’t pick up. But in 2015 (or 2013 where the book was published), why didn’t she just record it on her camera phone? I’m sure most people had those back then!! Those are just things that stood out to me and made me wonder why it was handled that way, but it didn’t ruin the story for me. Not even close – and it’s not reflected in my rating 6 years later, because things has changed a lot. Especially in the world of technology.
What’s your favourite RomCom? Do you prefer the standard setup, or do you like when authors change it up and make it more realistic? Let’s chat in the comments!