Friday, November 3, 2017

Jennifer Crusie - Anyone But You

For Nina Askew, turning forty means freedom--from the ex-husband, freedom from their stuffy suburban home, freedom to focus on what she wants for a change. And what she wants is something her ex always vetoed--a puppy. A bouncy, adorable puppy. Instead she gets...Fred.
Overweight, middle-aged, a bit smelly and obviously depressed, Fred is light-years from perky. But he does manage to put Nina in the path of Alex Moore, her gorgeous, younger-by-a-decade neighbor.
Alex seems perfect--he's a sexy, seemingly sane, surprisingly single E.R. doctor--but the age gap convinces Nina that anyone but Alex would be better relationship material. But with every silver-haired stiff she dates, the more she suspects it's the young, dog-loving doc she wants to sit and stay!

Comment: This book has been in the list for quite some time now and for some reason I never picked it up but this month it was finally part of my reading list.

In this book we meet Nina, a 40 year old woman who has recently moved to a new apartment after her divorce and selling of the house where she used to live with her ex husband. Nina's life is now all about living hr life as she wants after years of following what others wanted. What Nina wasn't ready for was her downstairs younger neighbor, a new friend after all but...will he be something more than that?

This isn't a big book so I chose it to end my month of October purely because it fit my need to read a book in one day. I didn't pay much attention to it when I bought it, to be honest. But it was well critiqued and I enjoyed other things by the author as well so I didn't mind just getting it. Maybe I should have, though, because I wasn't overly glad while reading.

The writing in this book is appealing, engaging, easy to follow. I think the way the story is presented is interesting and touches interesting subjects in a non invasive manner, meaning the elements are there but the author isn't using this to force the reader to have an opinion, it's simply part for the plot and the readers can get their own conclusions and/or opinions. In this regard, I think the author was brilliant and provided a charming story.

My issue and why I couldn't enjoy this more was the age difference. Yes, I know it's pure prejudice and it's unfair but the age difference bothered me, especially because it was such a huge part of the plot. The point is for the reader, obviously, to figure out the age difference is not a matter of contention at all if people love each other.
My opinion about this in real life is also totally opposite and I would cheer up older woman to defend their relationships of being with a younger person was what they wanted. But in novels...I can't explain but I can't seem to abstract myself from that and when the gap is as significant as here, ten years, there just doesn't seem to exist a balance and that bothers me a bit. Yes, I'm fully aware it's silly but there you go.

There is also a secondary plot that, again, quickly mentions some of today's situations when it comes to publishing houses and public's demands...I think it must be a proof of talent to briefly mention an issue or a situation to the point where that alone is enough to give the reader a means to almost start an opinion on it. As expected, the final solution for this "conflict" is simple and ends happily.

The romance also has a predictable resolution although there some moments before the HEA that felt too obviously silly and pointless, considering the way the plot started and how it moved along. Alex isn't a bad hero but he didn't look his best in some moments. Nina was a great heroine and I liked how she evolved but I just can't visualize their relationship that easily. Plus, it sort of felt too easy and not truly believable (not the age difference acceptance) that they would be attracted and would act on it so quickly...but what do I know...

All in all, this is a good, short and easy story.It had some issues I was not a fan of but the dog is certainly a positive bonus!
Grade: 6/10

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