BOOK REVIEW: NICK HORNBY – JUST LIKE YOU

Today, I am back with another book review of Nick Hornby’s new novel, Just Like You.

Today I’m talking all about Nick Hornby’s latest novel, Just Like You and I have a few mixed thoughts… but first, what is it about? Here is the synopsis:

The person you are with is just like you: same background, same age, same interests. The perfect match. And it is an unmitigated disaster.

Then, when, and where, you least expect it, you meet someone new. You seem to have nothing in common and yet, somehow, it feels totally right.

The person you are with is just like you: same background, same age, same interests. The perfect match. And it is an unmitigated disaster.

Then, when, and where, you least expect it, you meet someone new. You seem to have nothing in common and yet, somehow, it feels totally right.

Nick Hornby’s brilliantly observed, tender but also brutally funny new novel gets to the heart of what it means to fall surprisingly and headlong in love with the best possible person – someone who is not just like you at all.

I haven’t read anything from Nick Hornby before but I’ve wanted to for a while as he just seems like a writer I would enjoy reading – a bit like David Nicholls, perhaps. And when I saw this cover, I was intrigued and it sounded like the perfect book for me. So, I ordered myself a copy and… I’m a bit mixed about it, to be honest.

On one hand I enjoyed it, it’s really readable and I couldn’t put it down. I read most of it in one weekend – you could probably read it in one sitting if you wish as it’s quite short and most of it is dialogue. I liked some aspects of the book, some characters, some ideas that he was playing with but on the other hand, there’s just something about it that doesn’t sit right with me.

I just didn’t care enough about the characters that I would have wanted – they felt mostly one-dimensional and pretty flat. I think in this type of book, a love-story, you need to actually invest in the characters, root for them, because what is the point otherwise? They don’t have to be likeable but I have to want to carry on reading and invest in this growing relationship. Perhaps it’s because it’s set with the backdrop of the start of Brexit, of Trump and that annoyed me? Who knows!

I can see what he is trying to do with this book. A modern love-story set in modern society and exploring a relationship with politics, especially Brexit. Of coming together, breaking apart, of how you might think you are different but you might just be more alike than you first thought. I think this is the perfect idea to write in today’s society but I just wanted more and something just didn’t sit right with me.

This is bound to be a BBC series next year – it’s written for the screen – literally. I think I would prefer that to be honest – to get to know the characters more, to hopefully expand on the themes than in the book. I really wanted to like this more but it sadly didn’t work for me. But I think I would give another go with Hornby’s writing.

If you’re looking for a readable novel to read on a rainy Autumn weekend, look no further. But for me, it needed something more.

Have you read Just Like You? What did you think? Are you a fan of Nick Hornby’s novels?

Let me know in the comments!

Thank you,

Corey.

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