The Triumphant Return of Chick Lit: LOVE BY THE BOOK


LOVE BY THE BOOK by Melissa Pimentel, Cover

by Melissa Pimental
Narrated by Jayne Entwhistle
release date: 3 Feb 2015
Audiobook Download – Unabridged
Penguin Audio
10:40:00 Duration  ISBN 9780698403383
Penguin: Paperback/e-pub 336 pages

AUDIO book provided by publisher for review.  No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own unless otherwise noted.

A laugh-out-loud debut novel that will delight fans of Bridget Jones’s Diary and HBO’s Girls

Love by the Book charts a year in the life of Lauren Cunningham, a beautiful, intelligent, and unlucky-in-love twenty-eight-year-old American. Feeling old before her time, Lauren moves to London in search of the fab single life replete with sexy Englishmen. But why can’t she convince the men she’s seeing that she really isn’t after anything more serious than seriously good sex? Determined to break the curse, Lauren turns her love life into an experiment: each month she will follow a different dating guide until she discovers the science behind being a siren. Lauren will follow The Rules, she’ll play The Game, and along the way she’ll journal her (mis)adventures and maybe even find someone worth holding on to. Witty, gritty, and very true to life, Love by the Book will have you in stitches.

Here’s Melissa talking about the book.

My Take Oblong

I absolutely loved this book!  It’s rare that fiction is so funny that I laugh out loud in front of other people. Repeatedly.  And it is rare that I find a book I really love.

This story is sexy without there being a lot of sex. That’s not easy to do. There’s swearing, there are references to orgasms, but there’s nothing explicit. It’s not “clean,” in the sense that it is about finding someone for sex, but it isn’t down and dirty either. It’s a nice change once in a while.

The writing is good, Melissa has a flair for dialogue that seems perfectly natural and unstudied.  And it is brought to life by the Jayne Entwhistle’s outstanding narration.  What I like about Jayne is her ability to play any accent.  Secondary characters like Hamish the book seller can sound similar, but the main characters are always spot on and Jayne’s voice has an effervescent quality that makes it unique.  It was a truly enjoyable performance. Really her voice is fizzy.

The plot is very clever. I don’t recall having read anything like it before. And, it is loosely based on Melissa Pimental’s personal dating experiments with the books Lauren uses in hers. And, while at first I didn’t understand how using books, like THE RULES, written as advice for women looking for relationships worked towards Lauren’s goal, I soon fell in with the spirit of the thing.

Of course what Lauren finds is not what she set out looking for. And she learns  a lot about herself and other people.

Another great point for this story is that Lauren is from Portland, Maine (just down the road a bit) and that Melissa actually seems to have spent time here because she got most of it right and even picked out an existing neighborhood bar for her characters to hang out in.

I immediately liked Lauren and her flatmate Lucy. Lauren is like the girl down the street, albeit a slightly off kilter girl down the street. And Lucy is her perfect complement. They’re like Lucy and Ethel or Kate and Allie — partners in some of the funniest antics and hijinks I have ever read.

I haven’t been on a date with anyone other than my husband in 34 years so my ability to discern what is real in the lives of my single friends, and what feels real in the book, but the important thing to me is that it feels real.

It’s about people who work in museums and in development! Museums are huge favorites for me and I loved to volunteer and serve of the board of one.  So the story gets another point in its favor because of its relatability to my life.

As chick lit, the story helps take a young woman looking to regain her equilibrium after the end of a relationship by throwing her entire life out of equilibrium through moving to London.  Through the story told with great humor, Lauren discovers herself, and what was missing from her life.  I haven’t read chick lit this good in years.

I HIGHLY recommend this to anyone who like chick lit. I also recommend it as an audio book because Jayne brings the whole thing to life!






Here’s Melissa talking about what she learned about dating!