“To the cute girl with the coffee stains on her dress. I’m the guy who’s always standing near the doors… Drink sometime?”
This sweet rom-com is a soon to be classic just like the 80’s and 90’s movies that it has been inspired by. This book plays into the classic tropes of a rom-com but still manages to remain witty and truly authentic. The story follows Nadia, who after a breakup is on the track for The New Routine To Change Her Life – which involves catching the train on time at 7:30 (well, except for when she oversleeps) – and Daniel who really does get the train at 7:30 every morning and who has had a crush on Nadia ever since he first saw her. Being too shy to approach her, he decides to send in a message for her in the morning paper’s ‘missed connections’ section to grab her attention. Wanting to know who her secret admirer is, the two start to send messages back and forth, but just like in real life, things never go according to plan and the two keep missing each other, unable to meet…
While the book may be a bit slow for some people, I believe that this pace overall benefits the character development and storytelling. The book’s writing is witty and light and therefore it helps provide more weight to its emotional scenes. While it may be riddled with coincidences, the romance is well-written and makes sense for the characters, who are both relatable and lovable; while they fit the ‘opposites attract’ trope, they are also similar where it counts so you understand why they would be the perfect fit for each other.
And while the book may have a great romance, the protagonists’ relationships with the supporting cast is great as well. Characters such as Emma and Daniel’s mother go through their own development, which is vital to the story and it helps further the development of our main protagonists. However, while the development of side characters is beneficial, sometimes it can be quite distracting from our main love plot and can feel a bit jarring and unfit for the overall story. This unfortunately made the book drop down a little from being a five star read, but it was not too much of an issue to make me dislike it all together.
For me this book was an instant favourite and would be for many fans of classic rom-coms. It is a great summer read as it is set during the sunny season, but can also be a nice read for the whole year round. If you are in a reading slump, this book is the perfect choice to help you get out of it. However, even if you feel you are too busy to sit down and give this a go, it is well worth listening to the audiobook instead. The audiobook puts to use the talents of Carrie Hope Fletcher and Felix Scott as narrators of Nadia’s and Daniel’s points of view, respectively, and both performances provide even more depth and personality to the protagonists. If you are a fan of films such as When Harry Met Sally or You’ve Got Mail, this is the perfect read for you.