Nell Sullivan has always been known as ‘Miss Five-Year Plan’. But when she finds herself jobless and newly single on the same day, Nell decides it is time to stop planning and start taking chances.
Nell blows her redundancy cheque on a trip of lifetime to a place where anything is possible – San Francisco. There she meets a host of colourful characters, including the intriguing and gorgeous Max. Very soon the city begins to feel like Nell’s second home.
But when it’s time to return to London, will she leave the ‘new Nell’ behind? And can the magic of San Francisco continue to sparkle thousands of miles away?
Miranda Dickinson is, without a doubt, one of my favourite authors. The first novel I read of hers was ‘Welcome to My World’ and I was immediately taken in by her captivating writing style and amazing romantic stories. The past few years I’ve devoured her other works (‘When I Fall in Love’, ‘Fairytale of New York’ and ‘It Started with a Kiss’) and I’ve been looking forward to the release of her fifth novel ever since I heard she was busy writing it. I was lucky enough to be picked by the lovely people at Avon as one of the book bloggers to become a part of Miranda’s promotion team for this novel, Team Nell, which meant I received a review copy of ‘Take a Look at Me Now’ before it’s official release on the 24th of October! As soon as I found it in my mailbox, I put everything else aside and started reading, not being able to wait any longer to dive into Nell’s world!
To Nell Sullivan it seems like just any ordinary day at the office, but a simple post-it note stuck to her computer screen suddenly changes her entire life. Within just a couple of hours, she has lost her job and the chance of getting together with her ex-boyfriend Aiden. On a whim, she decides to use her redundancy cheque to book a flight to a destination far away from England, to get away from it all. Soon, Nell finds herself in San Francisco where she is staying with her cousin Lizzie for 8 weeks. Nell falls in love with the city and can’t imagine going home, back to the job hunt and her ex-boyfriend... But can Nell step back into her old life like that, or is it time to embrace the new Nell and the dreams that come with that?
I don’t even know where to start with this novel, except by stating the fact that Miranda Dickinson has done it again; what a brilliant and captivating read! I straight away fell in love with the heroine of this novel, Nell. I felt for her, because of how she unexpectedly loses her job and hopes to get back with her ex which then doesn’t happen, but I also admired her, for taking the plunge and booking that plane ticket to San Francisco, forgetting about everything else and simply doing what she wants. Throughout the novel, Nell experiences so many things and develops as a person, and I continued to root for her, secretly wishing I could be a bit more like her, taking control of my own life and following my dreams. Nell is such a loveable character, and I am sure lots of readers will adore and relate to her, just like I did.
The scene setting of the novel is fantastic. I discovered San Francisco when I read Niamh Greene’s ‘A Message to your Heart’ earlier this year, and Miranda Dickinson only managed to convince me even more that this is a city I definitely need to visit at least once in my life. The descriptions of all the different neighbourhoods, the tourist attractions, and the basic atmosphere of the entire city sparked of the page, making me feel like I was walking besides Nell, experiencing everything with her. I fell in love with everything about this novel, and I highly recommend it to any lover of romantic comedies or chick lit out there: you don’t want to miss this one! ‘Take a Look at Me Now’ is a fabulously enchanting and inspiring novel that will sweep you off your feet and convince you to not let go of your dreams, whatever might be thrown at you.