Review: 'Somewhere Only We Know' by Erin Lawless (2015)
Boy meets girl…
Alex Bradley can't help but feel that life is rather passing him by. And not just life – promotions, invitations, romance; the girl he loves only has eyes for his flatmate and his 9-5 job as the Immigration department skivvy is slowly numbing his soul. Until he meets Nadia.
Girl meets boy…
Nadia Osipova is running out of time. With no money, no lawyer and a totally fictitious boyfriend, she’s got one last summer and one last appeal before the British government deport her back to Russia.
Girl gets deported?
It's going to be a bumpy ride, one she's dragging her new friend Alex along for. As Nadia races through a list of all her favourite London adventures, for what may be the last time, Alex can’t help but start to see the city, and his life, through Nadia’s eyes.
From hazy summer days on the Common and heady nights in Soho’s basement bars, to twilight walks along the Southbank, will Alex realise what he’s got before it’s too late?
Oh wow, isn't the book cover of Erin Lawless' novel 'Somewhere Only We Know' one of the most gorgeous covers you've ever seen?! I love everything about it, especially the references to London and the Tube, and this cover alone would already be more than enough for me to want to pick up this book. However, I was also determined to read this novel because I missed Erin's debut 'The Best Thing I Never Had', about which many book bloggers were quite enthusiastic. Harper Impulse is one of my favourite publishers, so I was really happy when I got a review copy of 'Somewhere Only We Know' and the chance to finally check out Erin Lawless' writing for myself!
Twenty-something Alex Bradley doesn't particularly love his job at the UK Immigration department, but it pays the rent. One day, he finds himself with an interesting letter in his hand, namely a request for a Nadia Osipova to be allowed to stay on in the UK. Without any money, no steady job and no boyfriend, Nadia is on the verge of being back deported to Russia, even though she knows the UK is her real home since she arrived when she was just a teenager to go to boarding school. As if it was faith, Alex unexpectedly meets the real Nadia at a pub quiz at a local pub and they become friends. As Nadia gets ready to leave London, she takes Alex on a journey to visit all of her favourite spots and do the sightseeing she never got to do. Alex can't help but grow more and more fond of Nadia, but will he realise what's right in front of him before it's too late?
I'm really glad I got the chance to read and review 'Somewhere Only We Know' because I ended up thoroughly enjoying my first Erin Lawless novel, and I'm sure this won't be my last one! Erin has a great writing style that goes really well with the chick lit genre, in my opinion, and I loved reading about Nadia and Alex and their lives. I have to admit I was a bit doubtful about the topic of immigration playing an important role in this novel, because I had no idea which direction this would go in and how serious this would make the story, but the author really did a wonderful job tackling this topic and creating a fascinating and lovely story around it with some great characters at its core.
The story is told from both a male and female perspective in the form of Alex and Nadia. I really liked both main characters from the start, and especially the scenes in which they featured together were my favourite with the clear chemistry and fun dialogue between the two of them. There were several aspects to the main storyline with things going on in both Alex's and Nadia's lives, making sure to keep the reader's attention at all times. I was also quite surprised by the ending of the novel which I did not see coming, but I don't want to give anything away. Overall, 'Somewhere Only We Know' is a thoroughly entertaining, fun and well-written romantic comedy that I really enjoyed from start to finish, and enough for me to straight away add Erin Lawless to my list of authors to look out for!