Review: 'Just the Way You Are' by Lynsey James (2015)
How do you start writing a letter to someone, six years after breaking their heart?
Ava is unlucky in love as well as in life. The new office bitch has landed the dating column Ava wanted, and she can't remember the last time she had a second date. It's a good thing she has best friends Max and Gwen to pick up the pieces.
Deep down, Ava knows the reason why one date never turns into two - she's in love with someone else. Someone she's never even met.
It all started six years ago, with a letter from a secret admirer, Mr Writer…but then they suddenly stopped and Ava was heartbroken.
Now the letters have started again and Ava knows it could mean winning back the dating column at work. This time she's determined to unmask Mr Writer...and find out once and for all if he's Mr Right or Mr Very Definitely Wrong!
I'm still doing my very best to catch up on all my reading (the end of my TBR-pile is slowly becoming visible, very slowly...!) and today I've got another review of a 2015 release to share with all of you which I should have shared a lot sooner. When I first heard about Lynsey James' debut novel 'Just the Way You Are' I straight away loved the cover and the blurb and was really keen to give the book a chance, also because Lynsey is a fellow book blogger who got a book deal with publisher Carina UK! The novel was released in April 2015 but due to the review copy not working on my e-reader I wasn't able to review the book as quickly as I initially planned. Never mind that, though; I finally sat down and gave the book the time it deserved and that's the most important thing!
When she was at university, Ava's life was suddenly turned slightly upside down when she started to receive the most amazing anonymous love letters. Mr. Writer, as Ava named him, knew exactly what to say to her and she couldn't help but feel as if she had found the One. Until they finally decided to meet up and he never showed. Now, six years later, Ava's attempts at moving on are halted when she suddenly finds another letter on her doorstep, but this time she is determined to figure out who Mr. Writer is once and for all. However, this is easier said than done when you've got almost nothing to go on, your boss decides to organise a crazy competition at work, and you have a new friend in need. But Ava knows she has to find out who this man is and whether it will really be the shot at true love she has been hoping for.
As soon as I read the book description of 'Just the Way You Are', I fell in love with the plotline of the novel and was really curious to check it out. Ava has been receiving love letters from a secret admirer for years and she's determined to finally discover who he really is. If you're a romantic like me I'm sure you will love Mr. Writer's letters as much as I did; wow, just the idea of receiving love letters like that...! The author really did her best to make sure readers of this book had enough to focus on with several subplots, such as an important competition going on at Ava's work, her relationship with her best friends Gwen and Max, and a new friendship with elderly lady Ivy that also comes with a search.
While lots of things were going on in this novel, I unfortunately just didn't feel as connected to the story and the characters as I would have liked to. Something was missing, a bit of depth perhaps, and it also didn't help that I was able to guess the exact way the story was going quite quickly. I also had difficulty warming to Ava, the main character; she seemed a bit all over the place, not really sure what she wants. Even though this novel didn't completely live up to my expectations, I still feel 'Just the Way You Are' is an enjoyable and promising debut by Lynsey James and I actually am quite curious to check out her second book, 'The Broken Hearts Book Club' and have high hopes for it!