Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Book Review: From Notting Hill with Love...Actually by Ali McNamara

Synopsis (from Goodreads): Scarlett O'Brien is in love . . . with the movies. Utterly hooked on Hugh Grant, crazy about Richard Curtis, dying with lust for Johnny Depp, Scarlett spends her days with her head in the clouds and her nights with her hand in a huge tub of popcorn. Which is not exactly what her sensible, DIY-obsessed fianc√© David has in mind for their future. So when Scarlett has the chance to house-sit an impossibly grand mansion in Notting Hill ? the setting of one of her all-time favourite movies ? she jumps at the chance to live out her film fantasies one last time. It's just a shame that her new neighbour Sean is so irritating ? and so irritatingly handsome, too. As a chaotic comedy of her very own erupts around Scarlett, she begins to realise there's more to life than seating plans and putting up shelves. What sort of happy ending does she really want? Will it be a case of Runaway Bride or Happily Ever After? The big white wedding looms, and Scarlett is running out of time to decide.

My thoughts:

The first time I bumped into this books months ago in a bookstore at Finland I knew that it would be a perfect read for me. The synopsis sounds great; movies, London, handsome neighbor. Already from the cover you see that this is one of those books that you know what is going to happen in the end. But aren't you even a bit curious to see how it will happen?

Scarlett, the heroine is in many ways like me; she is completely obsessed with movies (I am reminded about my obsession daily by my friends and family). She also tends to relate everything to movies, which is something I do all the time. She is in love with Hugh Grant, she has seen Notting Hill way too many times, and she keeps hoping that a life would be a bit more like a movie. Her fiance David is a totally opposite to Scarlett and her personality. He seems uptight and annoying most of the time. It is still a bit unclear for me way Scarlett is with him in the first place.

When Scarlett's wedding is looming around, she realizes that she needs some time on her own to think. When she is offered a position as a house-sitter at Notting Hill, she cannot refuse. Her first moments at Notting Hill are (of course) like straight for a movie. She meets a gay guy, they become instants friends and she is invited to a dinner. She also meets her new temporary neighbor, who of course is steaming hot, but also a bit arrogant (Mr. Darcy, much?) And of course they meet at the dinner again... And that is just the beginning.

As the time goes by at Notting Hill, Scarlett sees that life truly is full of movie-like moments. She and Sean (the hot neighbor) also seem like polar opposites as you get to know more about them, but they at least have chemistry between them. It just takes a bit of time for Scarlett to fully realize it.

As I said before, this novel is totally obvious one. But I did not expect anything else from it. It is funny, full of nice movie mentions and the ending is SO romantic that it made me cry for good 10 minutes. I want my own Sean ASAP!

(From the end of the book you can find nice movie trivia and a guide to Notting Hill)

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