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The Boy I Loved Before

3.54  ·  Rating Details ·  1,559 Ratings  ·  109 Reviews
While attending her best friend Sashy's wedding, Flora Scurrison realizes that this monotonous, nine-to-five, cookie-cutter life is exactly what's in store for her. While it might be okay for Sashy, it's certainly not what she envisioned for herself when she was sixteen. So when her boyfriend proposes to her during the reception, Flora makes a wish to go back and do it all ...more
Paperback, 306 pages
Published March 1st 2005 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 2004)
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There is no excuse for me reading this, other than that it came free with my flatmate's copy of Cosmopolitan, so at least I didn't have to pay for it. On the other hand, feel free to berate me that I read a book which came free with a copy of Cosmopolitan.

Chick lit is like McDonald's - you know you shouldn't go near it; you do anyway, even though you feel horribly guilty; and afterwards, you have a horribly bloated, queasy feeling that reminds you of just how much junk you've consumed.
Jun 06, 2015 Zoe rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
What the..?

In a nutshell, 32 year old Flora is unhappy with her lot. At her best friends wedding, she makes a wish when the cake is cut - "I wish I was 16 again" cue her waking up the following morning as her 16 year old self. The premise is similar to the film "13 going on 30" but nowhere near as smooth.

What essentially started out as a time travel concept quickly turned into a jumbled muddle. She hadn't gone back 16 years - she'd simply turned 16 again. For some reason she had gone back in t
Hani Tiara
Apr 05, 2015 Hani Tiara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-read
I love the storyline - it is funny (really funny), but not the writing style. I understand that this is Colgan's first few novels published, hence the not-so-interesting writing style. But if you read her latest novel such as Rosie Hopkins series, you will fall in love directly!
Jenny Rebecca
Jan 29, 2008 Jenny Rebecca rated it it was amazing
Shelves: chick-lit
I read this author a few years ago. I first started with "Talking to Addison" which is one of my all time favorite books. I laughed hysterically. Then I forgot all about her until recently. I stayed up until 1 this morning reading this book, it's still fabulous. I can't wait to get reacquainted with Jenny Colgans books again.
Vickie Taylor
Feb 26, 2017 Vickie Taylor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read this book before although I'd forgotten the story. I found the idea of doing your life over from a certain point interesting. Good holiday read.
Jennifer Bagazin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 12, 2010 Lindsay rated it liked it
What would you do if you had the chance to go back to when you were 16 years old? At the age of 32, Flora runs into the boy she loved when she was a teen at her best friends wedding. Without realizing it, she makes a wish that she's 16 again. Waking up the next day she finds out that it came true. Only, she's 16 now instead of when she was actually 16 (the 80s?), which was not what I was expected. I thought that she would go back in time along with everyone else that she knew and get to make cha ...more
Sara ♥
I finished this book at about 1:30 this morning...

I don't know if this book really DESERVES 5-stars. I think other people who read it would maybe not feel the same way... But I LOVED this book. I laughed my head off. It was freaking hysterical! I mean, I AM a little bit pissed off at Jenny Colgan for stealing my idea for a book... although technically I didn't think of it until after this book was published in 2003, but still... :)

And now that I've said that.... I realize that that might be take
May 13, 2015 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book I ever read by Colgan and it's one that I (obviously as it's the first time I have recorded it here) read through every time I need to fantasise about how much better my life could have/should have/would have been had I just done a few things differently.

I can't help but wonder if I would have changed things and how I would have changed things NOW if I were offered the same opportunities as Flora and I guess, in a way, that's what Do you Remember the First Time is all abou
When I first read the description of this book online, I was thinking that it was a novel version of the movie "13 going on 30" starring Jennifer Garner, well, going backwards, instead of forwards. But it wasn't like that, Flora turns 16 again, and she changes her parents as well but the world around her is still the same, a month ago. The only people who still remember her are her best friend, her boyfriend, and her first love. I loved the book because it was how she managed to make a change fo ...more
Oct 01, 2008 Merredith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a sort of 13 going on 30 book, but in reverse. Flora is 32 and has what people would think of as a good life - a good office job, a nice, safe boyfriend, a best friend... But she's bored. She realizes she never wanted this middley life and wishes that she'd go back to 16 to fix it. The trick is, she turns 16, and her parents get younger, but she's still in present time (2003 I think they said). The only people who recognize her as her are her best friend Tashy (I hate that name), her boy ...more
Bought on the wondrous Kindle Daily Deal, I read this book while away on holiday. I always end up reading a Jenny Colgan while I'm on holiday (my first ever being Looking for Andrew McCarthy) and her stories never disappoint. This book had lively characters you could largely empathize with, and an intriguing plot premise based on a time-slip for the central female lead. The plot, in terms of how we start and how we end up, is fairly simple yet satisfying, and there are some very funny scenes. I ...more
Jul 31, 2015 Becky rated it liked it
I'm realizing that Chick Lit just isn't for me. Not to say that I didn't enjoy the book, it's just not one that will stay with me for long, not like the Chocolate Shop book by the same author.

That being said, there are things to like here. The main character was fun and both of her best friends were well-rounded and interesting. I liked the guys, too. No one was a complete jerk, even the "mean" girl at school turns out to be human. I liked the examination of what does it mean to be a grown up. I
Oct 11, 2012 Mecala rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Young adults
I'm a sucker for love stories and this one almost takes the cake!

Read this book before you get into a marriage you never wanted to be in the first place. This is a must read before you get older! Marry for love not convenience. Have you ever wished that you could have a do over? Well, this book is exactly that. The main character is a 30 something year old woman who goes to her friend's wedding where she runs into her high school sweetheart and realizes that she still really cares for him. I do
English chicklit which I read for the time travel/deaging. Except it’s not really time travel OR deaging; it’s kind of trying to be both (or neither?), so it’s basically all a muddle with no internal logic. Also the end’s a big cheat—why set up one of those “the protagonist must be clever and phrase her wish EXACTLY THE RIGHT WAY” scenarios if you’re just going to let her wish any old thing and have it come out peachy keen? While breezily written with some humorous bits and flashes of interestin ...more
Dec 11, 2008 Jordan rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sarah Belle
Oct 16, 2012 Sarah Belle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Imagine waking up as your teenage self again, living under the roof of your parents and being treated like the teenager you are. No decent coffee, no designer shoes, no freedom to come and go. Thirty-something Flora hasn't travelled back in time, she's a teenager today - in modern times, with a new best friend and strange family situation.
This was one of my first Jenny Colgan reads, and since then I've read many of her novels. The humour is sharp and witty, the characters real and the reference
Dec 19, 2012 A.M. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, romance, woman-s
A piece of fluff fiction I found when clearing through bookshelves - assume it belongs to my mother. I skimmed through the entire initial wedding sequence and started reading slightly more attentively after Flora goes back in time (er, well, kinda).

The concept of her becoming 16 yet staying in the present (so all her friends etc are still in their 30s) was weird and made little sense, but had some entertaining - if predictable - consequences.

It took me little over an hour to finish the book. I k
Aug 05, 2007 Kristen rated it liked it
Shelves: britishhumor
For your effortless reads, smart characters, witty dialog and laugh-out-loud situations, Miss Colgan, I will never read the back of your books I will just pick them up and read them, without question. Okay, well the first part of the book is only one or two stars but it ends with a solid 4 stars. 50 pages into the book I thought I was going to have to read a disappointing version of the 13 going on 30 movie (a movie that I hated). But alas, Miss Colgan pulled another great story out of a premise ...more
Aug 19, 2007 Linda rated it really liked it
Jenny Colgan is a Scottish writer. The Boy I Loved Before is another time travel story with a twist. At her best friend's wedding, Flora reflects on her life and wishes she could be 16 again when she had exciting dreams of what her life would be like. Something mysterious happens at the wedding and when Flora wakes up the next morning she discovers her wish has come true. She has a chance to change her life. This novel is an entertaining and quick read. I also enjoyed Amanda's Wedding by JC.
May 15, 2012 Greymalkin rated it did not like it
Shelves: chicklit
The characters were annoying, the plot weird, the reverse-aging thing awkward and the ending was terrible. One of the worst cases of deus ex machina I've never read. The main character learned almost nothing through her experiences except that she was a horrible person as a teenager. Which didn't actually make her change her behavior any, she just felt kinda bad about it. She continued to take no responsibility for her actions and also destroyed the lives of the people around her with her self c ...more
Louise Annette Marshall
Im re reading this book a fav of mine.Who wouldnt want that chance to go back and do it all again ,make some changes along the way .A chance to go back to those teen years again.:)The lovely idea of being able to make a wish as Flora did an be transported back ,although in this book Flora gets to be a teen again in the present day ,id find that a little more scary :)id prefer to be a teen in the 80s again .A brilliant book ,you.ll want to read again ,their are only so many books that dont loose ...more
Mar 02, 2008 Noelle rated it it was ok
I checked this book out at the library. It was weird because it is about a girl wishing she was sixteen again and it happens. It actually happens. No dream or anything. Because of the unbelievable/unrealistic premise, I didn't really like it very much. It could NEVER happen, so it made it strange to read and I couldn't relate to it. Also, some of the sentences seemed like the editor missed a lot. I had to reread some sentences just to figure out what the character said.
Mar 19, 2010 Jaimie rated it liked it
This book was weird - I'm not really sure how I feel about it. Flora isn't really happy in her 32 year old life and makes a wish on a wedding cake to be sixteen again. They way the author goes about this is different than I thought she would and set up the story to have some pretty awkward and in turn funny situations. The thing is I liked it and laughed a lot but I kind of feel like I shouldn't like it and that it was too weird to be good.
Apr 08, 2016 Katie rated it liked it
It was a light enjoyable read. Flora Scurrison, a 32 year old living in London, has a revelation about a major turn her life is about to take and she gets the chance to go back to being 16 years old and do a few things over and try to make everything better. Obviously this book isn't realistic but it was very cute and sort of thought provoking. It made me consider what I would try to change or fix if I could go back to that point in my life.
Mar 07, 2008 Christy rated it really liked it
A woman feels trapped in a boring life and wishes for the chance to go back to high school and do things all over again. And, BAM, now she's 16, and the world is an open book, waiting for new choices and new paths to be formed. But, she hasn't actually gone back in time. Now, she's 16 while the rest of the world (except her parents) remain just as they were when she was 32. Definitely a fun read.
Paula Nichols
Apr 13, 2016 Paula Nichols rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Doesn't everyone wish they could turn the clock back and change your decisions? Well Flora does get that chance, and it is a fun read (especially if you are of a similar age) that considers the difficulty of being a child of the 80s being trapped in a 'naughties' era. A lightweight read but a fun ride!
May 08, 2012 Christy rated it liked it
Another fun, fast read. Very fantastical and fart-fetched and very enjoyable!!! It actually surprised me a bit because it was not all fun and games when she "traveled back." There was a depth of feeling there I wasn't expecting. Definitely recommend if you are looking for something in the fun/mindless read category!!!
Jul 22, 2009 Bookworm rated it really liked it
This book teaches you to always be careful for what you wish for. A forty year old -ish woman wishes herself back to her teenage years, but nobody else changes... worst of all, only four of her older friends remember her. The poeple who remember her think that she is a ghost. It is a fun adventurous story
Dec 22, 2008 Carol rated it it was ok
Shelves: chick-lit
So strange to read a frothy chick lit book nearly 10 years after its publication. I had this on my to read list for years and I did enjoy Colgan's more recent work but this was silly. It seemed like the whole make a wish travel back in time plot was not thought out and the rules kept changing throughout the book.
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Jenny Colgan is the author of numerous bestselling novels, including 'The Little Shop of Happy Ever After' and 'Summer at the Little Beach Street Bakery', which are also published by Sphere.' Meet Me at the Cupcake Café' won the 2012 Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance and was a Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller, as was 'Welcome to Rosie Hopkins' Sweetshop of Dreams', which won the RNA Romantic ...more
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