Anna's Reviews > Anyone But You

Anyone But You by Jennifer Crusie
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Feb 16, 09

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bookshelves: romance
Read in July, 2008

All Nina's friends (and her dog) seem to think she should ignore the age thing and give Alex a chance, but all her insecurities were brought out by her recent birthday. Will Nina be able to push her hangups aside long enough to find what could be the love of her life?

Well, since this a romance novel, the answer is obviously yes. But most of the fun is in getting there, and this book definitely has a lot of fun. As is her standard, Crusie took the romance standards and stood them on her head. I liked Nina, who has realistic concerns about the effect of aging on her body and her life, but still managed to be a powerful character. She had her insecurities and her hang-ups, but she wasn't going to let anyone else tell her what to do or how to live. She ended her marriage because she was unhappy, in spite of her ex-husband and mother's warnings that at her age, she was dooming herself to live the rest of her life alone.

By the time I'd hit the 30-page mark, I was already rooting for Alex. He was likeable, smart, and had a sense of humour. The chemistry between him and Nina was great, and Crusie spent enough time exploring their friendship dynamic that it was easy to see why they would make a great couple.

Also, there was Fred. Did I mention Fred? Because he was pretty much made of awesome.

My big complaint, and the thing that brough this book down from four stars, was the length. Anyone But You is 283 pages long, and while I like short and zippy sometimes, this felt like there were pieces missing, as though the editor said "this book is great, but it's about 50 pages too long. Hack a little away from the ending, would you?" I was a little more than 200 pages into the book when Nina agreed she'd maybe give Alex a shot, and then suddenly two months had passed, and Alex was the one suffering from insecurities. His issues were all valid enough, but they were brought up and resolved so quickly that I felt like I'd really been missing something, and the entire ending was less satisfying than I would have expected from the first two thirds of the story.

Anyone But You is a fun, quick read, with some really interesting and memorable characters, but it falls a little flat for me with a too-short ending. Not Crusie's best, but still worth a read if you happen upon a copy.
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