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The Little Things

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  595 ratings  ·  137 reviews
There are lots of things that brighten Joel’s life. His three-year-old daughter, Evie, is one. His close relationship with her mother, his best friend from university, is another. Joel’s boyfriend, Dan, adds spice to his child-free nights, and Joel is pretty happy with how things are.

Then one cold and rainy night, everything changes. Joel's life is turned upside down when
ebook, 214 pages
Published November 22nd 2013 by Dreamspinner Press (first published November 21st 2013)
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3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  595 ratings  ·  137 reviews

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Oct 28, 2013 rated it liked it

Sorry to do this...

2.5 stars

First things first: I don't think this book is a romance. Which is fine. Except it’s shelved on GR as a M/M Romance. There are 2 guys and a kid on the cover. The blurb alludes to these relationships. But 75% of this book is not about a couple at all. And that pretty much put me in a bad mood. I’ve had to wait a day or two to write this review because I wanted this irritation to not overwhelm me with frustration as I review the story.

Look, I’m certain that many of you
~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~
The Little Things is Northcote's first novel and has a heavier, more subdued tone than most of her other books. It reminded me a little of her newest novel

Passing Through by Jay Northcote

which I loved.

Like in Passing Through, there's some grief and melancholy here, but the book doesn't drown in these emotions.

Joel, who's 23, struggles to adjust to life as a single parent to his 3-year-old daughter Evie following the death of his close friend and co-parent, Claire. Joel is lonely and feels disconnected from his job as a te
3.5 stars

"The Little Things" is one of Jay Northcote's first books. If you read any review that it's out there, you will find out pretty easily that this isn't your typical romance. For one thing, the second MC, Liam, doesn't really get in the story until after half of it is over and, for another, the MC that is in the story, Joel, is involved with someone else - Dan - for most of it.

It was refreshing, in a way, that the relationship Joel was in before he met Liam wasn't a toxic one. It was betw
Garrett Leigh
Oct 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love Jay Northcote's style of writing. Easy like a Sunday morning, and British to the bone. Nothing Serious put a smile on my face and I was looking forward to The Little Things from the moment the preorder links went up.

The Little Things is a wonderful book. Joel is a great character, and he's surrounded by a stellar cast. Evie, Liam, Miranda. Even his failed relationship with Dan holds a place in my heart.

The timeline of the book is very real. There is no insta-love here, or 360 flips when i
Goodreads TOS-compliant review: (I think, let me know when they tell us what the rules are).

"The book I just read is about two (or three) lovely people, written in beautiful language, by a very good and prolific author. I liked it very, very much.
It is for sale on Amazon.”

For my honest and true view of the same book, please read …MORE

DISCLAIMER: As of today my reviews will all have this pretty face, so that all and everyone on Goodreads can stay happy and beatific. I’ll let you know if I chan
May 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jay is re-releasing this with a new cover so I'll be re-reading and reviewing that version :)

When I heard Jay was publishing this one with a new cover I was really happy as its the first of his books I ever read and it remains a favourite.

It's a super sweet and relatively low angst romance about a guy who's muddling along quite nicely when his world gets turned upside down.

Joel does out himself through the wringer a bit but I loved how Liam wasn't just a walk over and did make Joel have to work
Mar 09, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: m-m, 2016
It was a sweet read. The writing is good. Only to slow for me.
After 45% Joel finally gets involved with Liam. Before that its all about Joel and his child Evie.
How he lost the mother of his child how his relationship ends. His struggles and his life as a familyman.
And "insensible" me just want to read about the interaction between Liam and Joel.
Oct 28, 2013 marked it as dnr-dnf-not-4-me
Shelves: mm-children
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 05, 2016 marked it as dnf
I started skimming on page one. Gave up around page five.
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finding the right person is hard at the best of times, but when you've got a kid...

it's a whole other level of challenging.

Joel's life isn't quite what he imagined but still he wouldn't change a thing especially the part that gave him an adorable daughter named Evie. He's got a boyfriend named Dan that Evie seems to really like. So while life's not quite what he'd imagined Joel's got a job he enjoys, a boyfriend he thinks might be the one, he shares custody of his daughter with her mom and wh
Nov 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
This started off well and was going along at a nice steady 3 star, but as I hit the half way mark I started to get bored. Everything is slow and drawn out, and it felt like I never really got any where.

At first I liked Joel. He was a good strong character, and I liked the way he and Dan played out. But then Joel seemed to change into a whinny ninny. I hated the way things were so good then suddenly Joel starts getting all sentimental over Dan. The break with Joel and Liam should of added a littl
If I were rating books on Goodreads this year, I would be giving this five stars. For me to read a tough subject matter, the author needs to be able to pull me through it with enough trust that it will all be okay. This wasn't an easy read, there are a few very tough moments where I had to stop reading because I was not only crying but I was simply too emotional to read another word, and yet I continued. For that alone, for an author to pull me back into a story with such intense emotions deserv ...more
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 Stars
Mar 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Personal journey.
This is an in-depth look at a young man’s personal journey. If you are expecting a romance story, chances are likely you will be disappointed. While there IS some romance, it clearly takes the back seat in this tale. We have to survive a great deal before the romance can begin. It’s also quite different from my treasured bookshelf holding my Northcote collection. I absolutely adored her deeply moving story, Passing Through, and though this is similar it is also quite different
Sep 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Little Things is a bit of a sad read. Unlike the other Jay Northcote books that I've read, this one isn't light and low on the angst. Joel goes from being a single, part-time, dad to a full time dad because his best friend who is also the mother of his daughter is killed in a car accident. Most of the book deals with Joel figuring out how being a full time dad works.

In the beginning of the book Joel is dating Dan. It's nothing terribly serious, but Joel does consider Dan to be his boyfriend.
Nov 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
When Joel was struggling with his sexuality, he slept once with Claire, his girl best friend, and resulted in a daughter, Evie. They raised her together, even though they lived separately. Claire went to school, while Joel taught middle school. Now, Evie was 3-yr old, and Joel had an open relationship with Dan, a guy younger than he was. Everything was good, until Claire died from car accident and Joel became a single parent. The event led to a realization that his and Dan's lives were too much ...more
Mar 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
What a sweet book. As said in other reviews, this is not primarily a romance. It’s the story of Joel, a 23 year-old father to an adorable 3 year-old girl, who is trying to juggle the different roles in his life: full-time dad, teacher, gay man. The story is told from Joel’s POV which is fitting, as he is the main protagonist here. The story is not about finding true love with another person. Rather, it’s about healing from grief and trying to be happy.

I have to say, if you’re not a fan of stor
Most important things pillow
Oh, I loved this book! I'm reminded of the saying "The most important things in life AREN'T things" (we should all have a pillow like this to remind us daily) but it truly is the little things that make this story so wonderful. Jay Northcote takes the time to tell Joel and Claire's story - how two best friends at uni and one night of sex resulted in an unplanned pregnancy, made somewhat more complicated by Joel realizing that he was gay. Joel and Claire support and love each other and share par
El Ma
Jan 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Immer noch denke ich gerne an diese Geschichte zurück – und das auch noch ein paar Tage nach dem Lesen. Vergessen sind die Tränen aus dem ersten Drittel (und auch die ein paar Kapitel später).

Die (Anfangs-) Protagonisten dieser Geschichte haben eine Lebensplanung entwickelt und erreicht, die mich vor Neid blaß werden ließ. Auch wenn es im realen Leben nicht oft so harmonisch und perfekt aufeinander abgestimmt ist bzw. sein kann, in “Romanzen” darf, nein sollte es das sein, denn das Leben draußen
Becky Condit
Nov 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Please leave comments on my 5 sweet pea, recommended book review at

That time, it was Joel who’d held Claire while she cried and raged about “stupid bloody condoms that don’t f**king work,” and he had convinced her that having a baby wasn’t going to be the end of the world either, if a baby was what she wanted.

The Little Things is not all sweetness and light. Let me get that out of the way. Oh, it starts out that way. Sort of. Joel is a teacher. And a fat
May 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Death is a weird thing to write about. I am saying this as a reader and definitely not a writer. I think death can be easy to write about. You can write a great scene, make your reader cry and then....well that is the complicated part, isn't it?

Jay Northcote accomplishes the 'then' part exceptionally well, especially for one of her first tries out the door. She manages to build a great story about the aftermath of a death and its effect on a family. I really wouldn't label this book as a M/M rom
Nov 05, 2013 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars

Full review can be found at On Top Down Under Book Reviews.

I love a book with kids in them and in The Little Things, we have three-year old Evie. She's written as a typical child of that age and I got a kick out of some of her antics. Her father Joel is a twenty-three year old school teacher who is a devoted father in every sense of the word. There's Dan, Joel's boyfriend, who is only nineteen and not quite ready for a serious relationship. When a tragedy happens, Joel instantly goes fr
I went from reading a book lacking in description to this, which is abundant in it.
Sometimes it did feel a little overly descriptive, but I actually got into that.

Again a British author and they always make me giddy. Daft little things like snogging, shagging, Tesco, and even licking a pound coin to get the machine to accept it.
These characters ate normal food like scrambled eggs, and had yogurt for dessert, it was all so normal and familiar, I loved every moment of it!
Dec 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m-romance, family
One of the most beautifully heartbreaking stories ever. I love this author's writing style. The characters were all exceptionally well written and you just felt like you knew them personally. I had to stop reading this book so many times as my emotions were all over the place. It truly sucked that something so sad had to happen in order to get something so wonderful out of it.
Oct 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book will jerk on your emotions!!!!! Made me cry several times!!!! EXCELLENT book - LOVE this Author!!!!
Isabella ~Mikku-chan~
*~~*ARC kindly provided by the author to me in exchange for an honest review *~~*

english review; 2nd edition
Note: I changed a few parts in the review, added some new points, the original one is still below to compare

When you lost a daring person what do you do? Joel is in this situation. As a gay single father he is caring and loving his three-year old daughter Evie and his life is uneventful but happy. This happiness is crushed when he got the news of an accident.

This book by Jay Northcote
~nikki the recovering book addict
DNF ~31%

So.....this is the first book I’m putting in my DNF shelf, although certainly not the first book I DNF-ed. But seeing as I just set up this shelf, Jay Northcote has the unfortunate “honour” of being the first on it.

And I’m truly sorry for doing that to Jay Northcote when I usually love this author’s work. It’s just...the writing felt more choppy than usual, which is weird. I expected an author to improve over time, not become worse...? Or was it just this book? I just know the sentences
This is lovely book in so many ways especially how it address how hard parenting really is especially by yourself.

For me, the book started in the wrong place or it needed to keep going. We get Dan and the shared custody for a long time. And then when things change, we get a middle section and then Liam coming in but we don't get enough time in the romance.

So, not my favorite of Northcote's but a tender tale.
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book like the real life, slow and steady with a bit of melancholy but always going on because of all those little things life is made of and which keep you on your way through it.
Chris Kottner-Kirschner
Sep 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Joel ist sehr jung Vater geworden, nimmt die Verantwortung gegenüber seiner Tochter Eve sehr ernst. Gemeinsam mit ihrer Mutter Claire teilt er sich das Sorgerecht und Eve wechselt problemlos zwischen ihren Haushalten hin und her. Als Claire jedoch bei einem Autounfall stirbt, verändert sich Joels Welt schlagartig. Jetzt ist er alleine mit seiner kleinen Tochter und muss mit dem Verlust von Claire klarkommen. Auch wenn Joel und Claire kein richtiges Paar waren, so waren sie immer beste Freunde un ...more
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I don't hang out on Goodreads much, so if you'd like to connect with me then Twitter, Facebook or an email is usually best :) All my contact details are on my website.

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England. He comes from a family of writers, but always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed him by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website c