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Just Like You

3.40  ·  Rating details ·  17,654 ratings  ·  2,115 reviews
This warm, wise, highly entertaining twenty-first century love story is about what happens when the person who makes you happiest is someone you never expected

Lucy used to handle her adult romantic life according to the script she'd been handed. She met a guy just like herself: same age, same background, same hopes and dreams; they got married and started a family. Too
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published September 29th 2020 by Riverhead Books (first published September 17th 2020)
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Michelleluster Lucy realized that Emma was an acquaintance she had outgrown, and since the relationship could not progress it faded away. There wasn’t going to be ac…moreLucy realized that Emma was an acquaintance she had outgrown, and since the relationship could not progress it faded away. There wasn’t going to be acceptance from Emma and Lucy pitied her more than liked her. (less)

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Average rating 3.40  · 
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 ·  17,654 ratings  ·  2,115 reviews

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Sam Quixote
Jul 08, 2020 rated it it was ok
Set in the months leading up to the Brexit referendum in 2016, Lucy, a white 42 year old single mother of two, unexpectedly finds love with Joseph, a black 22 year old man of multiple part-time jobs. Just Like You follows the ups and downs of what an interracial relationship with a large age gap is like in a country getting more divided by the week.

I loved Nick Hornby’s early novels - High Fidelity, About a Boy and How to Be Good - but I lost interest starting with A Long Way Down (unfinished)
This is the latest from Nick Hornby of About a Boy, Fever Pitch and Hi-Fidelity fame, a story set in London 2016 in the run up to the Brexit referendum where the divisions in Britain are laid bare. Many of the numerous issues that divide the nation are echoed in a romance between a couple that at first glance have little in common and everything that suggests that at best it would be a short lived affair that will fizzle away. White, middle class, educated Lucy is in her forties, a teacher with ...more
Jul 11, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary
Where and when, inner north London, Summer 2016. She - 42, separated from addict husband, two junior school sons and the head of the English department at a local state school; interests are books, avoiding her sex obsessed married female friend, politics and.... sourcing food locally. He - 22, Saturday butcher's assistant, kids' football team manger, leisure centre worker and single; interests are making music, saving money for his future... pretending to like going t0 church every Sunday for ( ...more
Nat K
Oct 25, 2020 rated it really liked it

"She wanted intellectual stimulation and sexual excitement, and if she couldn't have that then she didn't need anybody." 

As it was beautifully put in the book, this story is like the movie Guess Who's Coming To Dinner. Except in this case, the female part of the couple is a forty two year old divorcée, and Mum, Lucy. And the male is half her age, twenty two year old, single Joseph. 

Amusingly, when Lucy mentions the movie to Joseph, he'd not heard of it. Nor of Sidney Poitier.

LUCY: Oh shit. This
Andy Marr
Jul 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nick Hornby is undeniably one of the most important British authors of the past 25 years, and this, from the reviews I've read so far, is set to become one of his finest works. Sure, the topic of a Brexit has been dealt with before, but for me, Hornby has made a better fist of things than, say, Jonathan Coe, whose 'Middle England' was nominated for the Booker Prize last year. In addition, his study of race-relations in post-Brexit Britain could not have come at a more important time, given the i ...more
Oct 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
The novel opens with Lucy, one of the protagonists, mentally going through the things that she hates in her mind. Try as she might, she cannot come up with anything that trumps waiting in a que to get into her local butcher’s shop. Waiting in the cold outside as the line slowly moves towards the entrance. To make matters worse she is stuck with, Emma, who would consider herself a friend of Lucy’s, but Lucy does not really share the same view, perhaps, acquaintance might be a better definition. E ...more
Dec 24, 2020 rated it it was ok
It’s Christmas Eve and I didn’t have a lot on my plate so I read this book. It was quite a disappointing read.

Plot: A 22-year black man in London working at a butcher shop and a 42-year old white woman working as chair of an English Department at a high school (I think) and separated-from-alcoholic-husband are in a relationship. That’s it. While they are having their relationship the initial vote for Brexit is going on (for most of the book except a brief chapter at end it is 2016), and I guess
Mar 21, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
“And maybe there was no future in it, but there was a present, and that’s what life consists of.”
(2.5 stars)

This was an interesting read for me. If it had been written by someone other than Nick Hornby it would have been a waste. But Hornby is an excellent observer of relationships and has moments in his books that are startlingly simple human truths, and so while I was not blown away by this text, or even cared for it all that much, I still enjoyed reading it.
“Just Like You” is a novel about a
Nov 24, 2020 rated it liked it
This was a good palate cleanser and a quick read. It was also my first Nick Hornby book and while I enjoyed the humor and writing style (very much so in some parts), I am going to give this a more neutral rating. Why? The story of a relationship between a 22 year old Black man (Joseph) and a 42 year old white woman (Lucy), written from the perspective of a white male is kind of just blah to me. While it was a nice idea to write about, on one hand they got together rather quickly and once they di ...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

Talk about all the stars aligning. My turn at the library for this new release from Nick Hornby just so happened to coincide with . . . .

Treat Yo Self Day. And that is exactly what this book was. A complete and utter treat.

Forty-one year old English teacher Lucy never expected to find herself single with a couple of young sons, but when her husband not only spent all of their money, but did so on drug dealers that he let into the
luce (currently recovering from a hiatus)
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Set against the backdrop of the 2016 referendum (Brexit) Just Like You follows two very different individuals who happen to fall in love. Recently divorced Lucy, a forty-one year old white schoolteacher, is looking to date again so she hires a babysitter for her two sons. The babysitter, Joseph, happens to be a twenty-one year old black man who works part time at a the butcher counter and aspires to be a DJ. In spite of how little in common Lucy and Joseph have, th
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Dec 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020

Were we to evaluate people, not only according to their intelligence and their education, their occupation and their power, but according to their kindliness and their courage, their imagination and their sensitivity, their sympathy and their generosity, there could be no classes. Who would be able to say the scientist was superior to the porter with admirable qualities as a father, the civil servant with unusual skill at gaining prizes to the lorry driver with unusual skill at growing roses?

Jenny (Reading Envy)
Does Nick Horny write the best "contemporary fiction" aka "women's fiction" aka "chick lit"? Maybe, even if this wasn't one of my favorites. It takes two people who it's hard to imagine together and plays with the idea of them trying to make it work anyway, despite racial and gender differences, Brexit and Trump landscape, different socio-economic backgrounds, oh yeah and a huge age difference. It was a bit of a slog at times but I was glad I read to the end.

I was very aware the entire time of t
Jul 09, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
As someone who has read 'Funny Girl' more times than they can count and adored 'Juliet, Naked', I was really excited to receive the eArc for Nick Hornby's upcoming novel.

The novel starts off strong, giving the reader a clear idea of the two main characters and helping the reader grow fond of them. On the one hand, we have Lucy, a 42 white middle class woman who's head of the English department at a secondary school; she's also a single mom but that has recently come out of an abusive relationshi
(3.5) I think this is the first novel I’ve read that has explicitly discussed Brexit and tried to understand the motivations of those who voted Leave. I know there have been others (by Jonathan Coe, Ali Smith et al.), but they didn’t appeal. The way Hornby folds the recent history into the romance of an unlikely couple (42-year-old white woman; 22-year-old black man) felt like a more natural way of gazing on the country’s ideological divisions. Lucy, an English teacher and mother of two preteen ...more
Mar 28, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: advance-copy
As a teenager, I loved Hornby's books—I liked A Long Way Down and About A Boy especially, but I've read everything he published up to Juliet, Naked, which didn't do much for me at the time, and is when I stopped keeping up with new releases. This is the first of his books that piqued my interest in over ten years, and it seemed like just the right type of light fare I was craving.

The premise is simple, typical Hornby: Boy meets girl, in 2016 London. The boy is Joseph, a 22-year old, single, blac
Elizabeth George
Nick Hornby is a lovely writer, and he doesn't disappoint with Just Like You. It's a delightful novel about an unusual relationship between an older woman and her much younger lover. We see the POVs of both characters as they come to terms not only with the differences in their ages but also with the differences in their races. I sped right through it, enjoying every bit of it. For something diverting, this is the book for you. ...more
Sep 13, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: netgalley
Controversial opinion perhaps, looking at the other Goodreads reviews, but I really didn't enjoy this. It was my first Nick Hornby novel, and almost definitely my last.

Reading this, I couldn't help but wonder exactly what was going through Nick Hornby's head when he decided to write it. He's writing from the point of view of a single mother in her forties, and a black man in his 20s, and I don't think he manages to do either particularly well. There's also a lot thrown in about Lucy's making ca
Oct 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just Like You is the eighth novel by award-winning British author, Nick Hornby. When Lucy Fairfax and Joseph Campbell embark on their relationship, neither is looking too closely at the reasons, or the likely outcome: they are acting on mutual attraction, and find that they enjoy each other’s company.

Lucy, a separated mother of two, is Head of the English Department at the local high school, forty-two years old and white. Joseph does various part-time jobs including, football coaching, baby-sitt
Dec 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
Having never read any of Nick Hornby's books, I accidentally read two. I had just finished reading High Fidelity and decided to read Just Like You without giving any notice that the author was the same. In time, I realized the writing style and the thought processes were very similar. Hornby writes with authenticity and integrity. People are flawed and so too can the characters in books.

Lucy is a 40-year-old English professor, divorced with two children, and simply trying to navigate her life a
Feb 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
This was a (frankly not very romantic) love story about an older white woman dating a much younger Black man, with a lot of focus on racism and Brexit. There really was no plot, but I like Hornby’s writing enough for that to work. I appreciated the commentary about Trump and Boris Johnson, the police and various political statements. Joseph calls out Trump being supported by white supremacists and how hopeless to be a person of color with leadership and a landscape like this and ohh how correct ...more
Nov 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, fiction
Nick Hornby is, of course, the author of many a classic, like About a Boy and High Fidelity. He’s pretty much an expert at creating clever, endearing, down-to-earth, observant, and just slightly damaged characters who you can’t help but love.

Lucy and Joseph are no different. The interesting thing about this book, though, is that the relationship between Lucy and Joseph is more of a main character than either of them individually. This book is about a Them. It considers what makes relationships w
Apr 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: britlit
3.5 stars. For years, Nick Hornby was one of my favourite authors. Then, a few novels back, I stopped finding the delight and comfort I used to find in his books such as "A Long Way Down" and "About a Boy". So I approached "Just Like You" with a bit of trepidation. I'm relieved to say the author I knew and loved is back. I so enjoyed this tale of a mismatched couple (she: mid-40s, divorced, white, university educated, middle-class, anti-Brexit; he: early 20s; single, black, working-class, pro-Br ...more
biblio_mom (Aiza)
Dec 04, 2020 rated it did not like it
My worst 2020 read goes to this very book and I have to skimmed through it to stay sane. It's definitely not a romance and what's with dropping every F words in literally every pages possible? So many things going on at the same time and another one, after another.

Maybe its just not for me and the others who rated this a 1 star. I'm sorry. It just didn't worked out for me.
Oct 15, 2020 rated it liked it
A humorous romance novel about expectations, interracial relationships, identity, and differences in the era of Brexit and Trump. Nick Hornby's latest doesn't reinvent the formula. Characters are still indecisive and over analyze how they are perceived, and the novel gets bogged down by these character traits. The story is at its best when it leans into the humor and personal connection between the two main characters. The Brexit backdrop never feels fully developed in any interesting or complex ...more
Lou (nonfiction fiend)
Sep 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Just Like You is a poignant, warm, wise and highly entertaining twenty-first-century love story about what happens when the person who makes you happiest is someone you never expected. Lucy used to handle her adult romantic life according to the script she'd been handed. She met a guy just like herself: same age, same background, same hopes and dreams; they got married and started a family. Too bad he made her miserable. Now, two decades later, she's a nearly-divorced, forty-one-year-old schoolt ...more
May 12, 2021 rated it did not like it
Excruciating middle-class hand-wringing about race and Brexit.

60 year old white man Nick Hornby’s attempted portrayal of a young black man is too dull, clunky and hampered by a terror of sounding unwoke to even be offensive, and instead falls down squarely on the side of cringe, with Hornby dropping in squirmingly outdated urban slang and awkwardly shoe-horning in countless instances of everyday racism like he’s trying to get a full house on his woke bingo card.

The 42 year old middle-class whi
Dec 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lucy is 42 and a teacher, she has 2 children and is divorcing her husband who suffers with alcohol dependency.

Joseph is black, in his twenties and has several jobs, babysitting, working in the butchers, which is where he meets Lucy and dreams of becoming a DJ.

Lucy asks Joseph about finding a babysitter as she has a date. He offers to babysit for her and her boys soon start loving spending time with him, Lucy finds herself attracted to Joseph.

They start a relationship, but will the age gap and
Jun 26, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lockdown
I was captivated by the first part of Just Like You. Lucy was spunky. Joseph was handsome and thoughtful . Their burgeoning relationship felt vivid. As I continued to read, my feelings shifted. it felt as though the colour was slowly fading from the story. The tension between Joseph and Lucy just wasn’t there. I wanted to like this. I wanted to feel something powerful. Anger, disgust, giddiness, joy... Instead, I was left with a beige feeling of blah.

This might be a good book for when the world
The short: This ain’t a romance, let’s clear that up, so move on if you’re keen for a younger man-older woman romance read. I suggest The Island by Tracey Garvis Graves.

If you would like to read a reasonably good fictionalization of how people of mixed social, racial, and age categories reacted to the 2016 United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, I recommend this book.


The long: My disillusionment was gradual and irritating because Hornby teased me with the idea of it being a roma
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Nick Hornby is the author of the novels A Long Way Down, Slam, How to Be Good, High Fidelity, and About a Boy, and the memoir Fever Pitch. He is also the author of Songbook, a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award, Shakespeare Wrote for Money, and The Polysyllabic Spree, as well as the editor of the short-story collection Speaking with the Angel. He is a recipient of the American Acade ...more

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“She was happy, in a bubble, and the only reason to pop it was on the grounds that bubbles were not real life. But bubbles made life tolerable, and the trick was to blow as many as possible. There were new-baby bubbles, and honeymoon bubbles, and success-at-work bubbles, and new-friends bubbles, and great-holiday bubbles, and even tiny TV-series bubbles, dinner bubbles, party bubbles. They all burst without intervention, and then it was a matter of getting through to the next one. Life hadn’t been fizzy for a while. It had been hard.” 3 likes
“In Lucy’s experience, these were the two genders, boys and readers. She wished there was as much gender fluidity as people seemed to think.” 2 likes
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