An aspiring screenwriter has a chance encounter with an actor who could be the man of her dreams. Over the next ten years, she’ll write the story . . . but will he end up being the star?
February 4, 2003, promises to be a typical day for Olivia Ross—a greeting card writer whose passion project is a screenplay of her own. But after she and a handsome actor have a magical meet-cute in a coffee shop, they make a spontaneous pact: in ten years, after they’ve found the success they’re just sure they’re going to achieve, they’ll return to the coffeehouse to partner up and make a film together. The only problem? Olivia neglected to get the stranger’s name. But she doesn’t forget his face—or the date.
For the next ten years, every February 4 is marked with coincidences and ironies for Olivia. As men come and go and return to her life, she continues to write, but still wonders about the guy from the coffee shop—the nameless actor she’s almost certain has turned out to be Hamish MacDougal, now a famous A-lister and Hollywood leading man.
But a lot can happen in ten years, and while waiting for the curtain to rise on her fate, the true story of Olivia’s life is being written—and if she’s not careful, she’ll completely miss the real-life romantic comedy playing out right before her eyes.
Bethany Turner has been writing since the second grade, when she won her first writing award for explaining why, if she could have lunch with any person throughout history, she would choose John Stamos. She stands by this decision. Bethany now writes pop culture–infused rom-coms for a new generation of readers who crave fiction that tackles the thorny issues of life with humor and insight. She lives in Southwest Colorado with her husband, whom she met in the nineties in a chat room called Disco Inferno. As sketchy as it sounds, it worked out pretty well in this case, and they are now the proud parents of two teenagers. Connect with Bethany at seebethanywrite.com or across social media @seebethanywrite, where she clings to the eternal dream that John Stamos will someday send her a friend request. Text her any time at (970) 387-7811!
This is such a surprising, twisting, uplifting, entertaining, feel good read! The main character easily resonated with my early thirties when I was struggling screenwriter who was hating her daytime job! Meet with Olivia Ross who is dreaming of being a scriptwriter, working as a greeting cards writer when the calendar shows us February 4th 2003.
Her path crosses with a struggling actor at a coffee shop and they made a deal: in ten years if they don’t find the love of their lives, they will get marry with each other. Okay, of course I’m kidding! This is not famous Julia Roberts’ romcom. This story is totally another line: Olivia makes a pact with the actor: she’ll finish her script in ten years, they’ll meet at the same coffee shop and the guy will play at her movie. Interesting and very long time commitment for two strangers who barely know each other but it seems like working so good for both of them.
I thought we will witness two different stories: how both of the strangers’ life stories would evolve and how their careers would develop in that time frame but the story is focused on only Olivia: her friendships with Fiona and Liam ( ex boyfriend, longtime friend) her though decisions, her resistance to change, her experiences! She kept a very big secret from her friends that could change everything in their relationship dynamics.
I mostly liked the story and its progression, the conclusion as well. At some parts both Olivia and Fiona are irritating characters. Olivia acted too stubborn, frustrating and selfish about some life changing decisions which made me mad and wanted to scream at her to gather her wits ASAP! Liam was my favorite character and I wanted to give him big hugs.
This is more women’s fiction, friendship story than romance! It was still motivational, entertaining and the writing style is also engaging. The characters could be a little connectable but they were still tolerable. I’m rounding up 3.5 to 4 lots of writing, self discovery, pain of true friendship, great twisty four stars!
Special thanks to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson for sharing this amazing digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.
I've spent nearly a decade with this book. A book that takes place over a decade. Coincidence? Yeah, maybe. Regardless, I am SO excited to finally introduce readers to Olivia Ross, as we're all transported to a magical, heretofore untapped era for romantic comedy stories: 2003-2013. :-) We're going to have so much fun together with this one!
I have never DNF an ARC before, but this book is rubbing me in all the wrong ways. I expected a cute contemporary romance, but I have a female main character that I have zero respect for because of the extent that she isn't honest about her feelings, does nothing to pursue her goals, and mistreats the two people she's closest to. Not only is there no mention of any kind of faith at all in this Thomas Nelson book, but the characters are making decidedly poor life choices. I'm just not enjoying this and I strongly dislike the main character. I liked the writing style and was quickly drawn into it. It seemed like a fun story for awhile but then quickly deteriorated and even the fun is gone.
I hate having to do this to a book provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review, but I cannot finish this book. All opinions expressed are obviously my own.
I’ll start this review by saying I saw, but didn’t read, negative reviews for this book before I began reading. I have read one other book by Bethany Turner (Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish) and enjoyed it, so I decided to begin reading Plot Twist with an open mind. Despite trying my very best to like this book, I just could not find much to appreciate about it.
I expected something completely different from the story based on the blurb—I’m someone who enjoys getting a bit of direction from a blurb, not spoilers—but Plot Twist veered so far from the expectations set by the blurb that I couldn’t enjoy the actual story. Olivia seems incredibly immature for her age—I wish the book had started when she was twenty four or twenty five instead of thirty—and her point of view grew very tiresome. I just couldn’t figure out what Liam saw in her, and honestly Liam is kind of the worst too. There was one time I actually threw my phone down, I got so frustrated. And the thing is, I actually liked part of the plot twist—it just felt incredibly exhausting and unrewarding once I got there. There were other parts of the book I liked, and I was so excited after the first chapter because I thought all the reviews I’d seen were wrong, but I just couldn’t get past the things I didn’t like to truly enjoy the story. Unfortunately, I just felt like I wasted my time.
I absolutely hate writing negative reviews. Especially when it’s an author whose work I have previously enjoyed. Sadly, Plot Twist just missed the mark for me. 1.5/5 stars
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
.5 only because I finished it. My gosh this book, I really, really didn’t enjoy it. The premise is really interesting, it spans ten years always landing on the same date. Liv meets a man one day in a cafe when she’s trying to write the next great screenplay. They have a meet cute and agree to meet at the same cafe in 10 years. We follow Liv for the next 10 years through finding out who the man is (a famous actor), heartbreak, friendships and career.
So, I don’t really understand the point of this story. Because of the way it’s written, hitting once every year I felt like I didn’t really get to know Liv, the main character. We just jumped in and out of her life and it felt choppy. The next complaint I have is what is this book even about? I thought for sure it would’ve been about these two people, but it’s not. We follow Liv’s life for 10 years through these trivial details and these messy relationships with her once boyfriend Liam and her best friend Fiona. Almost everything in this book was unbelievable, especially with Fiona, like what was her life? Also, this insane back and forth with Liam was SO annoying I couldn’t handle it. Like how was it him this whole time? So ridiculous. And she only goes in and out of realizing it? Through the whole book Liv goes in and out of caring about the actor she met and the entire situation, she makes questionable decisions regarding her job and she’s off at times with the geography and the dating, like she’s supposed to be 40!! And she had nothing together. That was annoying, and her fights with Fiona, her cheating with Liam more than once, and in the end finding out that the actor wasn’t even who she thought he was? A totally different person? Like I had to read the entire book for that ending? She ended up alone?? Gosh it was so frustrating. I basically skimmed the entire way through. This book felt very surface level and impersonal. This was a total miss and pass for me. "I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own."
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Thank you NetGalley and Thomas Nelson for the eARC for review!
Plot Twist is an appropriate title, because after the first chapter, I was certain I would hate this book. And guess what? I freaking loved it.
On February 4, 2003, when Olivia Ross meets a handsome actor in a coffee shop, they struck a deal - they will meet back at the coffee shop in 10 years, he will be a big star and she'll have written a movie, and they'll make it together. And on every February 4 since, serendipitous things happen to Olivia - new loves, old loves, celebrity run-ins, grand charity balls. There's no escaping the magic of the day, so she may as well go along for the ride.
This book wasn't like I expected. my initial reaction was fury, because the first chapter got me riled up. Olivia meets this handsome stranger in a coffee shop who jumps in to help her when some cowboy who's hitting on her won't take no for an answer. And despite his good intentions, this handsome stranger keeps trying to be her white knight, even after she tells him several times that she doesn't need his help. When she finally decides to play along and they manage to convince the sleazy cowboy hitting on her that the two are together, this stranger - out of own amusement - keeps her playing along despite her attempts to extricate herself from the situation and leave. Yes, really!! She says they must be going, and her "white knight" keeps drawing out the uncomfortable encounter. You have no idea how relieved I was that this guy wasn't actually the leading man of this book.
Suffice to stay, me and Plot Twist did not get off on the right foot. But after this chapter, it was virtually smooth sailing. I loved the story. I loved Fiona and Olivia's friendship. I loved the romance. I loved the cheese. The only thing I didn't really love was Olivia herself, and it's only because we only ever see her on this one day a year that is all about her, so she comes across a bit self-absorbed. I found myself disagreeing whenever Fiona and Liam would talk about how wonderful Liv was, because I just didn't see it.
She got better, of course. As she gets closer to 40, she obviously becomes a bit more mature. As we see her interact with more and more characters on February 4, we do get to fill in the context of her character. And for all her lack of self-awareness, she was pretty selfless when it came to her friends. Most importantly, I was rooting for her in the end (and what a satisfying plot twist we got!)
My heart swelled with this book. I wanted to crawl inside its pages and live in a world where this sort of thing can happen.
I'm docking one star for that first chapter alone. But a really cute read.
This one is a shame. The plot sounded great. A woman has a meet cute with a guy in a coffee shop. They end up agreeing to meet in 10 years. And we check in with her every year on the same day that she met her mysterious man. But the book just has too much going on that you can't get a handle on things. I honestly think that because we have just a year to catch up with whatever is going on with Olivia, it doesn't get you time to settle on things. Also some of the chapters were fairly short and some went on way too long. I also though that Olivia and Fiona's relationship was terrible. Also Olivia is 30 at the start of this tale and acts like someone decades younger. That was a hard part for me to get past after a while. Most of the issues she had were her own doing and I got tired of reading about them.
"Plot Twist" follows 30 year old Olivia Ross who is at a local coffee shop in Los Angles working on her screenplay. Olivia works for a greeting card company, but her dream is to be a writer. When a cute guy with an accent she can't place asks to sit with her, Olivia gets annoyed. She thinks he is hitting on her. But when the guy ends up saving her from a dude that won't take not interested as a final answer, she ends up having a "meet cute" with him. They exchange no names, but agree to meet again in 10 years at the coffee shop to see where they are now with their lives and make a film together.
The book stars on February 4, 2003 and we then follow Olivia for 10 years.
I have to say this, Olivia is a drip. She has a nice boyfriend named Liam that she calls Clark Kent and mentions how boring he is, and her best friend also dogs him out too. I wanted to yell at them both that any woman that ignores Clark Kent is insane! And that's just the beginning of the things that will irk you about Olivia. I know that because of how Turner structured this, you don't get to spend a lot of time with her since you are jumping ahead a year as you go. But Olivia was a mess. The way the book just skips over how unfair she's being about a lot of things along with her best friend made me tired. And I was not rooting for her at all. As I said above, we follow her from 30 to 40 and she has the emotional maturity of a 16 year old girl through most of this.
The writing was so-so. It just felt like name-dropping after a while. Fiona is just so fabulous she's working with Shonda Rhimes at some point. This is after she's worked with Vera Wang.
The flow wasn't great. I loved the idea about skipping ahead every year, but it just did not work after a while. We got too many info dumps on us about big things that you don't get a chance to adjust to.
The ending was a Happily Ever After (HEA), but I honestly thought the male hero in this one deserved better.
with a sassy Hallmark-on-speed hook and a winning leading lady, Turner loans her fresh, inimitable voice to her strongest offering yet. A treatise on love and the hope for love paints across a canvas of fate and happenstance and the way life undercuts our expectations only to give us the biggest romantic adventure. Winsome and wise, Turner draws on beloved romantic tropes and infuses her zesty pulse on pop culture to provide a competent and LOL surprising comedy that is doubtless the inspy equivalent of Beth O' Leary and Emily Henry.
I've been a huge fan of Bethany Turner from the beginning. I enjoyed this book and my experience of reading it, but it wasn't my favorite of all of the books she's written.
This book has a great premise. Olivia is an aspiring screenwriter working as a greeting card writer On February 4, 2003, she is in a coffee shop and has an adorable meet-cute with a sexy Irish (she thinks, she is terrible with accents) guy who is an aspiring actor. They make a pact to meet back up in the same place in ten years--she with screenplay in hand and he will act in her production. They don't get each other's names, but she eventually discovers that he is none other than Hamish MacDougall, a very up-and-coming actor. As the years pass, Olivia's life goes through many ups and downs, is there actually a chance he will show up?
I loved the relationship between Olivia and her best friend Fiona. Throughout the book, I enjoyed the humor and feelgood moments. The relationship back and forth between Olivia and Liam (her boyfriend, then her close friend after they break up) is occasionally heartwarming and occasionally very frustrating for the reader. Olivia as a character doesn't show very much growth and maturity from the age of 30 when we meet her until the age of 40 when everything concludes. I loved the "plot twist" at the end, and the entire book is worth reading to see what actually happens on February 4, 2013. Overall, though, there's not enough conflict and character growth for me in this novel, but it is mostly lighthearted and enjoyable.
I remain a huge fan and will definitely read her books in the future!
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book, all opinions are my own.
This is a difficult review to write. One the one hand, the story kept me riveted to the pages as I wanted to find out what happened each year on February 4. One the other hand, I felt myself feeling more and more depressed as I read each chapter. This book just emotionally did me in. My heart hurt for one main character and I felt intense frustration for the other main character. I knew it would probably end well, as all romantic comedies should, yet I couldn’t get past the heartache and lost time together.
This book did have plenty of lighthearted moments and fun references, which helped cement which year events were occurring in. It was also fun to have a tie in with Hollywood through Olivia’s audacious roommate. In the end, I was happy with how things finally worked out, yet I still had that sense of overall sadness for what seemed to me wasted years.
I have enjoyed two other books by this author and thought that they were both so very good, so I do plan to read more of this author’s work. Some books and readers are just not the right match, and I think that is what happened with Plot Twist. This clean fiction story, while very similar in feeling to the movie, When Harry Met Sally, ended up not being a good fit for me.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
As Bethany Turner's new rom-com, Plot Twist, goes to show you, a lot can happen in 10 years.
February 4, 2003: Greeting card writer and aspiring screenwriter Olivia Ross has a meet-cute with a handsome actor at a coffee shop. They share some friendly, flirty banter and vow to reunite at the same coffee shop in 10 years, on the same day, and he will star in her screenplay.
One drawback? They never traded names or contact info.
Every year on February 4, Olivia finds herself in an uncertain position in her life. The day is full of coincidences, wacky events, and romance gone awry. Sometime during the 10-year period, she finds out that the “sexy Irish guy” (her words) she met back in 2003 might actually be Scottish actor Hamish MacDougal, whose star is on the rise.
Could Hamish be what she’s looking for, career- and life-wise? Or is knowing that possibility is out there keeping her from appreciating what’s around her now? Will she find the success she dreams of?
I thought Plot Twist was a fun concept and a cute book, with a few surprises up its sleeve. I didn’t really love the characters all the time, and I wanted things to move a little quicker, but darned if I didn’t get choked up at the end! (Stupid emotions.)
This was a fun read to lighten the mood after a few heavier books.
Okay. So,.... I really enjoyed this one. Lots! Just when I thought one thing would happen it went a totally different way. My heart hurt for Livi, Liam and Fi time and time again. Especially Liam.
I enjoyed that this story took place over ten years. And that each year we had a chance to see how the main character Livi’s life changed and how she grew over those years.
The main thing that rubbed me the wrong way is the kind of ending this book has. (Don’t ask me unless you want me to spoil something for you.) I’d have liked to see a bit more of the out come of things,.... it all felt a bit rushed and abrupt.
Honestly, that’s really the only thing I didn’t like about the book. The rest was fun, entertaining, emotional, quirky, fate driven,.... and showed an amazing relationship between two best friends - the ups and the downs - and just what they’d give up for the happiness of others.
I truly did. It wasn’t at all how I imagined it would turn out in a good/weird way. I loved seeing all the magical yet ironic coincidences that happened on that fateful day and how it just concluded in this really big plot twist (pun intended) 😉
Seeing Olivia just grow during that decade, doubting herself and her dreams, not knowing she’d make it, hit very close to home.
Although her love story isn’t one that much would love, I found myself just loving it (some aspects annoyed me, mind you 😒) but it was just such an unexpected romance for me, that you just couldn’t help root and fall in love with them 😭✨
I am giving it 4 stars for those annoying aspects but otherwise this was a very good romcom and i AM SO EXCITED TO READ HER OTHER BOOKS ✨💃🏻
I had tried reading hadley beckett’s next dish but it was a bit confusing but I am definitely gonna give it another try 🥰
4 out of 5 stars
“The only thing I wanted more than to run away as quickly as I could was to stay right where I was with him forever.” ♡︎
ps: i am completely convinced that olivia and liam spent February 4 of 2014 in the hospital, welcoming their beautiful son into the world and living their happily married ever after, and no, you can’t change my mind 🥰🤚🏻
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
This story pulled me in from chapter one and completely consumed my life until I finished. Thanks to Olivia Ross and her complicated journey of love, friendship, and aspirations, I'll always remember February 4th.
This story was so unique. It begins with aspiring screenwriter Olivia crossing paths with a handsome, nameless actor in a coffee shop. Sparking a commitment to return after ten years with successful careers, the two pledge to someday create a movie together. Beginning in 2003, each chapter serves as a different year, eventually leading up to the grand reveal. And it was beyond addicting!
This was super angsty, filled with heart-wrenching, vulnerable situations as February 4th becomes a day of dramatic coincidences for Olivia. With humour along the way, I absolutely loved the messy, honest conflicts these characters endured.
I had ZERO ideas how this would end, and much like the title suggests, I was completely floored by its own plot twist. This ending was super beautiful and left me with tears.
I have enjoyed the other books that I have read by Bethany Turner. I heard a lot of great things about this book before I started reading it, so I had really high hopes. Once I got started I was really disappointed. The first chapter is great, but then I just got kind of lost and annoyed. I kept waiting for something to happen and then it never really did. I finally went and read other reviews about the book to see if I should even finish it (and I ALWAYS finish books, so the fact that I wanted to quit is a clue to how little I was enjoying it). Several reviews said the book was great so I continued to read. This book was just a complete miss for me.
I did like Fiona and Olivia's friendship, the story of how they became friends was funny and that they were able to work through their differences was great. There were a few funny parts in the book, but my favorite part was the first chapter.
I really did not like Olivia much. She seemed pretty immature for her age and essentially lost 10 years of her life, for what? It was hard to read this book and listen to her whine, complain, and talk negatively about herself, seeing people pop in and out of her life over ten years.
The ten-year date had some unexpected things, and I did appreciate that we could not see part of it coming, the other part was expected. Overall, while this book was not at all for me or what I expected, I know that others will enjoy it. It is perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella and Katherine Reay.
Thank you to Net Galley and Thomas Nelson for the opportunity to read this book. I was not required to give a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I have heard not so great things about this book but I really enjoy Bethany Turner books so I gave it a try. The story of Oliva so meets a man in a coffee shop and they promise to meet up 10 years later to see where their lives will be like. So the anniversary of that date something bad happens to Oliva. She even thinks that the man she met is now a famous movie star. The main story line is Oliva dates a man and she breaks off the relationship with him and for 10 years she pines for him back. This part of the story I didn't like. She is so upset that she let him go her life for 10 years is depressing and sad. You are meant to feel bad for Oliva but in truth she did bring this on herself. Why did she ever leave him in the first place. So I don't feel bad for Oliva. Basically she got what she deserved for those 10 years. So the question is does she go back 10 years later to see the man she was supposed to meet? And if she does what will she find there. This book is suppose to be a Christian fiction book but really its not. So go into it know that? It was a fun read but also disappointing. Not one of Bethany Turners best work. I still would recommend but in general a disappointing read!
This book was written in such a new and unique way! The story centers on February 4th from 2003 to 2013.
The story begins on 2-4-13 with Olivia at the coffee shop Mugs and Shots. She is employed as a greeting card writer but is working on her own screenplay. She meets an unnamed man and vows to meet back on this date in 10 years
Each chapter starts on the following year of February 4th and the reader hears about what has been happening in Olivias life and those around her.
I really enjoyed the characters of Fiona and Liam. Fiona is her best friend and is always encouraging Olivia throughout this 10 year period. Liam was a friend/boyfriend who was also memorable. My favorite is his part in the coffee shop with, "isn't it ironic" I also loved all of the mentions of pop culture in the book.
You will also look forward to finding out what will happen on February 4, 2013.
Thanks so much to netgalley and the publisher for the arc. The opinions are my own.
It's the rom-com meet-cute that Nora Ephron would be jealous she didn't think of first! Olivia considers herself the Joan Cusack of Hollywood--never the leading lady, the girl who has all of the near misses, and is resolved to let the real leading ladies get their George Clooneys. However, in a twist of fate (or plot) Fiona is the leading lady of her own rom-com...she just doesn't know it. Author Bethany Turner excels in her ability to deliver quick-witted lines, tension-filled romance, and memorable characters who bring this funny story to life. Plot Twist is an sweet, clean, and delightful read that I think all rom-com fans are going to enjoy!
**I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to give a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.**
*Thank you, NetGalley, for an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review*
The vibes of this book fit a late-90s/early 2000s romcom perfectly.
With an imperfect main character like Olivia who overthinks every situation, sabotages her own happiness, and exists in a constant state of panic, watching her fail and grow was quite the trip. On top of that, she was a refreshing perspective with being a character we see develop over a decade, from ages 30 to 40.
I also don't know why I didn't expect the plot twist when the title literally told me they would be present, but the ending was unexpected and an interesting and comedic way.
The fast-paced blurbs of Olivia's life and flawed characters had an entertaining dynamic with each other that easily kept my attention and how this story plays with fate reminded me of any Meg Ryan movie and the film Serendipity.
I'm not sure I can accurately express just how much I loved this book! I started listening to it one evening and finished it the following day. In fact, I carried my phone and earbuds with me everywhere in order to squeeze in as much time as possible to listen to the story. I was hooked from the beginning and stayed on the edge of my seat while I wondered how it would turn out-- specifically with whom the main character would wind up. The story is engaging, the dialogue is witty, and I laughed out loud frequently. I also relished the Gen X and pop culture references. This book was so fun! I highly recommend!
Waffled between 3 and 4 stars. I do NOT know what is up with "Christian" fiction that has no Christian content. Let's just be honest and call it clean fiction. The once-a-year premise kept me guessing, and the ending was a twist yet not. Although parts seemed just too out there for credibility, it was still a fun ride. I've been disappointed with BT's first three books. For the most part, this one did not disappoint.
Rarely have I read a book where I legitimately forgot the characters weren't real...and then had to periodically grieve the fact that they weren't. This is by far one of the best rom-coms I've ever read.
Not for me. When a best friend dates her best friend’s ex we know what’s coming… although I truly thing these two weren’t that much good of a friend to each other, still! I DNF before I could get madder. Because I was already mad… 🙈
I like this author and loved her last book. I was really looking forward to this one. However, I had a harder time getting in to Plot Twist than I expected. Some it may have been me, as this has been a summer full of personal challenges, where at times I struggled to focus to read. I liked Liam. I can't say that I liked Olivia or Fiona overly well. I did get frustrated with Olivia. I also kind of feel like she brought her problems on herself. I just wanted her to communicate better and own her feelings earlier. Still, it was fun to see what would happen every year on the same date--so I kept turning pages to see how it would end. I liked the beginning really well and I also thought the ending was well done for Plot Twist. I just struggled with some parts in the middle.
Also, I would really like to call this Christian fiction but it didn't really have anything Christian in it. It was a clean read though. If you like movie references, that should be a bonus for you with Plot Twist. I really did enjoy some of those throughout the book.
Without a doubt Plot Twist is my favorite Bethany Turner so far. It's complex, inventive, playful, emotional, and made me giggle more than a dozen times. It was the perfect relaxation read for me on vacation.
Going into this book, my only expectation was to be surprised as the title would indicate. About halfway through, I had an epiphany of how it would end and was so pleased with myself. I was wrong. How's that for a plot twist?! Ha! This novel is set up in a way that is fairly unique. With a nod to Groundhog's Day, the reader and the MC experience the same day - February 4th - on repeat, only it spans the course of a decade rather than twenty-four hours. Every chapter fast forwards a year. Some years are fun and lighthearted - hello George Clooney! - and others are unfortunate. Olivia moves to Hollywood to chase her screenwriting dreams. As fate would have it, she meets a "sexy" Irish guy with his own dreams of becoming a star. They strike a bargain that they will return to the coffee shop with the perfect script and the acting chops to make it big together in ten years' time. Olivia's reliance on serendipity made me want to ring her neck at times as she allows life to happen to her. Ultimately, I appreciated her humanity and relatability, both in her flaws and in her achievements. Thank you to the author for the advanced copy. I was so pleased to win this one in a giveaway! All thoughts in this review are my own.
As I have come to expect from Bethany Turner, this book is hilarious in the most bizarre way. If you just suspend disbelief that anyone could be this ill-timed and that so many celebrities would make an appearance in one’s life, then this might be classified as realistic fiction.
It is funny and romantic (sort of, actually a lot of it is romance gone wrong or so many missed opportunities it’s NOT funny). Despite a Christian publisher, this is general fiction, with no Christian references (unless you count one reference to Narnia) but it is clean (unless you count kissing someone else’s boyfriend...twice....but by accident...sort of.....)
When Olivia connects with a guy at a coffee shop they make a pact - they will meet back there on the same date ten years form now. He vows to have made it big as an actor and she vows to have a screenplay ready for him to star in. Over the next ten years, that date becomes a strange day for Olivia, full of men from her past, present and maybe future, missed opportunities, and disasters of the heart. Will she finally realise that the love of her life might have been there all along or will she wait for the guy she promised ten years ago.
The most unique part of this book is of course how it is written. Each chapter covers just one day in Olivia’s life across a decade. Ten years, ten days, ten chapters. It was amazing how well we actually get to know Olivia, considering we only see her in one day of her life a year. The author does a great job of filling us in on what has been happening in that year of Olivia’s life and keeping the most spectacular of unbelievable events for that one day - February 4th - each year.
This book might be an ode to the saying “friends before mens” (or the other various versions out there). While it is a romance and is about Olivia writing a screenplay, mostly I found that it was about her relationship with her best friend Fiona. They share some ups and downs, are vastly different and yet they remain true and strong to each other. That’s not to say they don’t hurt each other and have some fights - Olivia kissing Fiona’s boyfriend, not speaking for a year, good at communicating about everything except the really important stuff.
I was a little confused at first when the leading love interest might actually turn up in the book - expecting it to be someone different - so I reread the synopsis and realised he was there all along, it just takes Olivia a really, really, really, really long time to figure it out and actually act on her feelings.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
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