Book Review: When I Met You by Jemma Forte

Imagine This:  The two words you could use to describe your life is: Not Perfect. And when you think about the fact that you are living with your parents, sleeping in your old room, and having no dream you’d want to pursue at thirty-one, you realize you are not kidding, and you are what someone would call underachieved——which could even be dolling the situation up a little bit knowing you have never achieved anything in your life.

If only your mum ever focused on you all through your life, if only you haven’t been living in the shadow of your hot, bitchy sister who’s always been driven around to auditions despite her lack of a talented bone in her, if only you had a father-figure to look up to since yours disappeared when you were quite a baby…

But of course, all you blame is yourself for wanting to do nothing but play the violin or wash people’s hair just so you could gather money to travel all around the globe and come back when you need to wash more people’s hair for another vacation around the world.

Then suddenly, on one rainy night, your dad shows up, clamping his hand on your mouth and ordering you not to scream.

That’s the beginning of your life, of you living. But surely you expected a more upbeat start than a holiday fling turned chubby crushing at your parents’ and emptying out the fridge.

Marianne Baker’s quirky, messy life summed up for your delight.


I loved, loved this book. So you know in my review I’d be throwing bricks your way till you get fed up and go get it.

God knows how many times I’ve been wanting to read Jemma Forte, so when this book popped up in the mail, you could tell the very absurd victory dance I put up.
The storyline is fab! Thirty-year old girl crushing with her parents because the only job she’s had since being a teenager is a violinist which is not quite lucrative if you decide to lock yourself away and play to the silence as audience. Thirty-year old girl saving up through hairdressing and being clown at kids parties so she could go travel the world. Thirty-year old girl who has to  deal with a family that consisted of nutjobs and a sister who yells at everyone. Thirty-year old girl whose father appears in her life one night and suddenly life might be leaning towards a positive change in the strangest ways. A star to the storyline!──

I did enjoy reading about Marianne. A very lovable heroine who has such a funny voice it’s really hard to sympathize with her with you should be sympathizing for her crappy life. You’d love how she puts the light in every situation with a mind and a point of view brimming with jokes. Do we ever feel underachieved? Do we ever feel lost in life with no sense of direction yet cannot admit it to ourselves? Do we ever feel everyone around us is on a different wavelength and we are alone in this world because there’s not anyone who understands us? These are the questions you would ask yourself to find out how relatable Marianne Baker is. But no, not thirty-year old lady still living with her parents and having no job. A star to Marianne.── ★★

One of the other reasons this book was entertaining was its supporting cast. You would find Allison strange, Marianne’s mum who’s never in tune to any music in life and thinks classical music should be performed for people in a Loony bin. You would draw up Hayley, the sister, and stab a knife through the dumpster-piece as revenge for every time she puts our lead (Marianne) down. You would find Andy, the holiday fling now-turned chubby irritating when he still thinks our lead fancies him even though he now has a bigger butt than she. You would find Martin, the stepdad, odd for when he wants to go for bonding trips with his son at IKEA. You would find Pete, the stepbrother who never speaks, um, quiet. There’s Ray, the MIA dad who’s showed up and is determined to make it all right. Maisie, the little annoying devilish kid who keeps getting on our lead’s nerves during her clown parties. Lots of other fun characters you would adore. A star. ── ★★★

A feature that makes this book beautiful is the themes of life, loss and family portrayed by Jemma Forte to make this title radiate with warmth.── ★★★★

Humor, check.── ★★★★

I loved, loved this book. But then I had a hate-love relationship with it because of its unstable pace. One moment, I was gripped, the other I was not. One moment it was fast-paced and the other it was slow. But for most part, it was engaging, so…

My rating: Four-point-five stars. (4.5/5 stars)

Jemma Forte's latest, When I Met You is available on amazon 

I recommend this book to anyone who loves their chick-lit funny, warm, quirky and inspiring. Anyone who knows someone still living with their parents at thirty should pick this for them in an indirect way of telling them to get a place of their own and get their life together. Anyone who has had to deal with an MIA relative appearing after so long could also pick this. And just about anyone who wants to read something about a holiday fling gone awry should grab this. 

My work not done here. Off to post my review on Goodreads.

No comments:

Post a Comment