My rating: 5/5 stars
In one week Maggie got rid of her boyfriend who was only supposed to be a one night stand, got obscenely drunk at a work conference and woke up covered in curry. Maggie realises something needs to change, everyone on Instagram has their lives together so why can’t she? Maggie makes a list and sets about becoming Maggie 2.0. It turns out it is not as easy as those on Instagram will have you believe…
I was lucky enough to receive this ARC through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
This book was a breath of fresh air for me. It has been a while since I have read a book that is as funny as This Is Not A Love Story. The lighthearted nature of this novel what just what I needed and provided for a great escape.
Maggie is a mess, a genuine mess and I love her for it. It made her such a relatable and easy to like character. Everything she goes through is realistic and although slightly mad, it could happen to anyone. I found myself fully entertained by Maggie and her life, laughing and crying with her.
The real star of this novel for me was seeing the change in Maggie on her journey of self-development. She starts the novel with a very impulsive personality and although it made for hilarious reading, her transition from this character to one that wholeheartedly loves herself was really quite something. It is unusual to find the journey of a character so relatable but I really felt like I understood Maggie and her thought process, or lack thereof. This is all down to Mary Hargreaves’s writing style and characterisation.
The novel is told from the first person perspective of Maggie which I felt suited the story that was being put across. It meant that, as a reader, you felt all the embarrassment, love and sadness that Maggie felt, making it at points, quite an emotional read.
I loved this novel and found it refreshing that romance was not at the centre of the novel. There are a lot of romance novels that have maybe similar characters to Maggie but because of the type of novel, the character development can get swept away with the storyline. I liked the change and being able to really feel and experience the change in Maggie because of things that she decided to change, rather than because of a love interest.
Although Maggie does go on a journey of self-discovery I also loved that it was in such a realistic and organic way. It was still lighthearted and full of hilarious moments that I think we can all relate to in the battle to improve ourselves. Maggie’s journey was written in such a way that it wasn’t condescending to the reader and was in no way preachy.
The other characters in the novel were all well described and played key roles in the plot. I enjoyed the dynamic between Maggie and other members of her family and it was a joy to read them becoming closer.
When I say I laughed out loud at this novel I genuinely mean it. Mary Hargreaves did a wonderful job with this novel and I would recommend this to anyone who needs cheering up or needs to de-stress. I loved stepping in to Maggie’s life and hopefully you will too.
This is Not a Love Story is released tomorrow, make sure you get your hands on a copy!
Do you have a suggestion for the next book to add to my bookshelf? Let me know in comments.