Now a single mum after the abrupt disappearance of her partner, Richard, who walked out on her and their son Alfie in the middle of the night, Jo is determined not to give her heart away again so that neither she nor Alfie will get hurt again. As a frazzled single parent, the past year or so hasn't presented her with a wealth of opportunities to meet a new man so this has been an easy promise to stick to ... until she and Alfie meet children's entertainer, Dan. Suddenly, Jo is finding that it's not so simple to control your feelings.
Jo was a character that I took to straight away. Her world has been turned upside down after Richard leaves her for a younger colleague and she's left holding the baby - quite literally! We meet her a while after this actually happened but it's easy to see how the situation has affected her. Keen to protect Alfie from the possibility that any other man will walk out on them further down the line, she vows never to let another man into their lives. This is all very well until Alfie takes a strong interest in Dan, who they meet by chance on one of their trips out. Dan isn't at all put off by Alfie and her other excess baggage and seems determined to get to know them. Will Jo be able to let her guard down, or will her reluctance to open her heart again mean that she misses out on a second chance of love?
As you might expect given her circumstances, Jo is a pretty strong character and one that is also extremely down-to-earth and likeable. Dan is another likeable character and I admired his determination to change Jo's mind and prove that not all men are like Richard. Speaking of Richard, he wasn't the nicest character and to be honest, he comes across as a complete prat and in a lot of the scenes involving him (particularly at work, where he is now Jo's boss following a promotion during her maternity leave), I often wondered why she had ever fallen for him.
From my synopsis, you're probably assuming that this book is little more than your average chick lit but for me, it went deeper than that. Dan has his own secrets and worries, which are outlined alongside Jo's present day narrative (of being a single parent and meeting Dan) in chapters from his perspective relating to his childhood. Rather than being an adult Dan looking back on his childhood, these chapters take the form of a young Dan detailing events as they happen in a present day, first person format, written from a childlike perspective to reflect this. Without giving too much away, his upbringing was not a positive one on the whole and while there are hints of this from early on, the dark truth is revealed in dribs and drabs. These chapters give the book an edge that isn't present in most standard chick lit books but at the same time, it doesn't make for an overly depressing book as the focus is on their present day situation.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it. It is essentially a chick lit read but as I've explained, it's not as fluffy as you often get from this genre.
I had read and enjoyed Linda Green's first book so much that I was very keen to read her second foray into writing a novel. Because I had such high hopes of this book, I have to admit, I was a little disappointed. Had I read this book before "I Did a Bad Thing", I think my review would be a little more positive as on the whole, 10 Reasons Not to Fall in Love is an enjoyable romantic girly novel with the usual mix of the serious and the comedy which Linda Green mixes so well. But for me personally, it lacked the original sparkle and the suspense of the first novel, and the storyline was a little bit more predictable.
Saying that, again I think everyone can identify with Jo Gilroy, the main character. Jo has had her heart broken when her partner left her and their son Alfie on his first birthday. Fast forward a year and Jo is due to go back to work, not a prospect she is looking forward to as her boss is none other than her ex! Jo is trying her best to be a single working mum, juggling work and family and avoiding her ex and his newest conquest and determined not to ever fall in love again. That is until Dan Brady sails into her life. Just as she is beginning to think that she has found the one reason to fall in love, a secret from Dan's past and an accident changes everything....
I found the funniest part of the book to be the list of ten reasons not to fall in love. Just to give you a taster:
1) I'd have to shave my legs - even in winter
2) Couldn't get away with wearing big knickers
3) Or having spaghetti hoops for tea
I think we have all had those moments! All my doubts aside, this is still a highly enjoyable book and definitely to be recommended.
I read this book by chance- it was on offer in Tesco, and as I had recently finished a book i thought i'd give it a go. I'm so glad I did! I couldn't put it down, and have since recommended it to a number of family and friends.
Green writes with a fantastic insight to how Jo feels, finding herself a single mum, with her ex being her boss, and a newcomer on the scene who manages to make her feel new again. You really feel as if you're with the characters every step of the way, thanks to the detailed description and feelings that are given. You find yourself wishing along with the characters, which isn't always easy.
Jo finds herself a single Mum when she is abruptly left by the father of her son, Alfie. The trouble is, her ex is also her boss, and she will soon be returning to work from maternity leave. She finds a friendly face in the form of children's entertainer, Dan. He has issues of his own, and eventually they find that they are drawn to one another. Will she abide by her '10 reasons not to fall in love', or will she realise that Dan is exactly the person she needs to be happy again?
This really is one of the best books I've read, and will happily re-read again. Green should be complimented on being able to engage the audience, and keep them entertained from start to finish. I would reccommend this book to anyone who loves a good love story!
After reading a review of this book on here, I knew I was going to have to read it myself. I got lucky last week when I was in the library, and set about reading it straight away.
Jo has found herself being a single parent to Alfie after her ex partner Richard left them both on Alfie's first birthday.
Fast forward a year and we meet Jo as Alfie is about to turn two years old, and Jo is approaching the end of her maternity leave to go back to work as a television journalist. Her boss is none other than her ex partner and Alfie's Dad, Richard.
Jo comes across in the book as a well grounded parent who has come out the other end of a sad break up with her head held high. Despite wanting a career, and never really thinking about having children, Jo has adapted well to being a parent and found maternal instincts she never knew she had.
Going back to work for your ex partner would be very difficult at the best of times for anyone to deal with, but to go back to a stressful environment on a part time basis is proving to be a challenge for Jo as she struggles to stay professional when she wants to get home for her son, and her son's father is insisting she puts the job first.
Alfie is a bubbly two year old who comes across as very intelligent for his young years. His speech and understanding is probably a bit too advanced for just two, but it helps the book flow so I wont criticise too much. Perhaps I would have placed Alfie at being three years old if I was the author.
By reading about Richard, and the character that he is, we quickly learn why the book has the title it does, but of course there is the sub text on the front of the book "And one man to prove them wrong".
Quite early on in the book we meet the man of the moment, Dan. He is a children's entertainer, living on a boat near Jo's home.
Alfie clearly adores Dan and a relationship soon sparks between Dan and Jo. It's kept platonic for a log while through the book as we learn more about Dan as a character. To Jo, Dan's history is a closely guarded secret, but to us the reader, we are spoiled with the book dipping into Dan's past.
His history does help the book unfold into what turns out to be a complex plot for chick lit. Easy enough to follow, but the books turns away from Jo frequently to focus more on Dan.
To begin with I thought these chapters were a waste of time, but soon I was waiting for the next excerpt about Dan, so Linda Green was spot on with this method of writing for me.
Being chick lit, there are lots of soppy moments, heart wrenching scenes, and the odd tragedy thrown into the mix before anyone can think about a happy ending. This book is of course no different, and I found myself gripped in the life of Jo as I lived through her bringing Alfie up, and dealing with all the trials that go with it.
I thought the characters were written well and it was easy to get into the minds of Jo and Dan. Whilst there were parts of the storyline that I thought were a bit far fetched, Green managed to keep them on track and turn them into a decent outcome for the reader, so it wasn't too disbelieving.
Whilst I thought the characters were written well, I felt the environment wasn't written quite as well. Sometimes I struggled to believe and follow where we were in the book in terms of travelling to different places in the book. An example of this is Jo's house in relation to Dan's boat seemed a long walk in some pages, but in others it took a couple of seconds.
This aside, I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and as this was the first I have read by Linda Green, I will definitely be looking out for more.
Price: £3.92 (Amazon)
10 Reasons Not To Fall In Love is Linda Green's second novel but the first I've read. It's told from the point-of-view of single mum Jo, whose son is 2 and called Alfie. She's vowed never to let another man into her life and has 10 very good reasons why not to! Until she meets Dan - who has some reasons of his own why not to fall in love...
I absolutely loved 10 Reasons Not To Fall In Love. When it comes to new authors I'm always worried I might not enjoy it but with 10 Reasons I had no reason to worry. Linda Green's writing is brilliant and sucks you straight into the story. It's told in the first-person narrative and for most of the book that's narrated by Jo. However there's a few chapters from Dan in which we learn of his past, again told in first-person.
I loved Jo's character, I could understand exactly why she didn't want to fall for another man particularly after what her ex, who is also her boss, Richard did. I loved the relationship between her and her son Alfie and found Alfie highly amusing.
Dan was a great main male character. He had serious issues and his childhood was horrific which we learnt through his chapters and I felt so sorry for him and what he went through. As we got nearer to the end I was surprised at what we found out about his past and didn't see it coming.
What I liked most though was that Linda managed to bring Dan, Jo and Alfie together at the beginning of the book and it was great to read how they got to know each other and how their feelings changed toward each other. Not only that but Alfie was hugely important to Jo and Dan's friendship - he was the driving force! I have no idea how 2-year-olds act/speak but I found Alfie infectious - he just seemed so happy!
From Dan, Jo and Alfie's first meeting to everything in between, it was really well done by Linda and I just wanted to keep reading to see what happened next between them all. Alfie's accident came as a huge surprise and put a huge spanner in the works and I couldn't help hoping they could all sort it out! Not only that but I wanted Jo to find out exactly what happened to Dan.
All of the minor characters were just that, minor including Jo's ex (and Alfie's dad) Richard, Jo's parents, Jo's friends... all present but not of huge importance to the story. The story was really just about Jo, Dan and Alfie and I liked that that was how it was.
It was a hugely enjoyable read - one of my favourite of 2009, I'm sure! Well written and with enjoyable, sympathetic character. I'll be on the look out for Linda's debut and whatever novels she has out in the future.
I had thought when I started reading this book that the whole story would be quite more predictable and just told by Jo but there are also chapters narrated by Dan about his childhood which are often quite heartbreaking at times. Set in and around Manchester which made a refreshing change from London, this is a book about how Jo vows never to be taken in by a man again only to find herself falling for Dan, the balloon man.
Dan is a children's entertainer much to the delight of Jo's 2 year old - Alfie. What I really liked about this book is that the characters grow and develop during the story learning from their mistakes. It will make you laugh and cry as a good book should but it is also light enough to be relaxing reading.
Sure it can be predictable, but only in the sense that you WANT it to be predictable as you want a happy ending for all the characters.
This book was a bit of an accidental lucky choice for me really...I was at a station for a fairly long train journey and suddenly realised I'd left the book I was currently reading on my bedside cabinet. Frustratedly, I wandered into the little shop looking for something that would be easy for me to read on the train, that I'd hopefully get stuck into enough to enjoy for the time being, but not heavy going because I really wanted to finish off my book at home, which was quite heavy going, and didn't really want to be side tracked!
Anyway, I picked this up, mainly because it had an appealing cover if I'm totally honest. The title suggested something down the chick lit avenue, probably a bit of romance, and the picture of the legs in the dustbin was just amusing and made me think it'd be a good, fun, easy read.
Never did I expect to be so taken in by the characters and the story developing from the page! Ok, so I don't know why I had this idea that I thought it wouldn't be that great...probably just frustration at not being able to finish the book I'd planned to...but it really took me in, and I was so engrossed that I finished it as soon as I booked into my hotel that night!
The characters were believable, had great depth, felt "real", and were also witty, charming, and graceful.
I felt the tough subject matter of both domestic violence and a new mother being left to bring up a one year old on her own, was handled sensitively and carefully, whilst allowing the heartache and trauma to show, the reader is never made to feel uncomfortable reading the situation, and Linda Green allows great empathy and sympathy to be felt for the characters, without it seeming patronising to feel those things.
Aside from everything else, the character of little Alfie was created most beautifully, and with such characteristics and personality. I often feel children in similar novels are somewhat glossed over which is a shame as they are often a smaller character, but an integral link in the story line, and children of even very young ages in reality all have their own, often very amusing traits and habits. But, Linda Green did not disappoint, I could really imagine him so vividly in my head, and he made me smile!
I was definitely glad I picked up this book, by mistake or not, it was an unexpectedly enjoyable read, and I love it when a book takes me by surprise like that!
There is only one other person who reads more than me and that would be my little sister Emma. This is a fact I love as there are endless new books coming my way.
As it was her birthday not so long ago, I stupidly decided to buy her a book from the top 40 in Asda, this was a mistake as she informed me after that she has almost every book available in Asda already.
To appease my conscience I decided to have the afore mentioned book for myself and replaced it with a book of her choice, this left me with a book I didn't really want but felt obliged to read anyway, and by god am I glad I did.
The book I will now review is - "10 reasons not to fall in love, by Linda Green"
The premise of the story is as follows - Jo and two year old Alfie are a package deal, after Richard (Jo's ex-partner and still editor boss) decided he was far too selfish to be a dad and bailed on the pair on Alfie's 1st birthday, Jo now feels that she should be putting Alfie first in everything.
After having a year to let the break up sink in, and the inevitable return to work from maternity leave, Jo discovers that working for her ex, and having to watch him canoodle daily with his new piece of fluff, weather girl Tricia has destroyed her faith in men entirely.
After a chance meeting, Jo is introduced to a seemingly wonderful man Dan, a part time children's entertainer/balloon sculptor/clown......
He is incredible with Alfie, as well as being attractive to Jo, but due to her self imposed celibacy she uses Alfie as an excuse to meet up on further "dates" with Dan the balloon man, as Alfie calls him.
When Jo finally decides that maybe Dan could possibly be "the one" the burgeoning relationship is put in jeopardy when an accident happens that changes the dynamics between them, making her question whether she should put her new man in the same category as her family.
The final icing on the cake is when Jo discovers a secret from Dans past that could potentially destroy everything they have between them.
This book in a word was incredible. Never before have i read a book that I could relate to so entirely.
Ok, I am not separated, but as a mother I could relate to every indecision Jo faced, from her undying love for her child through to her guilt at having to, or shock horror even wanting to return to work.
After Dan is incorporated into the story, every other chapter is written from his point of view as a child. This is particularly harrowing due to the relationship that his mother endured due to being a violent relationship with his father.
Each part of these chapters are relevant to how his character has been shaped from youth, I loved this as it added real depth to a character I wouldn't necessarily deem as the main character.
This is a cleverly written story that drew me in completely, one of those books that you really begrudge putting down as you feel that you would quite like to read from cover to cover.
As mentioned before this was purchased from Asda, the cost being a paltry £4.00, an absolute bargain!
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Thanks for reading x