Newest Review: ... grip me at all and it was only recently when I made a concerted effort to re-read this novel. Sadly, the word 'effort' is all too accur... more
I Didn't Love This!
I Think I Love You - Allison Pearson
Member Name: jo1976
I Think I Love You - Allison Pearson
Date: 24/04/13, updated on 04/07/13 (39 review reads)
Advantages: Helps with insomnia, second half slightly more engaging
Disadvantages: Overly obsessed with David Cassidy, dull, tedious, characters not very interesting
Having enjoyed Allison Pearson's debut novel 'I Don't Know How She Does It', I was pleased to win a copy of her second novel, 'I Think I Love You.'
'I Think I Love You' is split into two distinct parts, with the first section set in the 1970's introducing the main character, Petra, as a thirteen year old innocent Welsh girl, dealing with typical teenage angst, friendships, a strict German mother and a massive crush on David Cassidy. The second half of the story shows Petra as an adult and mother of a teenager herself when, following two significant losses, she has the opportunity to reflect back on her teenage years and finally has the opportunity to meet her childhood idol.
I actually received this book back when it was first released in 2011 and it really has sat on my bookshelf since then. In all honesty, I did start to read it enthusiastically when it first arrived but found that the opening chapters just didn't really grip me at all and it was only recently when I made a concerted effort to re-read this novel.
Sadly, the word 'effort' is all too accurate a description of my reading experience as I found the first half, reading about Petra's teenage experiences, pretty tough going. As much as I could relate to Petra's anxieties about fitting in with the 'in crowd' and those first innocent moments of childhood flirting and fantasising about celebrities, this book was far too obsessed with David Cassidy. I'm in my mid-thirties and the whole David Cassidy/Partridge Family thing was well before my time so I really struggled to identify with Petra's obsession, particularly as there were so many details included, such as song lyrics and descriptions of David's outfits and long winded references to magazine articles.
The monotony of listening to Petra's teenage longing is only broken by the experiences of Bill - a young graduate who is employed as a writer on the 'David Cassidy Magazine' - Petra's bible. Bill is no Cassidy fan and loathes his office job, particularly the lies that he has to invent to convince his naive young readership that the random drivel he is publishing is straight from the mouth of David Cassidy. Personally, I think one of the most boring things to read about is listening to somebody else's bad day in the office and Bill doesn't particularly resonate with me as a character that I'd like to know in real life or have any interest in whatsoever.
The postscript from the author indicates that this is based on her own experiences in her childhood and, unfortunately, this really shows through the writing. I could imagine that this would be entertaining to somebody who had shared a similar experience during their own teenage years but to the majority of readers, especially those under forty, I would expect them to be similarly bored with the whole David Cassidy thing. I'm still not entirely sure who David Cassidy is - I didn't recognise any of the lyrics and I don't think I would recognise him if he walked past me on the street! In all honesty, I found the first half incredibly dull, tedious and mind numbing. It took me several weeks to read the entire story as I could only manage a chapter each night before practically falling asleep so this is definitely recommended as a cure for insommnia.
The second half of the novel does see a slight improvement and, although the ultimate ending is glaringly obvious, I did start to warm slightly more to Petra as an adult, particularly around her career and role as a wife and mother. Unfortunately, the underlying Cassidy theme continued to bore me and Bill did not appear to have matured or become any more likeable in adult life.
I was really disappointed with this book and I suspect many other readers, especially those who loved Pearson's debut novel will be equally disappointed. I can only really recommend this book to people experiencing trouble sleeping or those die-hard David Cassidy fans who have spent years dreaming about the possibility of meeting their hero.
Summary: Only for David Cassidy fans