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Shielding kids from life's disappointments can do more harm than good as the protagonist finds out to her sorrow.
This is a coming of age story, alas rather later in life. After 26 years of existence, Andrea decides she has enough of her overbearing parents and boyfriend. She needs to break out of the protective cocoon her parents kept her in all her life. Her parents meant no harm, quite the opposite in fact, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions as the saying goes. Andrea has never learned to be self-reliant and she feels she has to find her feet before settling down to the marriage life. She needs to grow up, and fast. What a better way of doing it than by moving away, temporarily, to another continent?? She will be independent even if it kills her, literally. Andrea seeks to overcome her many fears by accepting a photography assignment for a magazine, an assignment involving traveling to England.
Andrea puts her life and her boyfriend's proposal of marriage on hold, breaks up the news to her parents, packs up and starts the great adventure. Her parents took the trip in their stride, to her great surprise, but later on the reason for that becomes loudly clear. Upon arriving in England, Andrea meets the motley crew of the magazine which enlightened the plot with their oddities and antics. Their grotesque ways serve as a comic relief. Andrea thought she would travel by herself, but finds out the magazine gave her two escorts, a copywriter (Rob) and a drop-dead gorgeous art director (Harry).
The two blokes help her to lose her fears while they tour England and romp from sight to sight. The trip turns into a comedy of errors while they rummaged their way through the castles and sights of UK. Along the way Andrea learns bravery, confidence, and independent lessons and grows up in the process
Overall I quite enjoyed this light-hearted story and often chuckled to myself during the reading. The setting and descriptions were very well done, the characters were well drawn and the story came to life for me. At first I thought Andrea's fears are exaggerated. She was afraid of flying, taking the tube, the dark, to name but a few. I could identify with some of her misgiving, but still. She came out as a neurotic person and it made her seem less believable. As the story came along though, I grew fond of her and rooted for her.
I had a few issues with the books alas. The sentences were too winded and sometimes lasted a whole paragraph! By the time I have reached the end of the sentence, I forgot its beginning. It took some using to, but once I got used to the rhythm the reading flew. Another issue was the way the author portrayed the parents' chats. Instead of telling it from a third point of view, the author chose to tell to tell it from the heroin pov and it jarred. The dialogues between Brandon (her boyfriend) and his mate were done in the third tense, which made sense. It would be much better if the parents' dialogues were done much the same way. It was odd to read about the chats as if Andrea was present in the same room with her parents. I also found it odd that Andrea didn't understand some of the idioms. English is my second language and I was still familiarized with the slang.
Despite the above, overall I have enjoyed the story and found it a great read. With funny situations left and right, the book was delightful and amusing to boot. Therefore I rate it 3 out of 4 stars and recommend it to those want a quick read that literally makes one laughs out loud.
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