by Jacquelyn Middleton
Series: London Belongs to Me #1
Publisher: Kirkwall Books
Publication Date: October 14, 2016
A New City A New Start. Same Old Demons.
Your flight is now boarding! Join Alex Sinclair for a life-changing, trans-Atlantic journey. London Belongs to Me is a coming-of-age story about friendship, following your dreams, and learning when to let go … and when to hang on.
Meet Alex, a recent college graduate from Tallahassee, Florida in love with London, pop culture, and comic cons. It’s not easy being twenty-one-years-old, and Alex has never been the most popular girl. She’s an outsider, a geeky fangirl … with dreams of becoming a playwright in a city she’s loved from afar, but never visited. Fleeing America after a devastating betrayal, she believes London is where she’ll be understood, where she belongs. But Alex’s past of panic attacks and broken relationships is hard to escape. When her demons team up with a jealous rival determined to destroy her new British life, Alex begins to question everything: her life-long dream, her new friends, and whether London is where she truly belongs.
This is a fluffy bit of geek girl wish fulfillment. Remember those 90s teen girl movies? Yeah, that’s this, in book form.
Alex moves to London after graduating as a playwright. Her enthusiasm for London (a place she has never even visited before moving to) is simultaneously cute and annoying. Of course, Alex runs into various “obstacles” to realizing her dream, all of which are easily overcome, and usually by someone other than her. <spoiler>Play gets stolen by Olivia? That’s OK, she’ll write two better ones! She needs to move out of her apartment? That’s OK, her dad will give her rent money AND her friend’s roommates will magically need to move out. Her job at the cafe is too far from the new apartment? That’s OK, she’ll get a job at the theater she’s obsessed with, because she’s JUST THAT GOOD.</spoiler>
Alex is such a Mary Sue it’s frankly annoying. She treats her friends like crap, and they still bend over backwards to help her. Large chunks of the conflict revolve around the “jealous other girl” stereotype, and God, I am just so tired of that.
So why three stars? Because, at the heart of it, it’s every geek girl’s silly justice porn wish fulfillment fantasy. You know that, at the end, the girl is going to get the cute guy, the admiration of her idols, revenge on everyone who’s wronged her, and a play that opens to rave reviews. A delicious homemade cake this is not, but sometimes it’s nice to just eat the dang Ding Dongs.
Three guilty pleasure stars.