It’s Not You, It’s Them by Portia Macintosh
Publisher: HQ Digital
Publishing Date: 3rd November 2016
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review, thank you!
Number of pages: 216
Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction
Buy the Book: Kindle
First comes love. Then comes family…
After a lifetime of kissing frogs, Roxie Pratt has given up on finding her own fairytale romance. That is, until she meets her very own Prince Charming, Mark Wright, and he sweeps Roxie off her feet!
So when Mark finally gets down on one knee and pops the question, there’s only one thing left to do: meet the family! And when everything has been picture-perfect so far, what could possibly go wrong…?
If you asked me one thing about Portia Macintosh I’d say you can reach for her books when you are feeling low – they for sure are going to pull you out of your slump, as they are always brilliantly funny, light – hearted and casting great bunches of characters. This time, with “It’s Not You, It’s Them”, Portia of course hasn’t disappointed, bringing all the hallmark writing, elements and humour into her new novel. It follows a very simple formula – meeting your future in – laws together with being snowed – in in a very remote house and Christmas – what could go wrong, actually?
Well, as it turned out, a lot could go wrong! Firstly, the above mentioned future in – laws have no idea that their beloved son is going to bring his girlfriend and that, in fact, she’s not a girlfriend anymore, she’s already fiancée! Then it can turn out that they are not as lovely as Mark has painted them to Roxie, they are in fact as cold as the house they’re living in. And, as it turns out a little later, they were hoping to see Mark married to a totally different girl who – coincidence, coincidence of course – finds herself at their place! And yes, add to this being snowed in – I wouldn’t like to be in Roxie’s shoes, would you?
Really, guys, I couldn’t fell more for Roxie! She was so much in love with Mark, she had so many hopes and then came this wall in the persons of Mark’s family. They were all so uptight and while they weren’t officially evil (well, not all of them. Maybe only two. Or three. Or four…), they weren’t especially welcoming and open – hearted. The biggest nightmare a girl can experience, no? To say that things were frosty would be an understatement. This what made me laugh so much brought Roxie on the verge of her nerves as Mark’s mother was very inventive and the things she goes so far for only to make sure her precious son won’t marry Roxie were hilarious for us, readers, but not so much for the poor Roxie. Oh, I so wanted to slap Mark’s mother guys, believe me, and I am a very calm and collected person. Starting with giving Roxie her worst clothes to wear and ending with closing Mark and his ex in a cupboard together, and generally make the things difficult to Roxie everything and making her a laughing stock.
This book is full of Portia’s signature humour and there were many laugh – out – loud moments, as well as some embarrassing and awkward ones. There were also some too clichéd moments for my liking, and the book was tad too predictable and too far fetched, but overall it was a light – hearted, easy read. It is full of mishaps and misunderstanding, and yes, it shows people at their worst I think, but thanks to this the characters came across as much more realistic and relatable too. There were some unforgettable moments, and let’s only mention the Teenage Mutant Ninja outfit, broken bed, spiking the drinks, the traditional Truth or Dare game.
Portia Macintosh has brilliantly captured the many different personalities and she also brilliantly showed how people can really be, how some situations unleash the worst of them, and how the real family dynamics usually work, and I enjoyed this rollercoaster of emotions and feelings immensely!
With so many people and so many different personalities this book reminded me so much of “National Lampoons’ Christmas Vacation”, which I can watch every Christmas to be honest – and they both show how often you just must bite your tongue, pretend not to see or hear things, how appearances are the most important thing to survive. There is also this teeny tiny problem of Roxie being a journalist and her best articles being about her relationship with Mark – and right now she was ordered to write one about meeting your future in – laws. What shall she do? Write truth? Will she dare to?
It is full of chaos but also full of situations and emotions that you can relate to. The author has really brilliantly developed the tension and I couldn’t see how it’s going to end. In my eyes everything was possible – the happy end, as well as the unhappy one. There were also moments that I was wondering if I really wish Roxie her happy end because Mark, well, Mark, what shall I say, people can show their real faces only when confronted or forced to, right? And Mark was changing before our own eyes, every day, he didn’t see things as they really were, he didn’t believe Roxie and actually I don’t think that he at least once stood up for her. It says a lot, no? But altogether, “It’s Not You, It’s Them” was all I have expected from Portia Macintosh – a light, easy read with a festive feeling. Recommended!