Crazy in Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop by Annie Darling
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publishing Date: 14th February 2018
Source: Received from publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review, thank you!
Number of pages: 400
Genre: Women’s Fiction
You can go crazy searching for the one…
Tattooed, pink-haired, Bettie Page lookalike Nina is addicted to bad boys. Like Heathcliff and Cathy, Nina firmly believes that true love only takes one form: wild, mad love, full of passion and fire and tempestuous arguments, and she won’t settle for anything less.
But years of swiping right has uncovered nothing but losers and flings, and Nina is no closer to finding her One True Love than she ever was. And when a man from her past walks into the shop Nina knows she has nothing to fear. The geekiest boy in her school has become a boring business analyst who’s welded to his iPad and with his navy blue suits and ginger hair, Noah has no chance of making her heart go pitter patter.
Which just shows how little Nina knows about bad boys, business analysts and her heart…
I absolutely adore Annie Darling’s books and I’ve already fallen in love with all her characters. “Crazy in Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop” is the newest addition to The Lonely Heart Bookshop series and yes, you can read it as a stand – alone, but I’d really heartily recommend to read the two previous books in the series as well – they’re just too brilliant to be missed.
This book, after Posy and Verity, focuses on Nina – the big – mouthed Nina, tattooed Nina, Nina with a penchant for vintage clothes and dating. And cakes. Being almost thirty, Nina is looking for her own Heathcliff and she’s picked many unsuitable men, and she starts to question herself, her lifestyle and choices. At the same time, things at the bookshop are not so rosy, so Posy decides to bring Sebastian’s friend Noah to look at the business practices. Noah is a total opposite of Nina and he plays on her nerves with his iPad, making notes on every single person working at the shop. And Noah doesn’t know it, but they used to know each other in the past, however it wasn’t the best past. Does the opposites attract? Is the truth ever going to come to light?
Guys, guys, guys. What a brilliant read was it again! It was such a joy to connect with all the characters that I’ve already fallen in love with and to see what’s going on in their lives. After making sure that Posy and Verity’s love lives are absolutely all right, this time Nina is our problem child. This time the girls doesn’t have to set Nina up on dates or sign her to dating sites because Nina absolutely has everything well in hand. However, mostly the guys are the wrong ones. I loved the way Nina didn’t treat herself too seriously She was fierce, she was quirky but she also had this more vulnerable side to her and she had conscience. She was believable and relatable in the way she acted and reacted, she had her ups and downs, she was sometimes rude but that was Nina all the way – she was honest and there was not beating around the bush with her, which I really, really loved – made a difference to so many meh characters in the women’s literature.
Noah… Well, Noah. Brilliant male characters just pours out of Annie Darling’s pen, and they are so different and each of them is in their own league. Noah was the best geek I could have ever imagine and I loved him. So there. I loved how he was around people, how he brought the Tupperware doses with vegan food home with resignation , and how, when he fell in love, then he fell with his whole body, head, feelings and emotions. I could so understand his pain, and I could see he felt betrayed but I wanted to shake him so much because he and Nina, though on the surface so different, were like match made in heaven, and I SO wanted for those two to stay together. Did they? Or was the hurt too big?
The characters in this story were great, just great. They grew on me immediately. I loved to see all the characters from the previous books, even if it was only for a moment or two, but them being there made me smile at remembering what kind of antics they got themselves into. They were all so brilliantly described, with tons of feeling and understanding from the author, she truly got into their heads and created the warmest fictional characters in the world. It is impossible not to like those people. The dynamics between them was also brilliantly captured, I loved all the banter and bitching and the fact that when one them needed help they could count on each other, on their support. It was all so effortlessly and realistically captured and the friendships and relationships just seemed so genuine. They complemented each other in great ways, no matter if they were main or background characters.
There was maybe not so much of the bookshop itself in this story, and so many tote bags, though Posy didn’t disappoint in that respect – no, I take this back, there was enough of the bookshop. Of stacking the shelves and customers drooling after Tom. The plot was easy but there were enough ups and downs to keep me glued to the pages, some disastrous dates and family birthdays. The humour was one of the best and I adored the jokes and the irony, it was just my kind of humour and I just wanted to beg for more.
It is so that any book can come close to the first book in the series, “The Little Bookshop of Lonely Hearts” but the next two are of course brilliantly warm, uplifting, funny reads and I love them all with all my heart. This novel was utterly romantic, full of friendship and acceptance, showing that looking different doesn’t mean you’re worse, that you should stay true to yourself and be proud of yourself, no matter what size you are and how many tattoos there are on your body, or if you have specs and a wonderful high school diploma – just be proud of yourself and believe in you, and I loved this message. It was hilariously funny and also there were moments it was very poignant, and the way the author balanced those feeling was great.
Altogether, it was – again! – an uplifting, optimistic story touching upon some serious issues and dealing with them in a great way. The characters were – again! – brilliant and very well outlined and I can’t have enough of them. My heart went to them all and all I want is to see them happy. It is full of warmth and it just felt like a group hug – wonderful, unputdownable read, another cracker in the Lonely Hearts Bookshop series. Highly recommended! And guys, what’s more important, there is another Lonely Hearts Bookshop book to come! I am only wondering – is it going to be about Tom? There was a little more about him and his thesis in the book, so maybe?