Are We Nearly There Yet? by Lucy Vine
Publishing Date: 27th June 2019
Source: Received from the publisher in return for an honest review, thank you!
Number of pages: 352
Genre: Women’s Fiction
‘Laugh-out-loud funny. Truly, the Bridget Jones for our generation’ Louise O’Neill
Alice is turning thirty and is stuck in a rut. Her friends are all coupling up and settling down, while she’s still working as a temp, trying (and failing) not to shag her terrible ex, getting thrown out of clubs, and accidentally sexting her boss…
She decides to throw caution to the wind and jets off on a round-the-world adventure to #FindTheFun and find herself. Of course, she’s no more likely to find the answer to true happiness on the beach in Thailand than she is at the electric beach in Tooting, but at least in Thailand there’s paddleboard yoga.
Can Alice find happiness on her travels? Or is she more likely to lose herself all over again…?
Alice Edwards is having a crisis. She’s just turned 30, sent an inappropriate text to her boss and, as a result, lost her most recent temp position, her best friend and flatmate got herself pregnant, all other friends are settling down, she has a relationship/non – relationship with her ex – boyfriend… She starts to feel that she no longer knows where her place is, where she fits in. So she decides that she’s going to emulate her favourite travel blogger and decides to go for a holiday of a lifetime, to “find herself” and set up a blog of her own. She has it all planned out: one month in the glamorous Los Angeles, second month soul searching in Thailand and then she will see where she’s going to spend the third month of her travels. Is it really going to change her life? To show what it is she’s looking for?
I had some problems with the heroine because, let’s be honest, she was not so easy to like, especially at the beginning, right? It was hard to agree with some of her decisions and she came across as self – centred, thinking only about herself and wondering how the changes in other people’s lives are going to affect her own life. But on the other hand I loved her heartbreaking honesty. She was full of flaws but she didn’t try to hide them and I think it was also one of Alice’s strength – take me as I am. And, in fact, she was relatable because of not being perfect. And she really experiences quite a growth throughout the story and she draws consequences. She starts to see herself in different way, realises her problems, confronts her demons and even realises why she’s so drawn to men who, actually, mistreat her and starts to realise that other people’s lives may seem perfect but they’re not, and at the end of the book she’s a brilliant, changed person.
Through her journeys, Alice meets many different people, some of them more hilarious than the other, and also family members, and she gets to solve some long standing problems, resentments, misunderstandings that she’s been holding on and that turn out to be actually perceived hurts (let’s be honest here). But it was done in a realistic, affirming way and the author has so well captured all the feelings of uncertainty, hope and fear.
I really liked this book, it was full of funny and embarrassing moments but shortly before Alice left Thailand the story went a bit downhill for me. I get what the author did there, she wanted to show us that the character of Alice is also maturing, that she finally finds herself and what is important in life but it started, instead of feeling emotional, to feel a bit flat and slow. Yes, of course, it added more substance to the book but the change in the atmosphere was too sudden a change after all the fun and light – heartiness. However, oh Jesus, the blog entries were hilarious! If only Alice has written in them what really has been happening to her, the blog would have been winning awards! But for me they showed that Alice didn’t treat herself too seriously and they made me laugh, the comments as well and the nervous breakdown of Luke the moderator. The writing style is so fresh and feels so… I don’t know, young? Full of lightness, that’s for sure, the banter flows and the snappy dialogues keep the pace.
Altogether, Lucy Vine did it again. “Are We Nearly There Yet?” was a great read, filled with vivid and quirky characters and really well plotted, full of unforgettable moments and genuine humour and the hilarious situations felt realistic, not too forced – you know how sometimes a forced humour can destroy a scene, right, but Lucy Vine knows for sure how to write these scenes! Alice’s adventures were hilarious but not overdone and they kept me laughing, and the more serious side of the story added sublime and gentle depth to it. It was not only entertainment, but also filled with thought – provoking moments, and I really liked this balance. A great and frivolous read, perfect for summer holiday! Recommended!