Love, Unscripted by Owen Nicholls
Publisher: Headline Review
Publishing Date: 22nd August 2019
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!
Number of pages: 4384
Owen Nicholls’ Love, Unscripted is an uplifting love story, following film projectionist Nick as he tries to understand the difference between love on the silver screen and love in real life. Perfect for fans of David Nicholls, Nick Hornby and Laura Barnett.
For film projectionist Nick, love should mirror what he sees on the big screen. And when he falls for Ellie on the eve of the 2008 presidential election, it finally does.
For four blissful years, Nick loved Ellie as much as he loved his job splicing film reels together in the local cinema. Life seemed… picture-perfect.
But now it’s 2012, Ellie has moved out and Nick’s trying to figure out where it all went wrong.
With Ellie gone and his life far from the happy ending he imagined, Nick wonders if their romance could ever again be as perfect as the night they met.
Can love really be as it is in the movies?
Nick loves movies. He’s a film projectionist in a London cinema and he also loves his job that is just at the cusp of becoming unavailable to him because of the upcoming digital projection changes. When he meets Ellie at a party for the 2008 presidential election in the USA, Nick is sure that he finally found the One, love like in the movies. But is life like that? Following a narrative, always having a happy end?
Fast forward four years and Nick faces a redundancy, his family life is falling apart and Ellie moved out, leaving him trying to figure out why, and where, did the script go wrong.
It was a light – hearted story with characters that were full of flaws, which only made me like them better. It’s always nice to see that I’m not the only one in the world making wrong decisions and regretting being stubborn but not giving up, even though I know I’m in the wrong – hello Nick (waving here). Honestly, if things didn’t go according to him and his plans, he immediately backed down into his shell, offended. But there was also this second side to him, he was self – doubting and vulnerable, and actually a third side as well, when he was eventually able to see his ways and tried better. So really, not many characters were able to make me feel so frustrated about them and also keep everything crossed for them, willing them to succeed, like Nick. And he went through so much of personal growth in this story, and it’s always my favourite part of the novels.
The writing style was easy and chatty and the pace was only right, though personally I liked the chapters set in present better than those in the past. Sure, they introduced us to Nick and Ellie and their relationship, and there wouldn’t be a story without them but still, not sure why but the present was for me much more interesting than the past. It is also (the writing) full of the best kind of humour, the one hidden between the lines that I like so much.
So really, “Love, Unscripted” was a real, realistic and raw glance at love, love that is anything like in the movies, all smooth sailing and happy ends, but is full of ups and downs and this is what makes it so exciting. It was full of references to films that even I, the one that doesn’t go to the cinema (well, only if it is a movie for children, *eye – rolling*), have heard about or even – yes! – seen them, and music that made me smile in recognition. So really, I am not sure why this book didn’t work for me as I hoped it’s going to be – either you connect with the story or not and we didn’t click this time. And the end made me feel a bit confused. Nevertheless, I think you are going to adore this romantic, humorous and true to life debut, with a lot of deep meaning.
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