I don’t know about you but when I’m feeling kind of slumpy – nothing is better to get me out than a good contemporary and this new adult rom-com was exactly what I was looking for! Huge thanks to Penguin Australia through The Nerd Daily for providing me with an advanced reading copy in exchange for a review. This review was first published on The Nerd Daily here and now I have the pleasure of sharing it with you all on the blog 🙂
Content warning: alcoholism, toxic parenting. (this is not discussed in the review but an FYI).
Have you ever imagined running away from your life?
Well Birdy Finch didn’t just imagine it. She did it. Which might’ve been an error. And the life she’s run into? Her best friend, Heather’s.
The only problem is, she hasn’t told Heather. Actually there are a few other problems…
Can Birdy carry off a summer at a luxury Scottish hotel pretending to be her best friend (who incidentally is a world-class wine expert)?
And can she stop herself from falling for the first man she’s ever actually liked (but who thinks she’s someone else)?
A snort-out-loud romcom for fans of The Flatshare.
In the Summer Job, we meet Birdie who’s kind of impersonating her best friend Heather because she doesn’t really have anywhere else to go. Thinking that the job she’s taking as Heather will be an easy one, she’s thrown into a world where she needs to know hundreds of wines, pairings and recommendations plus there’s a friendly Scottish friend that’s definitely easy on the eyes.
Overall this read was such a breath of fresh air. Lizzy Dent really excelled as fleshing out Birdie’s character from the context of what she’s had to go through in her past compared to Heather and how it’s led her to where she is now. Wine is not something I’m an expert at and although I couldn’t quite understand half of what was expected of Birdie in this job that turns out to be more challenging than previously thought, Dent does a great job at making it easy to read and like the reader is also learning and getting through the obstacles Birdie is facing. Even as a person with the least knowledge about wine, I found myself feeling more confident about it by the end of the book and I really enjoyed reading from Birdie’s perspective throughout it.
This novel depicted such lovely, serene scenery based in Scotland and I fully enjoyed the character development that Birdie experienced in her journey, particularly as she got to know the cast of side characters and explore the areas of Scotland. Speaking of side characters, I loved the heartwarming found family aspect involved in the story as Birdie works towards feeling like she belongs somewhere even when she’s technically pretending to be Heather. The humour throughout the book was light and although the amount of swearing surprised me a little, I loved the easy-going nature, and particularly how well the poignant moments that discussed more serious topics were integrated with such care whilst maintaining respect and sensitivity.
Although this was definitely a fun and cute rom-com novel, I loved that the romance was not at the forefront of every decision and every scene. If anything, the romance supported Birdie’s character development which made her moments with the dreamy chef all the more enjoyable to read. While others may not like it, I really liked that this novel also had quite a fast pace. There was never a moment where it felt like things were dragging but I personally didn’t find that it was moving too fast either. Even though I really loved this novel, I didn’t like that I wanted so much more afterwards! I got so attached to this family so quickly it’s almost a little baffling and I sincerely hope we get some sort of sequel because I really would read more from Birdie & co.
Overall this was such a great read (a great debut!) and I look forward to reading more from Lizzy Dent. I’d highly recommend it if you’re keen for a fast-paced, heartwarming and fun rom-com with found family and personal development vibes. Birdie is certainly a unique character that’s out of the box, complex and energetic. I don’t think it’s a type of character I see often in books and it was truly refreshing.
Do you like reading romance books? I’d love more recommendations, I really want to read more of them!
Until next time,